Kissick Construction’s Corporate Safety Manager Chad LaVoi knows a thing or two about the importance of safety in the workplace. LaVoi had previously worked for 14 years protecting the public in emergency situations before joining Kissick Construction in 2017. He believes making safety a top priority in his new workplace is as vital as it is in the field of public safety.

LaVoi spearheaded a new initiative within Kissick Construction to let staff know just how seriously the company takes the safety and welfare of its employees. The program, “Safety, It’s Personal,” emphasizes the impact safety has for Kissick employees both in the workplace and at home. And now, as our communities implement new Covid-19 health guidelines to minimize exposure and infection, safety has become more important than ever.

With the support of leadership at Kissick, LaVoi was enabled to take the company’s safety program to a new level. “When I came here, the safety culture was already in a good place,” LaVoi said. “My new role was to continue to make improvements to the existing program.”

Team Lead

Chad LaVoi

Contact

CHAD LAVOI | Corporate Safety Director


Expertise

Safety

About

Chad takes the responsibility for ensuring the safety of each person on our job sites very seriously. He cares for the team and is directly responsible for the overall implementation and supervision of Kissick Construction’s safety and health program. Collaborating alongside OSHA and the Builders Association of Kansas City, Chad has helped to form a partnership and establish a specific Safety Plan for the company.

Fun Fact

Kissick’s #1 outdoorsman. Chad prefers to be outside no matter the weather.

NOTE:

In the construction industry, safety on the job site is vital, and Kissick Construction has an excellent safety record. Each project has an independent safety program focused on the specific hazards of that job. The crews have safety meetings every morning at the work site, and LaVoi wanted to take those safety initiatives a step further.

As part of the “Safety, It’s Personal” program, the safety department hosts Lunch and Learn sessions and weekly Tool Box Talks, as well as impromptu meetings in the field to discuss topics such as weather awareness, driving tips, ways to make people’s homes safer, Covid-19 precautions, and other safety issues that affect employees’ personal lives.

“We wanted to change how we convey messages to our people so they know we care about their safety, not only here at work, but in their personal lives as well,” LaVoi said. “We’re a family-oriented company and we want our employees to make it home safely each night. Guidance regarding how to create a safe environment at home has become very important to us.” And as a result, Kissick team members have indicated they see value in sharing what they have learned in the training sessions with their families.

Although every project has rules to follow to keep employees safe, LaVoi’s role as safety manager goes beyond just enforcing the rules. He is focused on creating relationships, building trust, and providing safety information as a valued resource.

Changing the Culture of Safety

LaVoi said the program is changing the way people think about safety. “We’re changing the culture of safety here,” he said. “People are taking a new approach to safety by looking at things differently and becoming more proactive about planning for emergencies, in addition to discussing ways to mitigate situations if and when they do happen. We’re all looking out for one another.”

Kissick Construction’s support of the safety initiative comes from the top. “Our leadership values the importance of safety and that impacts all levels of the organization, from laborers and operators in the field to office staff,” LaVoi said.

“We strive continually to learn new approaches for implementation of safety practices, which provide maximum protection and performance for our team and clients,” commented Pete Browne, President of Kissick Construction. “Chad’s enthusiasm and initiative have been instrumental for the growth of our safety program. And today, our commitment to protecting the well-being of our clients, our crews, our families, our trade partners, and our community has never been more important.”

Once a year, Kissick closes its doors for the morning while the safety department hosts a “Trench Safety Stand Down,” a mock scenario focused on mitigating risks in the field. Everyone at Kissick Construction participates in the activity, which incorporates guest speakers from the community to highlight the importance of safety in the workplace and at home. Past topics have included fire safety and proper use of equipment in the field. LaVoi said getting everyone in the company engaged in the process emphasizes the importance Kissick Construction places on safety and creates a more informed team at all levels of the organization.

The department also partners with local unions to provide continuing education and training to field staff.

In the field, having a proactive approach to safety can stop incidents before they happen. The safety department trains employees to watch for leading indicators that could result in injuries or accidents and, in turn, take actions to keep everyone safe. “We’ve trained our employees to be proactive, to watch out for each other, and we’ve created a level of trust so people are not afraid to pick up the phone and call us when they have an issue or concern,” LaVoi said.

Kissick Construction has always made safety a priority and the “Safety, It’s Personal” initiative just builds on that foundation. “It’s all about providing a valued resource and letting people know we really care about them,” says LaVoi.