Raising Awareness for Job Site Safety takes Everyone’s Commitment
Last week, our company participated in OSHA’s National Safety Stand Down, a campaign developed to raise awareness about the severity of fall hazards in construction and the importance of fall prevention. Falls from elevation continues to be one of the largest causes of death in the construction industry and in particular the roofing industry. According to the Census of Fatal and Occupational Injuries (CFOI), the study equated that falls from roofs accounted for about one third of construction fall fatalities. Those deaths were completely preventable.
Our job as responsible industry professionals is to support these types of campaigns as well as encourage ongoing efforts to prevent elevated fall deaths. It starts with a culture of commitment to safety. Construction company owners, managers, and supervisors must be committed to implementing safety programs that are incorporated throughout the organization on a daily basis. In addition, regular communication emphasizing the importance of safety and tool talks like those encouraged through the National Safety Stand Down campaign, are essential to keeping the topic of safety in the forethought of every employee.
As a customer, it is essential to require safety plans for each and every project. Ask for your contractor’s safety record and EMR or Emergency Modification Rate. The industry average is typically 1.0. Demand better than the industry average. Doing this is not just going to provide a safer working environment but could actually save you money in the end due to decreased liability coverage needed.
Overall, OSHA recommends employers use a 3 step approach to help prevent falls –Plan ahead to get the job done safely, Provide the right equipment and Train everyone to use the equipment safely. At North American Roofing, we are abiding by OSHA’s recommendations and implementing policies that will further enforce our jobsite safety expectations. We would much rather coach an employee on proper fall safety than have an employee that does not return home to his family.
Fall prevention is 100% possible but it takes communication, commitment, and education. Our participation in this week long campaign helps us not just emphasize the importance of fall prevention to our crews but gives us an opportunity to show how much our employees mean to us.
Did you participate in this year’s National Safety Stand Down campaign? If so, what did you do to show your support? Are you implementing new safety procedures in your worksites? What do you do to talk about fall prevention where you work? Join the conversation. Let us know what safety means to you.
– Brian Verble, CEO