Cesar Castro, Safety Manager JCLDS Program, center, poses for a photo with the family of Assistant Project Safety Coordinator Leonard Cabusao.

December 22, 2021

Philippines Safety Leader Extends Thanks to Team Members’ Families

Saying, 'I had to find a way to let them know that they are really important to me and to the company,' Haskell's Cesar Castro spread holiday cheer.

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Cesar Castro so appreciates the efforts of the Haskell team members who are part of the Safety Program he leads in the Philippines that even the sincerest personal “thank you” seemed inadequate. So, he recently capped a wonderfully successful year by taking four days out of his schedule to tell their families.

As the Manager of Haskell’s Safety Program on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (JCLDS) projects, Castro has overseen an effort that has helped produce 14 million manhours without a single lost-time injury (LTI).

“The combination of knowledge, talents and abilities of the team members in a common effort allows us to achieve the goal together,” Castro said. “Each one is a fundamental piece of this puzzle. It has been a privilege for me to be able to work hand in hand with them. For Haskell, they are essential members that strengthen our Safety system.

“I thought, ‘How do I reward the hard effort that all my team members put in every day?’ More than giving a sincere thank you, I had to find a way to let them know that they are really important to me and to the company.

So, Castro hit the road. He reached some families by touring the northern island of the Philippines by car, then visited the Puebla project in Mexico and was able to see the relatives of his team at the site. He held video calls with the families that he could not visit personally.

“They were really surprised,” he said. “They never expected someone outside their family to congratulate them and thank them for everything they did to educate these excellent people. Sharing time with the parents of the members of my team, it was very gratifying for me. Knowing who they are and where they come from affirms the trust and affection that I have for them.”

Haskell Senior Construction Manager Jacobo Salan thought it was a wonderful gesture, but, knowing Castro, he was hardly surprised.

“Cesar is one of the most caring, committed and genuine people I get the privilege to interact continuously – and let me emphasize ‘Genuine!’” Salan said. “He is a great example of a father, husband and a man of faith. He is a friend you can always count on. He will do what it takes for you to be well and do well. He looks for the good in people. He is like a brother to me.”

Castro began his career in 2002 as a drilling and exploration supervisor at an underground iron ore mine in Colombia. After about a year on the job, he was deeply affected when a fatal accident occurred during his shift.

“From that moment, I decided to focus on accident prevention,” he said. “I have approximately 14 years of construction safety experience and have had the joy of seeing many construction projects completed and, in turn, families happy to see the father or mother, brother or sister, son or daughter, return home safely every day.”

The phenomenal safety record of the JCLDS program recently was highlighted when the Urdaneta project received the Safety Seal Certificate from the Philippines Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Other Haskell JCLDS projects are under consideration for similar recognition in other regions.

“Since I joined Haskell in 2016, the experience of working in a company where safety is really a priority has developed in me an even greater passion for Safety,” Castro said. “Without a doubt, this is the best work experience I have had.”

Salan said Castro was an exemplary team member who naturally models Haskell’s Core Values of Team, Excellence, Service and Trust.

“His people-first approach helps people realize their potential and create high-performance teams,” he said. “He has a heart of Gold and will take the lead on anything that has a positive impact, whether it’s for Haskell, his teams or the communities surrounding the projects. His commitment to his Team, to Excellence and Service makes him one of the most trusted employees working in the LDS projects.”

Haskell is hiring around the world! Join a team that values team members as family and puts its safety culture and Core Values front and center every day.

Haskell delivers more than $1 billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 2,000 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

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