Sometimes competitors can work together in a common cause, and there’s no cause more important in construction than worker safety.
Sometimes competitors can work together in a common cause, and there’s no cause more important in construction than worker safety. I recently spoke with Bob Garrone, Director of Safety for Allied Building Products, who told me about the Specialty Building Product Distributors Safety Coalition, a group made up of safety directors from various material distributors who share safety ideas. Allied is a member along with ABC Supply, Bradco, Beacon and others. Recently the group testified at an OSHA hearing on the use of cranes and derricks in construction.
“We don’t want the contractor to get hurt. We don’t want the homeowner to get hurt. We don’t want our competitors to get hurt,” said Garrone. “That’s why we’re members of the Specialty Building Product Distributors Safety Coalition. It’s a group of safety directors from suppliers. We agree that there are no trade secrets when it comes to safety.”
Also serving on the coalition is Kevin Tremmel, Fleet & Safety Director, Bradco Supply. “We share information because even though we’re competitors, we all value safety,” he said. “The coalition will help contractors because we want to ensure that everyone goes home safely at the end of the day.”
Garrone asserts that safety is a mindset, and contractors and suppliers have to convince every employee that safety is paramount. “You have to show them that this is the way it should be done,” he said. “There is only one method. Safety and doing the job are not two different things. There is one method to best do the job - and it’s the safe method.”