During my 23-year tenure as CEO of Evergreen North America companies, we have seen a lot of success that I am proud of, but there is nothing I take greater pride in than the continuously improved safety culture we have created. It is something I keep very close to every day.

Over the 37 years that I have worked in the industry, I have learned a lot about safety culture. Our services are highly hazardous that involve work in confined spaces, hazardous waste, and numerous other dangerous environments. In our business, you have to build your entire company around safety and a culture of being safe.

As the leader of our company, this is something I am responsible for throughout the company, and we instill that responsibility in all our leadership. We teach that “wanting” to be safe is not enough. Our daily actions and what we spend time on each day are what establish our culture, and as the saying goes –“culture eats strategy for breakfast.” At Evergreen we call our culture EverSAFE.

All companies have a culture, some are unified, some are not, some are great, and others need improvement. To truly have a zero-harm culture, that culture must be uniform across an organization. We looked at how we could create a uniform culture that everyone could surround themselves with and we developed EverSAFE. EverSAFE was founded to create a consistent zero-harm culture across our organization on the principle that every Evergreen team member will be a leader and complete every task safely every time it is performed. We focus on leadership development among all employees, not just supervision, and all employees have the responsibility to be a leader and lead every task every time. With the establishment of EverSAFE, we have taken several of our HSE KPIs and developed a weighted Key Performance Indicator that we call the EverSAFEIndex.

The index is measured monthly and reported in our Monthly Operating reviews with company Executives along with all branch and regional management. Since this process has been implemented, we have been proud to see the increases in audit and observation participation from our people who have embraced EverSAFE and become leaders in our culture. These leaders use all processes and tools available to improve our EverSAFE culture every day.

There is no better process in our industry to help with continuous improvement and safety culture than the Safety Excellence Awards. It is a process that my companies and I have been involved with for over30 years, having won the predecessor “Eagle” award for overall performance in 1992 at Amoco Chocolate Bayou (now INEOS) when I was Division Manager for Enclean. Since that time, I have been continually impressed at the process HBR and now HASC have continued to evolve the process to help keep the industry safer. At Evergreen we, like all industrial companies, do not believe safety is proprietary. We eagerly share as many best practices as we can through the SEA process including:

  • EVERSAFE INDEX – a consolidated score of leading indicator participation such as Audits, Inspections, Stop Work, and EverSAFE (Behavioral) Observations
  • TOP GUN training which is an advanced Industrial Cleaning course training 100+ experienced operators and crew leaders from around the country in advanced safety, hydroblast, vacuum, leadership, and an executive roundtable Q&A session
  • LOCSTATT – enterprise software accessible to all employees to submit, track, and trend all HSE data
  • SAFETY ALERT E-FORMS with QR Code enabled quizzes
  • SENIOR LEADER AUDIT PLAN – a measurable approach to receiving monthly feedback from senior leadership’s job site visits

In conclusion, I would like to thank HBR and HASC for their strong commitment and leadership in the Safety Excellence Award process that facilitates sharing our best practices. I would also like to thank the numerous owners and contractors that share their time and resources to participate in this process. The key to our collective success is our willingness to work together to achieve zero-harm, keeping every person safe in our industry. Evergreen owes a lot of its success to this spirit of cooperation, and we look forward to participating and improving for the years to come.


Contact HASC at 281.476.9900 ext. 308 or for more information.