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From day one, 30 years ago, Safety was designated Tradesmen’s #1 Core Value. To truly be a “safety excellence” organization, it requires an attitude of caring that must start with me and filter through all my corporate, field office and craftworker colleagues. It’s a culture that lives in our hearts and minds based on a sincere desire to ensure our fellow employees are as healthy at the end of the day as when they left their families in the morning. Be clear that their well-being – and yours – comes first above market share, revenue and all else.

Achieving significantly better safety-related results requires clearly established and maintained best practices. One is empowering craftworkers to proactively identify and correct workplace hazards before they cause injury. The process requires on-going collaboration between craftworkers, field personnel, clients, Workforce Development and Safety to ensure we effectively:

  1. Evaluate a worksite for hazards,
  2. Confirm job duties and tasks of each assignment with the client,
  3. Co-develop site-specific safety guidelines/training with the client,
  4. Assign qualified craftworkers,
  5. Communicate the safety program to craftworkers, and
  6. Ensure our craftworkers, without hesitation, report unsafe jobsite behavior, working conditions, hazards and even changes in job duties so they can be investigated and corrected.

One way to improve the process is to list – on the job screen – detailed job duties, required PPE and specialized site safety training (i.e., fall protection). Safety and Legal worked with the Field to develop client-, project-, trade-, and task-specific training courses and safety programs. For example, they developed two exposure-specific courses to address hazards for working at heights, whether on roofs, scaffolding or ladders. It focuses on ways to eliminate or mitigate hazards, and on PPE that controls hazards that cannot be removed. Additional exposure specific training is currently in the works.

Another way is to perform detailed injury investigation reporting. This requires injuries to be reported timely and accurately. The result will be faster treatment for the injured worker, and appropriate benefits paid to the injured worker. Investigations should not stop with defining “what” the injured person did to cause injury – We need to thoroughly understand “why” the accident happened and where the process broke down, i.e., in the site and job assessments, client safety plan, craftworker qualification, and/or communication with the employee.

We believe all injuries are preventable. Optimized injury investigation leads to better preemptive strategies to reduce accidents. Let’s all work together to prove to each other, our clients and our communities that Safety is Truly is Our #1 Core Value.

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