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Safety Leaders Sharpen Skills at CEMEX Health & Safety Academy

Date published: Jan 4, 2017

Safety Leaders Sharpen Skills at CEMEX Health and Safety Academy

Fostering a robust safety culture takes more than raising awareness—it takes leadership, education and a commitment to excellence. That’s why CEMEX established the Health & Safety Academy, an innovative training initiative that was piloted in the United States in March 2016.

"CEMEX USA is dedicated to the pursuit of Zero4Life and constantly improving our safety culture. I believe the Health & Safety Academy is an outstanding program that will have a lasting impact on our safety leaders, and we're very proud to have piloted and to roll out this program here in the U.S.,” CEMEX USA’s Vice President – Health & Safety Alan MacVicar said.

The Health & Safety Academy is an industry-leading, three-module educational program given over the course of 18 months. Participants in groups of 20-25 meet face-to-face for the classes, which are held at different locations throughout the country and taught by a core group of operations and safety managers. These meetings give participants not only the opportunity to learn new tools for better health and safety leadership, but also the chance to network and find shared experiences with their colleagues from other lines of business.

“This is a massive project. Typically, a project like this would be built in phases, with one building going up at a time. But not here. We’ve been doing a mat pour—about 3,000 cubic yards of concrete each—every weekend for about 10 weeks now,” said Kohlton Kauffman of Webcor, the concrete subcontractor for the project and one of California’s biggest and most successful commercial-contracting companies.

“These interactive learning sessions are focused on understanding their roles as leaders, how to exhibit visible felt leadership, and then the course revolves around building the foundation to be a good leader,” said Rich Holston, director of Health & Safety Academy training.

In the first module, called Foundation, participants focus on developing leadership skills and creating a real-world action plan tailored to the health and safety needs of their specific line of work. It builds on CEMEX USA’s LEGACY training, which was launched in 2004.

The second module, which will debut in December 2016, is called the Health & Safety Management System. The third module, called Proficiency, is designed to provide more skillsets on specific topics considered to be key to health and safety progress in the company.

Once participants complete the three modules, they receive a special certification from the Global Health & Safety Academy.

To date, 450 employees have completed Foundation, with an end goal of training1,900 participants in the U.S.

“Many of the attendees have reported back that since taking Foundation, they’ve found themselves spending more time interacting with their employees, providing them with positive and constructive feedback. They leave the course energized and they have a sense of camaraderie realizing that other people from other business units in CEMEX share the same experiences and challenges that they do,” Holston said.

In addition to an energized commitment to safety, the Academy modules also give participants a renewed focus on health and wellness—both personal and occupational.

“The Health & Safety Academy is going to drive improvement in our health and safety culture as we move towards Zero4Life by engaging our leadership in better understanding their roles as leaders and in giving them further detail on how health and safety can be incorporated into their everyday activities,” Holston said.