Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.texoassociation.org September 3, 2013  
Griffith Davison & Shurtleff, P. C

A game changer for industry safety

TEXO’s Safety First program is a revolutionary safety initiative intended to standardize safety training, while elevating the safety knowledge and performance within the commercial construction workforce.

Program will be available in English and Spanish.

Click here for more information about TEXO Safety First.


Encouraging Compliance

     In previous editions we have discussed a positive safety culture, best practices in safety management and even a few ideas of "what not to do" in safety. It is a proven fact that regardless of how positive, well-presented and well-designed your safety program is, it still comes to down to the human factor.  What do we do when we train, provide, coach and mentor our workers and they still choose to make the unsafe decision?  The answer: a Graduated Enforcement Mechanism.


     A Graduated Enforcement Mechanism is what most companies have in their Written Safety and Health Policy that communicates to workers that if they violate safety policy, they will receive a verbal warning. If the worker violates policy a second time, a written warning will be issued and placed in the employees file. If a third violation takes place, the employee may be terminated. 


     This is only one example of a Graduated Enforcement Mechanism; your company’s may vary. If your company has this policy in place, it typically holds up well under scrutiny of OSHA in the case you find yourself in an informal conference.  OSHA traditionally wants to see that your company is doing all it can to keep employees safe, even if it means having to remove unsafe employees from your organization. 

     The benefits of this program are in workforce perception.  When the workforce sees that there are consequences to bad safety practices, then most of the workforce will comply.  Regrettably, if you do not have this program in effect now and choose to implement it, it may not be well received by many employees. However, your company will enjoy a tangible decrease in accidents as a result.  It rarely leads to an employee actually having to be let go, but if that is the case, the news spreads quickly. Other employees will hear about it and remember it when faced with the option to work unsafe.

     Something that needs to be considered is - and the wisdom behind the policy - if you go in front of a compliance officer telling him "We have warned that employee twenty times and he won’t cooperate!"  What exactly does this communicate? You have risked this person’s health and safety at least 18 times!  So in the case of employee misconduct, where the person just will not comply, it will be much more pleasing to remove an employee while still alive than the unfortunate alternative! 

Your feedback is always welcome and appreciated! Please email Ladd Henley at ladd@texoassociation.org if I can assist with your company’s safety


What is GHS?

OSHA has given employers until December 1, 2013 to train their employees on all of the required elements of the new labeling systems and Safety Data Sheets (SDS’s). This series of toolbox talks will focus on the specifics of how the new hazard warning systems work. Click here to view/print this week’s Toolbox Talk: What is GHS?

Rental One

ABC of Texas Report

     The 83rd Texas Legislature is in the rear view mirror after 3 special sessions in the summer heat.  A couple of weeks ago, ABC of Texas published its Legislative Report on the session.  It was distributed via VoterVoice.  If you want a copy of the report, please email jon@abctexas.org with the words "Legislative Report" in the subject line, and it will be sent to you.  

      One of the important things ABC of Texas continues to accomplish is to work successfully with other groups to achieve positive statutory changes for the construction industry.  A good example of this is the recent passage of HB 586 by Rep. Paul Workman (a TEXO member) and Senator Bob Deuell.  That legislation clears the way for architects, engineers and construction companies to sue state agencies (including universities) for breach of contract in certain circumstances.  AGC-TBB led the charge on this bill with ABC of Texas, the Texas Society of Architects, and the Texas Construction Association as active partners.  That’s one of the things ABC of Texas seeks constantly to foster—a sense of cooperation among construction industry interests that leads to positive results for us all.

      Speaking of ABC of Texas goals, we will be convening in November to update our Strategic Plan.  For those who are not familiar with our process, every 2 years after a legislative session, the ABC of Texas Board meets to set 4 year goals.  Following that, the group assesses our two year goals (which were last cycle’s 4 year goals) to ensure that those goals will take us to the longer-term goals.  We use that 2-year cycle because that is the cycle of the Texas Legislature and working with the Legislature is ABC of Texas’ primary role.

 Our goals for 2013 were:

    • Increase influence in political arena
    • Increase awareness of ABC of Texas to members and industry stakeholders
    • Leader in identifying issues and building coalitions
    • Increase influence with state agencies
     We believe we met or significantly addressed those goals.  The important thing about goals for ABC of Texas is that they allow us to review our significant initiatives to ensure we are addressing the broad goals established by the Board.

      Certainly, if you have ideas about what you believe ABC of Texas should be doing, communicate with the State Board members in your local chapter.  For TEXO, those members are Russ Garrison, Paul Lembke and GPaul Holliman (ABC of Texas Treasurer).  

      We’re also gearing up for the next election cycle.  ABC of Texas relies on contributions from its chapters to fund the state efforts.  We work with local chapters to make sure that we cover all priority races statewide.  GPaul Holliman of TEXO chairs our PAC Task Force (which was created by the Strategic Plan in 2011).  That task force has recommended, and the Board has adopted, a slightly different process than ABC of Texas has followed in the past.  This cycle we are attempting to centralize all contributions, even those made through local effort above and beyond the state contribution, by writing all checks from the State PAC account.  That way, all contributions for state offices come from the State PAC.  Since this is a new procedure, the jury is still out about how well it will work or if local chapters will cooperate fully.  We hope it does not result in a reduction of cumulative effort by discouraging chapters who have engaged in additional local efforts in the past from continuing such activities.  Time will tell.

      Speaking of political contributions, it is always tempting to respond to requests for contributions from officeholders who have been supportive of our efforts.  But, it is impossible to prioritize without seeing what races develop (and, indeed, if that officeholder files for reelection or some other office).  For that reason, ABC of Texas always counsels chapters to "keep their powder dry" and wait until after the filing deadline to decide where to allocate the very precious PAC resources.  There is plenty of time before the next session to contribute to those who are unopposed.  For that reason, ABC of Texas prefers (with very rare exceptions) to give only to those with contested primaries early in even-numbered years.  We give to those with contested general elections in the fall.  And, finally, we try to let our supporters who were unopposed know we appreciate their service by giving some contributions in a post-election cycle.

     The process outlined above allows us to best prioritize the use of our limited PAC funds.

     As always, feel free to communicate with ABC of Texas at jon@abctexas.org.


Future Forums

Safety/Superintendent Forum (Secrets of a Safe Leader) – September 4

Latino Safety/Superintendent Forum (Protect Yourself – Respirators) – September 5

Women’s Forum – September 17

TEXO/CFMA Forum – October 17

TEXO/AIA Fall Forum – Date TBA 

IMAGINiT Technologies
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ROMCO Equipment Company
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