Sparking the Conversation: Graycor’s Call for a Safer Industry


When operating one of the largest contractors in the United States supplying construction, maintenance, and facilities services to a bevy of industries, it could be easy to let small, but vital safety items and initiatives fall by the wayside. Graycor, however, has been making a point to keep conversations of safety top of mind at every level of the company. Now, they’re putting each tool they use under a microscope to see if it stacks up.

In their effort to redefine what tools the industry uses on jobsites every day, Graycor quickly discovered that because price is such a driving factor, salesmen often provide individual jobsites cheaper tools that don’t align as well with the company’s safety standards as they should. Collaborating with their safety teams and the yard, Graycor began gathering data on what tools need to be phased out of use.

“I think it’s an ever-evolving initiative,” explained Tony Dinnocenzo, a Graycor Project Manager. “We’ve gone through so many different initiatives on behavior-based safety. We put on a safety boot camp every year that speaks to how to use the proper safety equipment. This is just the next step in that journey for us to get better and to improve our processes.”

A safety sign at Graycor’s Portage, Indiana HQ

Graycor’s emphasis on safer tools isn’t simply an internal initiative, either, but rather an invitation to join an industry-wide conversation that affects each contractor sending workers to a jobsite. “In our industry, a lot of times productivity is held in the highest regard,” Ernie Anderson, Equipment Manager, said. Jobsites are often tasked with getting jobs done quickly, he detailed, but Graycor wants to ensure they’re also doing it safely and going home safe that day. “Safety is first and foremost here.”

What does this mean for the tools Graycor uses each day that don’t stand tall against their rigorous safety standards? “We reached out to some of the manufacturers and some responded and some didn’t,” Anderson said. “We are going to keep hounding them with ideas that we have to make our employees more safe, along with everyone else who is using these tools.”

At the BuiltWorlds Machines conference this week, Graycor will further explore how they’re changing the tools used on their jobsites. “Not only do we want to keep our people safe, but if we can help other people from having an accident or injury and make them go home safe at the end of their workday, then we’ve done our job,” Anderson said. Dinnocenzo chimed in, “It’s just good practice in the industry. You want everyone singing from the same hymn.”

BuiltWorlds partnered with Graycor to bring you this article.