A Closer Look at Safety from the viewpoints of A contractor and inspector
Bob Pringle’s presentation at this year’s Best of Success focused on the importance of safety within roofing companies, as well as how Evans Roofing successfully integrates safety into their company culture.
Pringle is the vice president of Evans Roofing Company in Elmira, N.Y., a nationally recognized building envelope contractor. He manages sales and marketing, corporate quality and environmental health and safety at Evans, where he’s also a co-owner.
The session began with Pringle presenting the audience with a set of statistics, including — roofing is the 4th most dangerous business in the country, and accounts for one in every 10 construction workers injured on the job every year. He then dove into the six components that make up the safety culture web at Evans Roofing. The first point mentioned was management commitment, which entails management being heavily involved in the different levels of the safety program.
Employee participation came next, followed by a workplace analysis. This section detailed the importance of identifying existing hazards, as well as predictable ones. Pringle also discussed safety planning, where a pre-job safety meeting takes place with employees who are involved on that project. He then emphasized hazard prevention and control, detailing the importance of proactively minimizing the exposures to worksite dangers. Finally, he explored the unparalleled benefits of training and mentoring.
“It’s very important to get these understandings (in place) that we want our employees to come home every day safe and anything less than that is unacceptable,” he said.
OSHA’s not the Enemy, but not Necessarily a Friend
Keven Yarbrough brought an interesting, insightful, at times comical perspective to Best of Success attendees during his session detailing must-knows about the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Yarbrough’s career with OSHA began as an assistant area director in OSHA’s Tampa office. Leveraging more than two decades of professional experience, Yarbrough started his own company, Yarbrough Safety Solutions in Valrico, Fla., and remains the current president and owner. His company focuses on providing companies with safety training, audits, program reviews and site assistance during OSHA inspections.
Yarbrough’s session gave a detailed rundown of the 10 things employers need to know about OSHA. The first point is properly greeting the compliance officer.
That’s where it all starts, and according to Yarbrough, though it’s generally only a paragraph or less in your procedure, it shouldn’t be overlooked.
Developing a comprehensive plan was next on the list. According to Yarbrough, a safety plan should explain how you’ll protect your employees from hazardous work environments. And the simpler and more straight forward, the better. This section flowed into the training and documentation point, where Yarbrough exclaimed to the audience, “If you don’t document it, it didn’t happen!”
He also said it’s important to know your rights. Those rights include: The ability to stop an inspection at any time; refuse an inspection altogether; or request a different officer to conduct your inspection. He also discussed the importance of “copycatting” your inspector — making sure to note the same things he documents, whether it’s photos, samples, measurements, etc.
The final four must-knows about OSHA included avoiding arguing with the officers; recognizing that you are never off the record when it comes to an inspection; reading the statements that an officer may ask you to sign (if you sign a document with a violation that’s given to you, you are essentially admitting guilt). And lastly, recognizing that it’s an examination, not a test.
“The bottom line is protecting your people,” he said.