Safety is Good Business

Safety is Good Business

There were 796 construction fatalities last year in the United States.  This means, on average, 85 workers will be killed on a job-site nationwide this week.  The scary part?  Last year, was the lowest total number of worker fatalities since OSHA started tracking this statistic back in 1992.

Like many of you, we take the safety of our workers seriously.  Our company is pre-qualifed by both BROWZ and PICS – the two leading services in our industry that vet companies and certify that they are low-risk and safety-sensitive.  We also recently received the “Perfect Record” award from the Utah Safety Council.  We’ve gone twelve (12) consecutive months without an OSHA recordable injury, illness, day away from work, or death.  And, we’ve completed over 600,000 work hours without an OSHA recordable injury.

Below are our top five (5) safety compliance best practices:

  1. Weekly Safety Meetings:  Each Monday at 7 a.m., we hold a mandatory, company-wide, safety meeting.  We use this meeting to provide safety training.  We also review: near misses, company safety policies and procedures, DOT compliance, etc.
  2. Daily “Tool Box” Meetings:  These meetings usually last 10 – 15 minutes.  The Job Foreman review job-specific safety issues to make sure that our workers have a clear understanding of all daily job-site hazards.
  3. Ownership and/or Upper-management Buy-in:  We believe safety compliance starts at the top.  Our owner, Bart Jackson, attends every weekly safety meeting.  Bart has said many times at these meetings that, “Job-site safety is even more important than earning a profit.  But, if we follow our company’s safety protocols, not only will our employee’s be safer on-the-job, our company will be more profitable because we won’t lose time and production due to accidents.”  When you consider, that the National Safety Council estimates the average cost of a worker injury to be around $38,000, factoring in wages, lost productivity, and medical expenses, it’s easy to see the wisdom of Bart’s statement.
  4. Safety & Compliance Leadership:  Times are tough.  Every company is looking for ways to increase productivity and to reduce unnecessary costs.  However, cost reduction should not come at the expense of safety.  Every company should have a written safety manual and a person(s) who’s primary job is safety compliance.  Want proof?  We added a full-time Safety Director in 2011.  Since that time, we’ve seen a tremendous reduction in on-the-job accidents.  Plus, our EMR has fallen to .83 and is continuing to fall.
  5. Join Industry Safety Organizations:  Organizations like the Utah Safety Council and the AGC, provide great safety training workshops for you and your organizations and provide a great forum for you to learn ways you can strengthen your company’s overall safety compliance program(s).

Your company may be already following some or all of these suggestions.  If not, hopefully, these best practices will provide you with ideas on how you can enhance your company’s safety program and culture.

Have suggestions for us?  We would love to hear your comments!

References:

  1. http://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html
  2. http://www.fit2wrk.com/_forms/ARTICLE_Fit2wrk_ClinicalEd_vol1-16.pdf
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