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MSA - The Safety Company
On the Inside
Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP)
Safety Management Training Course
October 15-17, 2014
Arlington, VA
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. Participants 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.

Safety Management Training Course 
December 10-12, 2014 
St. Louis, MO 

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. Participants 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.

AGC Safety and Health Conference 
January 14-16, 2015 
San Diego, CA 

Best Practices
Six Ways to Improve Your Safety Training

The recent preliminary Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that while the number of fatal work injuries in the private construction sector in 2013 stayed about the same as the year prior, the 796 fatal work injuries that did occur accounted for the highest number of fatal work injuries of any industry sector. Overall, the trend is improving with construction fatalities down 36 percent since 2006; however, there’s still work to be done.

In 1969, Frank E. Bird Jr. conducted a study in which he observed industrial accidents and established the ratio of 1:29:300; one major injury occurs for every 29 minor injuries and for every 300 "no-injury" accidents. The investigation revealed that while major incidences are infrequent, there should be an increased effort to reduce the recurrent and less compromising events. In addition, ConocoPhillips Marine performed another study that showed for every fatality, there is a minimum of 300,000 at-risk behaviors. Both of these studies reiterate the importance of every construction organization creating and maintaining a solid safety program.

There are many reasons why accidents happen and these at-risk behaviors can be avoided. Whether an employee is pushing for a speedy completion by taking shortcuts that compromise the safety of the team or an experienced worker that is overconfident and resists learning new ways to avoid injury, safety can’t ever take the backseat. The way for construction companies to overcome this is simple: focus on safety. Continuously working to make safety a top priority should be at the forefront of every firm. In an effort to improve all construction sites, here are six ways to improve your safety program today.

1) Expand your safety team
Safety inspectors are dedicated to evaluating site conditions. However, they can’t be everywhere at once. For instance, if a safety inspector has 10 projects, each project is without a safety inspector 90 percent of the time. While it’s not possible to increase the number of inspectors on a jobsite, it is possible to increase the inspector base, and that means involving the entire team. The capability of having everyone actively participate in keeping your projects safe improves communication, understanding and awareness — all of which help avoid accidents on the job. As the Bird study suggested, construction companies that pay close attention to ways to eliminate close calls will undoubtedly save someone’s life. Safety teams that are buoyed by everyone’s participation will be able to correct deficiencies quicker. Require the entire project team to stay aware and report potential issues. This will ultimately create a safer work place.

2) Encourage and reward participation
While getting the team involved to help keep everyone safe should seem like an easy task, providing incentives can increase involvement. We’ve worked with companies that reward their employees for reporting a certain number of observations per day or per week. In doing this, potential accidents are remediated more efficiently. Acknowledging your team for perpetuating disciplined safety habits will keep them inclined to do so in the future.

3) Set goals and expectations
While fatalities and injuries in construction is a serious matter, the reality is that changes won’t occur overnight. Every program takes time to iron out the kinks and ensure everyone is on the same page. Set goals and expectations for how your safety program will operate and host monthly educational trainings to review the top safety concerns. Set your company up for success by creating a plan to improve your program and sticking to it. It’s also a good practice to evaluate the program on a regular basis to see what’s working and what needs improvement.

4) Incorporate applications
What many people don’t understand is that proper reporting is essential to bring safety concerns to the attention of senior management. There are various free and paid iPhone, iPad and Android-friendly apps available that allow individuals to report safety issues and monitor situations specifically related to ladder safety, heat stress, safe lifting and first aid.

5) Hold regular trainings
Provide regular training sessions to help workers remain focused on the task at hand — the team’s safety. With that, commit to ongoing education about the common safety hazards found at construction sites. For instance, falls remain the leading cause of injuries in the industry; therefore, workers should constantly be reviewing the importance of fall protection. In addition, all new employees, regardless of their years of experience, should be required to participate in a comprehensive safety training that covers safety requirements and expectations at project sites. Lastly, offer trainings and materials in more than one language — this shows that you are cognizant of your employee’s cultural differences.

6) Perform internal job hazard analyses
Before the kickoff of any project, it’s important to focus on the pre-construction job hazard analysis for each site. Consultants are typically brought in to perform this task, but it would be wise to encourage the entire team to play an active role in uncovering possible scenarios and determining what precautions should be made to avoid such accidents. After all, those are the individuals who will be spending the most time on the site and everyone should be involved in ensuring the safety of the team.

Companies have various opportunities to strengthen their safety programs in an effort to improve worker safety. This certainly isn’t an area where shortcuts should be taken. Consider implementing these six tips to keep everyone safe.

Peter Lasensky is the founder and CEO at NoteVault, Inc., a San Diego-based privately owned company that provides innovative voice-to-text-based mobile reporting solutions for the commercial construction industry. NoteVault enables superintendents to quickly and easily report project activity from the field using nothing but their voice and mobile phone. This information is transcribed and made available through email or a web-based interface. NoteVault saves contractors time and money, while protecting against potential lawsuits. For more information, visit http://www.notevault.com or email Lasensky at peter.lasensky@notevault.com.
Merchants Bonding Co.
Member News
Turner Construction Company, a member of multiple AGC chapters, recently announced that the firm’s vice president of environmental health & safety, Cindy DePrater, has been elected to OSHA’s Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health.

The 15-member committee provides guidance, advice and support to the secretary of labor on a variety of issues, including formulation and establishment of construction safety standards. The standards of practice that come from the committee provide for the well-being of everyone involved in the construction industry.

"I am incredibly proud to congratulate Cindy on this well-earned recognition. Her contributions to Turner have been, and continue to be invaluable," said Peter Davoren, president and CEO of Turner Construction Company. He continued, "The construction industry employs more than six million people in the United States. It is through the efforts of people like Cindy, who work so hard to establish a culture and environment where safety is paramount, that these workers go home safely every day. I look forward to seeing what this committee can accomplish with her as part of the team."

About Turner Construction Company 
Turner is a North America-based, international construction services company. Founded in 1902, Turner first made its mark on the industry pioneering the use of steel-reinforced concrete for general building, which enabled the company to deliver safer, stronger, and more efficient buildings to clients. The company continues to embrace emerging technologies and offers an increasingly diverse set of services. With an annual construction volume of $9 billion, Turner is the largest builder in the United States, ranking first in the major market segments of the building construction field, including healthcare, education, sports, commercial, and green building. The firm is a subsidiary of HOCHTIEF, one of the world’s leading international construction service providers. For more information please visit http://www.turnerconstruction.com.

HOCHTIEF is one of the most international construction groups worldwide. The company delivers complex infrastructure projects, in some cases on the basis of concession models. The group operates in the transportation infrastructure, energy infrastructure and social/urban infrastructure segments as well as in the contract mining business. With nearly 81,000 employees and a sales volume of more than EUR 25 billion in FY 2013, HOCHTIEF is represented in all the world’s major markets.Further information is available at http://www.hochtief.com/press.
The Beckmann Quarry, owned and operated by Martin Marietta, a member of multiple AGC chapters, recently celebrated a milestone of reaching two million consecutively logged employee hours without a reportable incident or incident of lost time. This covers a period that stretches back to 2007.

Martin Marietta’s Beckmann Quarry has a rich history in San Antonio, and has been safely operated for more than 70 years.  Major San Antonio attractions such as Six Flags Fiesta Texas, The Shops at La Cantera and The Shops at the Rim have been repurposed from parts of the Beckmann Quarry that have been mined out.  The quarry continues to safely operate as a neighbor to these properties. 


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