OneLife: Inspiring a Culture of Safety

Why Do You Work Safely?

No matter the language, working safely
begins and ends with people.

Every day, we send thousands of employees and trade contractors to jobsites across the nation, and every day, their loved ones depend on them to return home safe and sound. This monumental, humbling task is why we’ve devoted ourselves to transforming the culture of safety from the ground up.

Since its creation in 2014, OneLife, Choate’s safety identity and program, has become a rallying cry to move from compliance-based safety to safety that focuses on commitment — safety that touches the heart.

Taking Safety to Heart

We want workers to want to work safely — if not for themselves, for their spouses, children, or future grandchildren; for the lives and livelihoods of their coworkers.

Over thirty years of safety management across thousands of jobsites has shown us that simply inspecting for hazards or instituting regulations will not achieve the goal of fundamentally altering the individual mindset.

We also recognize, however, that to err is human; therefore, we take continual, proactive steps to “engineer out” the potential for risk. This includes actively leveraging our Risk Management Information System to predict trends in risk and train/alter our process to prevent incidents before they occur.

A Three-Pronged Approach

OneLife is designed to give a face to the critical, personal decisions workers must face daily by pinpointing the technical (e.g., lack of training), behavioral (e.g., rushing through work), and personal (e.g., language barriers) aspects impacting proper safety performance. By focusing on these aspects via targeted measures, we’re aiming to create a workforce that is personally engaged, empowered, and committed to eliminating injuries.

Walking the Walk

As Choate has grown, so too have the targeted measures we use to protect our workforces.

Regular refinement of our safety program allows us to turn the latest safety innovations into advancements in our policy and procedures. Likewise, adoption of many industry safety and health best practices ensures uniformity across jobsites and among contractors, further perpetuating the ideal of safety being a universal value. We will continue to take active steps to enhance our safety initiatives in the following areas:

    • Management commitment and leadership
    • Employee involvement and participation
    • Hazard identification and evaluation
    • Hazard prevention and control
    • Investigate incidents thoroughly
    • Safety and health training

Discounted Training Courses

Choate offers a variety of training options through at discounted prices for the subcontractor community, including OSHA 30 Hour and OSHA 10 Hour courses in both Spanish and English. For more information, click here to view our flyer.

Focused Efforts for Rewarding Results

Through regular inspections of jobsites, consistent messaging, and continuing education for our employees, Choate has achieved a level of success with our recognizably low injury and illness rates. Since Choate’s inception of OneLife, we’ve received numerous awards recognizing our commitment to working safely including, but most certainly not limited to, honors from the Georgia Hispanic Construction Association, SCDOL, NCDOL, Association of General Contractors and the Associated Builders and Contractors.

F E A T U R E D | Choate was honored to receive the 2021 STEP Diamond Award for superlative safety performance from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Carolinas chapter. In earning the STEP Diamond Award, Choate has proven to be 655% safer than the industry average provided by the National Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among additional safety performance criteria, companies must have an incident rate of at least 50% below the national BLS average.

Profile of a Choate Employee Owner

Allen Martin

Charleston Safety Director

Allen Martin leads Choate Charleston’s safety management team, proudly carrying on a ten-year record of zero lost time incidents for the South Carolina office. With a positive attitude and fresh, innovative approach to jobsite safety, he is able to uniquely inspire others to not just build better but build better safely.

What’s the best part about your job?

Making a positive impact across our sites to ensure that everyone can safely return home to their families at the end of each day.

What does OneLife mean to you?

We all have a commitment to make when it comes to working safely. Our families and loved ones need us on this earth just as much as we need them.

What part of your career have you been most proud?

Joining the Choate family!


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