Area Safety Manager Jerri Dragt has been with Sundt for 16 years. She is responsible for administering and managing safety matters in all areas of the company. She manages and directs Project Safety Representatives and conducts safety audits, inspections and training, provides assistance and support to site personnel concerning safety matters, and investigates and monitors accidents, incidents and claims.
She provides staff support to line management/supervision on safety and loss prevention programs, ensures each jobsite in her area maintains a safe work environment under the guidelines of the company program and governmental requirements, and assists with employee relations and safety training of field personnel.
How prevalent is the “Safety by Choice” culture at Sundt?
“Safety by Choice” has become a familiar phrase for everyone. Everyone understands the concept of going home to their families every day without injury or worse and “Safety by Choice” is a reminder of why we choose to work safe. The choices we make all day, every day determine if we get to go home to our families.
What’s the best way to measure safety at a construction company?
There are many ways to measure safety in construction, but most are lagging indicators that are not too helpful in prevention of accidents. I’m really excited about our new Sundt Construction Analytics App. As we feed it information, it will help determine which tasks have more risk and will help us understand how to reduce accidents before they occur. This is how we will get to zero accidents, which is our goal.
Who have been your best professional role models?
I have had many role models in my lifetime, the first being my parents. They owned a heating/air conditioning business for 30 years so my two brothers and I learned the meaning of work ethic very young in life. They preached safety because if one of us got hurt we were not only employees, but family. Because of them, the concept of employees being family has stayed with me throughout my career. I was given the opportunity to move into the safety field by Frank Flanders, the Plant Manager for Arizona Electric Power Cooperative. He felt I would do well in the new safety role and provided me with the training necessary to take over the Safety/Training Supervisor role when my predecessor left the company a year later. Frank believed in me and mentored me not only on safety and power plant operations, but on how to appreciate different personalities and how to work with people and get their buy-in to safety.
What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
I am addicted to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum female detective series. There are 22 books in the series so far and I have read every one. I buy them ahead of time online so I have access to them as soon as they are released. My family knows that when one arrives they won’t see me until I’m done with the book. I love to be entertained by books. I like mysteries, self-help books and historical novels, but will read anything that looks interesting.