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MSA - The Safety Company
On the Inside
McGriff, Seibels & Williams
Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP)
Top News
Please join us in Miami, Florida for the AGC Safety & Health Conference. You will get to participate in the development of regulatory and legislative activity on both the national and local levels, assist in the development and creation of new safety training programs and products, and hear the latest initiatives from OSHA and other industry experts. Registration is now open.

If you are interested in sponsorship/exhibitor opportunities, please contact Cheyenne Brewbaker at (703) 837-5352 or Cheyenne.brewbaker@agc.org. All sponsorships include post-event attendee list and recognition as a sponsor with a company logo in the meeting literature, pre/post marketing materials, the mobile app and on the website. Learn more.

Regulatory & Legislative Updates
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a final rule on November 7 that clarifies certification requirements for crane operators, and maintains the employer’s duty to ensure that crane operators can safely operate the equipment. The final rule will maintain safety and health protections for workers while reducing compliance burdens.

Under the final rule, employers are required to train operators as needed to perform assigned crane activities, evaluate them, and document successful completion of the evaluations. Employers who have evaluated operators prior to December 9, 2018, will not have to conduct those evaluations again, but will only have to document when those evaluations were completed.

The rule also requires crane operators to be certified or licensed, and receive ongoing training as necessary to operate new equipment. Operators can be certified based on the crane’s type and capacity, or type only, which ensures that more accredited testing organizations are eligible to meet OSHA’s certification program requirements. The final rule revises a 2010 requirement that crane operator certification must specify the rated lifting capacity of cranes for which the operator is certified. Compliant certifications that were already issued by type and capacity are still acceptable under this final rule.

The final rule, with the exception of the evaluation and documentation requirements, will become effective on Dec. 9, 2018. The evaluation and documentation requirements will become effective on February 7, 2019.

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 help ensure these conditions 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.

American Arbitration Association
February 11-13, 2019
Omaha, Nebraska
Registration Fee: $895 before 10/31/2018
Registration Fee: $995 after 10/31/2018

The AGC Safety Management Training Course (SMTC) provides attendees three days of training on the basic skills needed to manage a company safety program in the construction industry. Held just a few times per year at select locations around the country, the SMTC program builds on Focus Four training and prepares attendees to manage key safety issues on the jobsite and provides techniques for delivering basic safety training to field personnel. Participants will receive intensive instruction and training that will allow them to return to their firms with readily applicable new skills to positively impact their company’s safety and health program.
Best Practices

Ensuring the safety of a construction fleet can be a daunting and difficult task. Vehicles often operate in crowded environments and on uneven surfaces, resulting in a higher chance of collision or asset damage. Due to the industry’s unique challenges, construction companies remain adamant about mitigating fleet risk. To ensure the safety of employees and the public at or near jobsites, and to make certain the transportation and delivery of materials is secure and reliable, fleet managers are turning to advanced technologies to provide insights not otherwise readily available.

Video-based safety solutions are at the forefront of many fleets’ comprehensive safety programs, with an increasing number of managers and drivers realizing the value of video for its measurable impact on fleet operations. The implementation of a video safety program can be met with driver pushback, typically based on a lack of understanding of how the technology works and limited view of the multitude of associated benefits. A comprehensive driver communication strategy, coupled with education surrounding the safety and exoneration benefits, are key to ensuring buy-in from drivers and other interested parties. 

Whether a driver is personally cleared of wrongdoing in the case of a collision in which he was not at fault, or learns of the exoneration of a colleague as a result of the situational context and insight only available from a fully managed video safety program, opinions on video begin to shift. With video-based safety technology, management is not only able to pinpoint risky behavior, intervene with constructive coaching and change driver behavior, but is also able to identify and reward excellent work and cultivate a culture of healthy competition among drivers. Many times, fleet managers may not know how good their drivers’ skills are, and video brings those skills to light. With positive reinforcement — a handshake, a hat, a shirt, recognition in front of peers, etc. — the value of video in helping drivers proves indisputable.

To effectively compete and thrive in the construction sector, companies must evolve with the industry and continuously improve operations. A better safety culture has to begin with upper management, trickle down throughout the organization, and provide a platform for drivers to ensure their voices are being heard and their concerns are being acknowledged. Some of the most innovative ideas, those that change process, procedure and productivity all at the same time, come from the people who experience operational challenges firsthand — the drivers. Company cultures that shift to those of open communication and collective goals perform the best.

In addition to improving driver safety, other areas of business operations also benefit from video-based technology. With video, managers are able to pinpoint and eliminate "mystery damage" to vehicles and assets at a job site, reducing unnecessary costs. The true money-saver comes with the reduction of costs associated with both large and small-scale collisions. Typically, fleets find that it’s the accumulation of minor fender benders that are the most costly. By targeting and curbing risky driving behaviors and exonerating drivers when not at fault, the company is able to improve their services — on the road and at a jobsite — and protect their brand. 

"Video-based technology has allowed us to dial in and empower our drivers to practice safe habits behind the wheel — such as following speed limits, avoiding distractions and wearing a seatbelt. With our video-based program, the likelihood of injury has reduced and our drivers are safer today than they were a few years ago. When we decided to go down this path, we were one of the first in our region. We expected success in reducing risk but the complete revamp of our safety culture has been an unexpected win. Now we’re able to use positive reinforcement, combined with targeted coaching to further enhance the comprehensive safety program we’ve integrated into our company," said Tom Halpin, safety manager.

Once you’ve decided that video-based safety is a fit for your company, there are key things to keep in mind when navigating the vast array of providers to find the solution that will meet your fleet’s unique needs.  

What to Consider When Seeking a Provider: 

  1. Fully managed service with rich analytics: Find a program that will provide accurate, unbiased data that is immediately accessible, as well as custom risk profiles that will help assess your fleet’s strengths and weaknesses. The service should do all of the heavy lifting — analyzing and scoring events to allow management to focus on areas of highest risk — saving fleets time and money plowing through large amounts of data or hiring additional personnel to do so. Valuable analytics demonstrate ROI and performance improvement. That data can be used to incentivize drivers to continue their good work and improve where necessary. The insights gained from the system should allow fleets to customize intuitive coaching approach to meet the needs of its drivers.

  2. Hardware platform flexibility: To ensure a video-based system meets the fleet’s needs, it is critical that the provider offer hardware that is a fit for your fleet’s cab design. Based on cab design and the company’s goals with the video technology, the positioning and size of the camera are an important option to companies that want to assess a full view of what’s happening in and around the cab — not just the driver. The availability of separate dual-facing cameras offers greater flexibility and a more detailed picture of vehicle activity. Selecting an open platform allows fleets to add additional cameras when necessary, creating a 360-view to capture minor collisions, mystery damage, backing incidents or other common fleet dilemmas. The option to set cameras in hand-selected locations throughout the cab or to opt into road-facing cameras only, ensures fleets will eliminate blind spots and achieve their intended outcomes as a result of system adoption.

  3. A configurable program: Selecting a one-size-fits-all solution will lock your fleet into a program it may soon outgrow. Not only should the selected system meet the fleet’s current needs, but its offerings should be able to continuously meet the changing needs of a growing construction business over time. For a fleet that operates in low speeds in tight quarters, for example, extended recording options grant visibility into low impact issues that do not trigger events. In order to get a handle on backing accidents, 360-degree capabilities are important for assessing mystery damage and minor incidents that add up over time. Fleets are able to pull the footage, review, and act accordingly.

  4. Customer service: Find a provider that offers undisputed expertise and a commitment to standing side-by-side with fleets to optimize the pilot, rollout, adoption and results.  Beginning with initial rollout, there is a large learning curve for fleet managers and drivers as they begin to understand the power of video and the actionable data the system collects. A provider of choice should emphasize strong communication between company leadership and drivers — beginning with installation, throughout system training and well into program adoption. The provider should not only know the ins-and-outs of the video-based system, but also have experience changing at-risk behaviors. Throughout rollout and beyond, the vendor should be a partner to your fleet — providing advice, counsel and guidance regarding safety scores, risk thresholds, driver feedback and coaching. They should offer communication strategies to help with the adoption, provide training on coaching techniques, offer e-Learning to accommodate fleet schedules and offer to meet with drivers for added assistance.

  5. Automatic offloading: Unlike some on-board systems that take hours to send video event data, automatic offload within minutes of the incident should be a standard offering of the selected program to ensure fleets have pivotal information at the time when it’s most critical. Having immediate insight into the event that transpired will allow fleets to not only exonerate drivers straightaway and speed the resolution process, but also to respond timely and effectively to customer concerns or complaints, in order to protect its brand and boost customer service.
To guarantee the highest caliber of safety, construction fleets must evaluate the state of their current safety culture and commit to raising the bar, considering a video-based safety system as a defining factor. A reward-based coaching program dependent on analytics can help ensure driver buy-in. It’s essential for individual fleet managers to assess which video-based system provider will align with the current and future needs or their business and employees. Fleet managers need to consider not only capabilities like hardware flexibility and a configurable program, but also customer service from the provider. Once a fleet manager is able to find the right fit for their company, they will have a substantial and solid safety program. 

As the corporate safety director at O&G Industries, an AGC of Connecticut member, Michael Ferry leads the safety program and department for O&G’s diverse divisions of business including commercial construction, heavy civil, materials, as well as the company fleet of 500+ DOT and non-DOT vehicles. He began his career in 2005 working in the Boston commercial construction market, predominately managing safety on hi-rise work and joined the O&G Industries team in 2015. Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in occupational safety and health from Keene State College. Outside of his professional life, he serves on the Habitat for Humanity Greater Waterbury Board of Directors in Connecticut.


"How can I, as a CM, improve your company’s safety?" Should a construction manager or general contractor ever pose that question to a subcontractor? The answer would likely take some serious thought. Answering this question requires a construction manager (for the purposes of this article, the term construction manager will be synonymous with general contractor) to walk in the shoes of their subcontractors, as well as the trade people that build the project. 

Here’s the problem: Despite the best intentions of every subcontractor, their burden regarding safety is often overwhelming and always inefficient. This is not a slight on the subcontractor but rather on CMs. Picture the Boston construction market. Now picture the CMs that manage this market, and finally picture the safety programs for these CMs. You’ll notice that the safety programs for all of the CMs are fundamentally the same. In other words, the bones of our safety program are nearly identical. We require subcontractors to bid certain safety requirements, submit project-specific safety plans, submit job hazard analyses, attend orientation, provide hoisting plans for crane operations, etc., etc. This is not to say that the safety climate is the same with all CMs, but rather our basic programs have an undeniable commonality. The burden for our subcontractors lies in the necessity to adapt to minor differences in safety programs every time they move from CM to CM, project to project. A project manager, superintendent or foreman must change, in minor ways only, how they manage safety depending on which CM they’re building for. 

As an example, almost all CMs require trades to provide a detailed, written plan for their operations, commonly referred to as a pre-task plan. Some CMs require a particular form or document and require them at different intervals (daily, weekly, per operation, etc.). What if CMs agreed to a standardized form and delivery? The work that subcontractors perform, except for constraints and logistics – time and space, does not change substantially from job to job – framing walls is basically framing walls. What if every trade across the city could walk onto any major CM’s job, and know exactly what to expect, because it was the same as the last project with a different CM? What if every crane company in Boston utilized a standard hoisting plan that met the basic requirements of all CMs? The result would be a very noticeable increase in efficiency, with a large decrease in learning curve. Translation: more efficient = better product = healthier and safer outcome for the trades people. It’s much easier to learn something once and perfect it over time by repeating it, than it is to learn new requirements continuously.

 It is this thought process that led several Boston CMs to create a new group with this goal in mind. Safety professionals from Shawmut, Consigli, Columbia, Lee Kennedy, Turner, Dimeo, Suffolk, JMA, Bond, Lendlease and Skanska have partnered with AGC to make this a reality. The Boston Construction Managers Safety Partnership has the following mission: The Boston CMSP is a group of experienced and passionate construction safety professionals from the leading CMs in the Boston region. The mission is to align CMs on key issues that impact the safety of construction trades people in the Boston area. They will achieve this mission by 1) determining key issues that will improve efficiency and consistency among Boston’s subcontractor base in regards to execution of safety, 2) developing strategies, policies and practices that create consistent and streamlined execution of safety on construction projects across all CMs, 3) engaging experienced and expert personnel from Boston’s trade representatives, trades people and subcontractor core to aid in the development of these strategies, policies and procedures, and 4) implementing these strategies, policies and procedures across all of the CMSP members’ projects.

It's worthy to note here that the intent of this group is not to remove the individual identities of CMs and their safety programs, but rather to find common ground by which we can make the subcontractors’ efforts more efficient. We all share the same subcontractor pool, and the majority of the actual construction that takes place on any project is by the subcontractors. The potential gain for each individual CM is great.

For more information about the Boston CMSP and its initiatives, please contact Chris Ziegler.

Jason Edic is the director of environmental health and safety for Lee Kennedy, Co., Inc., an AGC of Massachusetts member. Jason also serves as the board chair of the Boston Construction Managers Safety Partnership. The Boston CMSP is a group of experienced and passionate safety professionals from the leading general contractors in the Boston region. Their mission is to align general contractors on key issues that impact the safety of construction trades people in the Boston area. Learn more atwww.agcmass.org/boston-cmsp.


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