North American Caterpillar dealership, Empire Southwest, joins Blackline Collective

Empire’s leadership-driven approach to transforming its safety program has led to a 94% reduction in its Recordable Injury Frequency score and a stronger internal culture

Blackline Safety Corp. (TSX.V: BLN), a global leader of gas detection and connected safety solutions, welcomes Empire Southwest, a Caterpillar dealership based in Mesa, Arizona, to its Blackline Collective program, a network of individuals and organizations committed to advancing workplace safety and productivity.

As part of its involvement in Blackline Collective, Empire Southwest shared insight through a video on how strong leadership is the key element for building a safety program and culture, especially in industrial environments where profit and productivity are typically prioritized over workplace safety. Through several safety initiatives driven by its leadership team, Empire Southwest was able to garner strong buy-in and protocol adoption across the organization that resulted in a 94% reduction in its Recordable Injury Frequency score over the course of just three years.

“Any effective safety program starts at the top of an organization, or else it won’t go anywhere,” said Jeff Whiteman, CEO, Empire Southwest. “Safety is more important than productivity and profit. It is leadership’s job to reinforce that message to their people every day and to continue to learn best practices to keep everybody safe. Blackline Collective allows us to learn from each other, which provides a great opportunity to learn from successes and mistakes and drive our safety protocols forward.”

Empire Southwest jumpstarted its top-down safety transformation in recent years with several initiatives, including the formation of a first responder program as well as safety teams at every level of its organization to ensure safety remains a priority during any endeavor. It also organized and regularly conducts town hall meetings where employees are afforded the opportunity to ask questions or provide leadership with recommendations on safety practices and more.

“Empire Southwest is an organization that embodies the meaning of a multi-generation family-owned business and lives it every day — they care about the health and well-being of their people above all other metrics,” said Sean Stinson, Chief Revenue Officer, Blackline Safety. “The lessons that can be learned from Jeff and his team on how leadership drives safety are invaluable. Every organization, no matter its size or industry, can take something away from Empire’s approach to building a safety culture. It’s exactly what we are trying to accomplish through Blackline Collective.”

To learn more about Empire’s safety program and Blackline Collective, visit