Helbling is representing a repeat client, a major national builder, in conducting an executive search for a Vice President, Safety (VP). Our client's primary vertical markets include: higher education, hospitality, retail, healthcare, and mission critical. The VP provides overall direction and leadership to accomplish the company's global safety goals and leads the organization towards its overall objective to create and support a culture of safety, leveraging available communications resources and engaging business unit leaders and department heads.
Key responsibilities include:
Operational and functional leadership
- Provides leadership to the safety department by planning, developing, and implementing safety strategies and tactics designed to meet or exceed performance standards.
- In conjunction with company and governmental regulatory agencies, establishes and maintains appropriate standards, systems, and procedures for establishing safety policies, best practices, and standard operating procedures. Communicates policies and safety procedures to field and home office staff and conducts regular training on same.
- Establishes and implements various processes for reporting corporate and field level safety incidents. Takes appropriate and timely action to address such issues with the objective of maintaining employee and subcontractor physical safety, client satisfaction, and ensuring project profitability. Walks job sites with staff on a regular basis to identify and address any safety problems or issues with the project.
- Designs specific plans for proposed client projects to include site specific safety considerations based on proposed constructability methods and project scopes of work, emergency evacuation plans, weather preparedness, risk, and related factors. Works in close cooperation and collaboration with operations executive and project staff to effectively identify and mitigate potential and legitimate safety risks and resolve same in a timely manner.
- Participates in project interviews to demonstrate company's capability and commitment to the importance of safety. Makes site visits with prospective clients to demonstrate client commitment and resolve to manage foreseeable safety issues.
- Assists in the prequalification of subcontractors. Meets with individuals assigned to new projects, as required, to orientate them on all safety procedures, documentation, and safety program. Ensures that the project staff and subcontractors conduct daily communication detailing planned scope of work and defines means and method to mitigate identified hazards.
- Maintains awareness and knowledge of industry best safety practices in base building, ground up construction, as well as interior fit out projects. Assesses best practices for practical functionality to company given its core capabilities, strategic business plan, and operational objectives.
- Investigates safety incidents either personally or through subordinate field staff. Ensures all documentation is properly prepared and submitted to the appropriate internal and external parties. Acts as the key company representative for both internal and external communications. Develops and implements adjustments to safety policies and programs to mitigate potential personal injury or property occurrences.
- Actively manages the company's safety leadership team initiatives. Reports all monthly statistical and related documentation. Keeps VP of Risk Management informed of all significant safety events, incidents, and progress. Ensures input is received prior to making significant changes to safety policies.
- Conducts comprehensive safety audits for active construction projects. Identifies any safety lapses or risk and jointly develops a corrective action with appropriate operations management to address any and all issues. Implements effective corrective action programs to eliminate workplace risk and prevent recurrence of accidents.
- Develops and maintains a departmental budget for all expenditures, both capital and expense items.
- Identifies trends in workers' compensation experience and develops effective intervention programs to reduce future work-related injuries and illnesses.
- Ensures that project-specific safety procedures are in compliance with corporate standards and client requirements.
- Gathers all statistical data including subcontractor data needed for internal and external reporting.
- Ensures uniformity of reporting forms across the company.
- When new requirements are created at the local, state, or federal level, ensures that effective training and orientation occurs for all affected operations.
- Identifies for executive management the impacts of proposed legislation or new laws in the area of safety.
- Reviews the first reports of injury, resolves questions regarding what needs to be reported and whether additional investigation is required.
- Responsible for performance evaluations, goals, and objectives given to safety personnel within the business units.
- Identifies the impact of training using applicable metrics.
Leadership and people management
- Hires, manages, develops, coaches, and retains a team of safety professionals across the organization, working closely with business unit leaders and operations department heads in a matrixed organization format. Establishes performance expectations and monitors performance consistent with company goals.
- Ensures staff receives ongoing professional development in terms of technology training, latest construction procedures, and safety best practices. Coaches staff in their performance of their current roles and provides needed support and direction to attain career goals beneficial to the individual and the company.
- Identifies and resolves key safety issues with client projects. Follows up with appropriate staff to ensure all operational issues are effectively addressed.
- Conducts annual and interim performance appraisals, providing guidance and recognition based on performance.
- Maintains forced rankings of all operational personnel based on assessments of individual performance, client feedback, and peer feedback.
- Makes recommendations for compensation, including salary increases and incentive bonuses, based on performance, retention, and vulnerability.
- Recruits, retains, and develops the highest possible quality of operational client facing personnel including project managers, superintendents, and supporting roles.
- Contributes actively to professional development and provides learning opportunities to all safety and operational staff with the goal of maintaining technical skills current with the market.
- Supports other corporate initiatives as required, especially as they relate to field safety, risk management, and technology.
Sets the direction for safety, and plans commitments and goals
- Works with senior management, corporate services executives, and business unit leaders / department heads in setting the strategic direction for safety across the organization and implementing the tactical plan to support the safety strategy.
- Develops and tracks metrics to chart progress, and supports implementation through training initiatives including distance learning.
Client development and management
- Provides support to business unit leaders and department heads in the pursuit of client projects of significance, particularly those with strong safety components.
- Develops customized project safety plans, presents these as part of response to requests from proposals and implements during client project pre-construction and construction phases.