In the solar industry, safety should never be just a buzzword or a box to check off on a list of requirements. It is a fundamental principle that should be ingrained in the fabric of every company’s culture. It feels obvious to point out, but a strong safety program is essential not only for the well-being of workers, but also for the overall success and growth of the organization.

In this blog post, HeatSpring instructor Tripper Gawan explains how the benefits of a robust safety program extend far beyond the individual worker. When safety is the top priority, it creates an environment where everyone is aligned around a common mission and purpose. This alignment can then be leveraged to build a culture of accountability, quality, and excellence in all aspects of the business. 

You can watch the video or read the transcript below. 
Looking to dive deeper into safety with Tripper? Enroll in the Solar Construction Safety course

I believe that the safety program and safety focus is for the benefit of the worker – ultimately.

It’s kind of almost if you’ve ever seen that movie, A Beautiful Mind. There’s a mathematical formula that comes out of the story of that program that Nash comes up with – which is I both have to do what’s right for me and I have to do what’s right for you to ensure the health of the system.

If I only do what’s right for me and disregard what’s right for you, the system will fail, because part of it’s going to atrophy or become less vibrant and growth oriented. 

From the safety program perspective, again, it is for the benefit of the worker. But ultimately it’s creating this environment where alignment and mission and purpose begins with that step. 

You’ve got this pinpoint function when your people come in that you can organize everybody around and hook them into it and then you can build off of that culture. Because if you’re drawing the line in the sand with safety, you can draw the line in the sand with other things – quality, maybe it’s  personal environmental considerations with how we interact with one another, what the office dynamic looks like, what kind of words we use to communicate with one another. 

That stuff seems like it might be innocuous, but if it’s built off of a very strong expectation around safety, you can build these more strict patterns of expectations with your employees, so that you can keep everybody focused on the same mission. 

Back to why every solar company needs this program is we want our employees to go home and return back to work. We want them to go home safely to their family, to their wives and husbands, to their kids, to their partners, whatever that is.

It’s funny. I ask our employees all the time. Imagine calling your significant other and saying, “hey, I just got fired because I wasn’t taking safety seriously.”  What a silly reason to get fired. What a silly reason to lose your job. And that’s just the silly part. 

What if the phone call is, “hey, I’m really sorry to tell you this, but your wife, your husband, your significant other just fell off the roof  and they broke their hip and not only will they not work in construction again, but mobility for the rest of their life is going to be severely impacted.” 

I don’t know about you, but the heaviness that I feel in my heart, just talking about this fake situation that takes place is  eye opening. 

So why do you need a safety program? You need a safety program so your employees know that you care about them and that the culture is built in such a way that you uniformly align all your team members to look out for each other.

Then again, you can build off of that and create better accountability metrics for your quality programs, or for asset uploads and image capturing, and all the other things you need to run a business. So  get aligned on that one thing and then align everything else around it. And you’ll notice a large shift and a large change in the culture of your organization.