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Protecting Our People Using Real-Time Data


Safety is the cornerstone of Wanzek Construction’s company culture and we are continuously looking at ways to improve our focus on protecting our people. This not only includes a daily process on each project but making sure we instill our safety values in each and every team member. In 2021, we took this safety mentality to the next level using predictive analytics in hopes of preventing potential injuries.

“I’m a data guy so this is near and dear to my heart, our predictive analytics. It allows us to hone in on a project or supervisor who may need some help,” Executive Vice President Rob Lee said.

Predictive analytics uses historical data to predict future events and helps suggest actions to take for better (i.e. safer) outcomes. In early 2020, we had a minimal line of site when it came to who was participating in our proactive safety measures. By tracking this more closely, we are able to identify trends and form plans to address it and bring in additional support. Today Wanzek tracks several elements of safety to identify potential risk including supervisor and safety professional checks.

“The initial opportunities for improvement we noticed were 1. Participation in our proactive safety program and 2. impacting this program by identifying at risk behaviors or conditions,” Sr. Director of Resources & Logisitics Byron Billman explained.

It could also identify someone that has too many people reporting to them or a crew working heavy hours or injuries on the job.

“If they’re tired, that adds a level of risk to each of our projects, as well as how big is the crew that an individual is managing. That’s kind of where the mindset of the predictive analytics reporting came from,” Corporate Project Manager Carissa Lindgren said.

As we gathered more data, we have been able to identify predictive risk and used those areas to create a mentorship program which matches those with a high-risk score to a senior leader. Our leaders work with them to identify a process or put a plan in place to lower their safety risk. And we’re already seeing it work. Safety check participation skyrocketed in the first quarter of the year.

“It provides an avenue to be able to coach them. It gives us concrete data to say hey, these are the things that we're seeing and they're showing up in this reporting. You’re working really long hours or you’re managing a massive team or your participation in your observations is going down what’s going on? It really gives you a jumping-off point to start having that conversation,” Lindgren said.

This level of detail provides transparency to not only our onsite leadership but the whole crew to further engage everyone in our proactive safety efforts and reinforce our commitment to protecting what matters most, our people.

“It gets us out on the job site, finding at-risk behaviors and finding hazards before someone gets hurt. That is what Wanzek’s safety culture is all about,” Lee said.

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