By: Taylor McPherson, Director of Communications and Community Engagement
Safety. A word we hear more often than not, but in our industry, you can’t help but live and breathe it. After all, it’s a determining factor in ensuring that every one of our team members (and those who use our roads) makes it home to their families every day. Not only does a strong safety culture need a team with a buy-in to the mission, but also leaders who provide the tools needed along the journey. One of those leaders keeping their finger on the pulse is Safety Coordinator Andrew Ray.
Andrew joined our family of companies in 2018, and most previously served as an equipment operator within our paving division. When our newly reinvigorated Live Safe Work Safe program was kicked-off at the beginning of 2021, he became an initial member of the Safety Team leading the charge.
Andrew wears many hats as Safety Coordinator, but he can typically be found at job sites conducting training with crews on safety aspects, onboarding new teammates with flagger training, and completing observations and inspections – tasks that are all made better from his fresh perspective as a former front-line crew member. Safety Specialist Harold Edwards shared, “A benefit to [Andrew] is that he comes from a background of asphalt paving, so he’s got a real good idea of what our guys go through, and he can communicate with them well. He’s really good about seeing things from all different aspects.”
“He leads by example and models behaviors,” added Jeremy Ramberg, Director of Shared Services, to whom Andrew reports. “He’s a person that instantly connects with everyone, and people relate well to him.”
These connections are struck by his humility to put the job and his team in front of his own interests. Jim Whitten, an Administrative Manager who frequently works with Andrew, recalled a time when a crew recently needed additional traffic control support. “Andrew saw the need and jumped in. He flagged with the crew to make sure they stayed safe. In doing so, he showed them that flagging was really one of the most important things to do in traffic control.”
Jim went on to share, “Andrew puts safety on a personal level. For him, it’s not about just following the rules, but keeping that person as safe as they can be.”
Andrew’s dedication is also gleaned from his efforts for continuous improvement and close attention to detail. “He’s always looking at ways to make processes and procedures better,” remarked Harold. In the field, this is evidenced through his determination to ensure all teams are geared up in proper personal protective equipment (PPE). In the office, it’s evidenced through his support to develop the inspection and observation platform that our team has recently implemented. Mike Crowson, a fellow Safety Coordinator with Andrew, shared “Andrew has been an instrumental factor in helping us understand the new reporting software.”
It takes a special person to be on guard for the safety of others, but Andrew is just the guy for that. “We enjoy his personal touch and his professional touch,” shared Jim. It’s no surprise that Andrew’s team had a vast assortment of support to share. Mike concluded, “Andrew is respected out in the field. He’s a team member and a friend. You can’t help but like him.”
Andrew, we thank you for your commitment to rise above and beyond for the well-being of your team!