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Sedgwick, LLP
On the Inside
Naylor, LLC
 
Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP)
Top News
Protecting Louisiana workers from construction industry hazards is the goal of an alliance signed in July between the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Louisiana Associated General Contractors.

"This alliance provides an opportunity for OSHA and members of the Louisiana Associated General Contractors to come together through forums, round-table discussions, meetings and conferences to discuss safety and health issues associated with the needs of member employers," said Dorinda Folse, OSHA’s area director in Baton Rouge. "This voluntary, cooperative relationship will also provide training and outreach to enhance employee safety."

The LAGC is a statewide, full-service construction trade association representing about 800 general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and service firms throughout Louisiana. Formed in 1949, LAGC is one of 101 chapters of the 33,000-member Associated General Contractors of America, headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Through its Alliance Program, OSHA works with businesses, trade associations, unions, consulates, professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, and educational institutions to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. The purpose of each alliance is to develop compliance assistance tools and resources and educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities. For more information, visit www.osha.gov/dcsp/alliances/index.html.

For more information about this alliance or forming an alliance or partnership with OSHA’s Baton Rouge Area Office, call 225-298-5458. To ask questions about compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s tollfree hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Baton Rouge Area Office.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions exist for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
 
CLICKSAFETY
Events


Safety Management Training Course 
October 23-25, 2013 
St. Louis, Mo.

Safety & Health Meeting
January 15-17, 2014 
Houston, Tex.

 
Best Practices
By Connie Brinkmann
Enterprise Fleet Management

Distracted driving not only is a serious problem on the road, it is a major concern for businesses with fleets of vehicles that want to reduce the frequency and severity of accidents and control expenses. Distracted driving can be caused by activities ranging from using a cell phone or texting to eating and drinking, grooming, reading directions, or changing a radio station or MP3 player.

Recent statistics about distracted driving related to the use of cell phones and texting are particularly alarming:
  • Regardless of the texting method – voice-to-text or manual – driver performance suffers equally, according to a study released in April 2013 by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI).  
  • The National Safety Council in a study released in May 2013 estimates that 25 percent of all crashes involve cell phone use based on data reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). However, the National Safety Council believes "the number of crashes involving cell phone use is much greater than what is being reported (because) many factors, from drivers not admitting cell phone use to a lack of consistency in crash reports being used to collect data at the scene, make it very challenging to determine an accurate number."  
  • Finally, a study released by AAA in June 2013 concluded that "talking on a hands-free phone isn’t significantly safer for drivers than talking on a hand-held phone, and using hands-free devices that translate speech into text is the most distracting of all."
Besides the inconvenience and expense of taking a vehicle out of service for repairs after an accident, even minor injuries to a driver can become a major concern and disrupt a business’ ability to serve customers. A business often can benefit from an annual review of losses that includes cross-referencing accident reports with cell phone records for individual drivers and calculating the extra expenses incurred by not reporting small accidents to its insurance carrier. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this review is with a professional fleet management company that has the experience and expertise to evaluate the total cost of a fleet of vehicles.

Businesses that don’t take seriously the problems caused by distracted driving can pay a high price.  For example, a vehicle involved in a serious accident could be required to be taken out of service during an investigation from several days to many months, while the business is still required to make payments on the vehicle.  In addition, a business involved in a legal dispute resulting from an accident may be subpoenaed to provide detailed documentation such as the driver’s statements and possible phone records if the driver is suspected of being on the phone at the time of the accident.

A good place to begin to reduce risks caused by distracted driving is to develop a written policy for all drivers, whether they drive company-owned vehicles or use their own vehicles while on company business. Sample wording may state, "Individuals are encouraged to use their cell phones only when the vehicle is legally parked. The use of cell phones while driving is strongly discouraged in order to practice good defensive driving skills. Notwithstanding the foregoing, compliance with state and local cell phone laws is required."

According to AAA, industry research indicates there are about 9 million cars and trucks on the road with "infotainment" systems and that will jump to about 62 million by 2018.  It’s time for everyone to face the reality of distracted driving and take necessary actions to drive responsibly.

Connie Brinkmann is assistant vice president, loss control department for Enterprise Fleet Management. She can be reached at 314-256-5125 or connie.s.brinkmann@efleets.com.  Enterprise Fleet Management, a full-service fleet management company for businesses with mid-size fleets, is an affiliate of Enterprise Holdings Inc. With more than 50 fully staffed offices nationwide, it supplies most makes and models of cars, light and medium duty trucks and service vehicles to businesses across the United States. For more information, visit www.efleets.com or call toll free 1-877-23-FLEET.


 
Member News
AGC of Massachusetts and AON Construction Services Group of Boston recently awarded Tocci Building Companies with a 2013 National Safety Award. This marks the 20th consecutive year that Tocci Building Companies has received this award, demonstrating the superior safety standards the firm strives to exemplify. 

Robert (Bud) LaRosa, chief business performance Oofficer (CBPO) of Tocci Building Companies, accepted the Safety Award on behalf of Tocci at the Boston College Club in Boston, Mass.

The National Safety Award recognizes firms who have developed superior safety standards to implement onsite of each project. In order to qualify for a Safety Award, an AGC-member firm must participate in the AGC Safety Awards Program for three consecutive years and have either zero lost-day incidence cases or an average incidence case rate 25 percent below the average rate of all firms that participate in that particular division. In total, 18 AGC of Massachusetts firms received National AGC Safety Awards for their model safety records. As the AGC of America has more than 6,800 general contractor members within its Building Division, Tocci’s reception of this award indicates its truly exceptional safety standards.

In the past four decades, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and its state partners have had a dramatic effect on workplace safety.

According to OSHA, worker injuries and illnesses have decreased from 10.9 percent in 1972 to less than 4 percent in 2010. Tocci diligently promotes awareness of the industry’s dangers through its commitment to strict safety protocol, ensuring that its jobsites are managed with an even higher level of safety compliance than required by the OSHA.

"Our first responsibility is to provide a healthy and safe working environment for every person we work with, both on and off the jobsite," said LaRosa. For Tocci, this includes weekly safety bulletins, employee training, OSHA certification, and subcontractor "Toolbox Talks." Tocci’s exemplary safety record and incorporation of regular safety training into the workplace made the firm a standout recipient of a 2013 Safety Award. 

About Tocci Building Companies
Tocci Building Companies is internationally recognized as a leader in Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). Headquartered in Woburn, Mass., Tocci provides intelligent building solutions and construction services with an integrated approach and emphasis on sustainable construction throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic United States. Tocci is proud to be celebrating 90 years of successful business partnerships. For more information visit www.tocci.com.

 
 
         

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