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Keeley'n Spotlight: Safety Ray

By: Claire Sauer

At Keeley Companies, our award-winning Safety Culture, KeeleySafe, is an integral part of who we are and everything we do. Our Senior Vice President of Risk Management, Ray Boehm, affectionately known as “Safety Ray”, brings passion and experience to his role. KeeleySafe would not be the world-class culture it is today without the dedication and hard work from him and his entire team.

Safety Ray joined the Keeley family after years of serving as their Safety Consultant. When Keeley

Companies adopted the Strategic Planning (STP) process in 2006, they realized that they needed a much stronger focus on safety. Safety Ray was officially hired on in 2008 and hasn’t slowed down since. At this time, there were only 100 total Keeley’ns, but every single person fully embraced and adopted his ideas for a dedicated safety culture. From the beginning, when Larry Keeley founded the company in 1976, Keeley Companies has been in the business of service. Safety Ray wanted to build on this and bring KeeleySafe to life because Keeley’ns deserve it. They deserve to be working for a company that is dedicated to their well-being and will work hard to educate and provide proper resources in order to learn, grow, and make it home safely at the end of the day.

“We make an impact every day. We provide answers. We have to be able to give our people the opportunity to get home every day by providing them the information and resources they need.”

Safety Ray discovered his passion for safety early on in his career. In 1986, Ray taught a CPR class at his company and his CEO received a letter from one of the participants at the class. Unfortunately, the man’s father had passed away, but he took what Safety Ray had taught him in the CPR class and applied it to his father. Even though his attempts were unsuccessful, he knew that he was doing everything he could to save his dad’s life. This is when Safety Ray truly realized the importance and the impact of what he did.

KeeleySafe has become an essential part of our culture and our company. When asked what his favorite aspect of KeeleySafe was, Safety Ray said:

“The people. They are the true heart and soul of everything that we do. What’s amazing about this company is the fact that our people truly prioritize their safety above all else. They are empowered to make decisions, it is supported by leadership, and I just love the challenges that it brings. We owe our people the opportunity to be whatever they want to be. We will never put anything above our people’s safety.”

KeeleySafe isn’t just a world-class safety program, but it is an advancement principle. One question Safety Ray consistently asks himself and his team is

“How do we do things safely and do them well for our people that are out there doing the work?”

Our people in the field are our best resource and once we are able to get them to actually want to participate in safety and solving errors, that’s the sign of a truly successful program.

As KeeleySafe continues to grow and evolve, there is a lot to look forward to. Safety Ray and his team are excited to continue to improve the resources we provide to our people. One thing that KeeleySafe implements as a leader in the industry is Think Tanks. Our team continuously looks at Human Performance Indicators (HPI) and brainstorms ways to improve the current systems in place and new systems to implement. Our team also consistently works on educating Keeley’ns on changing trends and risks. This allows for a long-term change in thoughts and habits which will lead to positive change.

We are so excited to see KeeleySafe continue to grow and change our company culture for the better. Thank you, Safety Ray for being our fearless leader. Your passion and dedication are unmatched.

Also, thank you to the entire Risk Management Team for ensuring the health and safety of our Keeley’ns throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Your hard work has not gone unnoticed and we are so grateful for everything that you do. You can read Keeley Companies full COVID-19 response here.

You can watch our Awkward Moments and Awkward Conversations with Safety Ray here.

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