Within every workplace, there are guidelines, rules and regulations handed down by municipalities or governments that are meant to keep employees aligned, safe and compliant. The tendency is to do just enough to satisfy these regulations and hope that more isn’t necessary. But while most companies see regulations as a finish line, some see them as a stepping stone.
One such company is Skanska, a Swedish construction and development firm founded in 1887. With more than 41,000 employees worldwide and 10,000 in North America alone, they rely on regulations and guidelines to keep projects on schedule, maintain quality standards and meet client expectations. But they’ve differentiated themselves by taking a progressive, proactive approach to not only worker safety and health, but also project sustainability.
But while most companies see regulations as a finish line, some see them as a stepping stone.
In 1995, well before green building and sustainable materials were de rigueur, Skanska joined the World Council for Sustainable Development, and their first building received ISO 14001 certification only a year later. Today, their entire company retains this certification. Skanska set these aggressive goals of their own accord—yes, it was the responsible choice, and they’re a business that relies on a holistically healthy environment to thrive. But, as they’ve stated, it was the guiding principles of their business—their core values—that made the prioritization of sustainable design and environmental responsibility an easy choice.
It follows that the health of Skanska’s workers would garner similar prioritization from the company’s higher-ups. Skanska has started rolling out a new construction helmet that offers more dependable and complete protection from on-site accidents. And, their commitment to creating an “injury-free environment” has led to daily team-based exercise, including a “Stretch and Flex” initiative that outlines specific stretches for construction workers to perform on-site at the start of each shift. Skanska’s not alone in this: Minnesota’s Mortenson Construction leads its teams in daily stretches as well, in part to take preventative measures to limit injuries and downtime, but also to build interpersonal connections within each team and keep morale high.
These measures aren’t mandated by a government agency, and aren’t standard by any means within their industry. These are examples of companies taking a proactive approach to safety, wellness and innovation that sets them apart from their competition. At DISA, this is what we strive to do by offering cutting-edge testing services with standards that go well beyond industry and government requirements. Within every industry, there is a company that sets the bar—it’s our goal to be that company for our teams, our clients and our industry at large.