Many construction activities are inherently dangerous. However, with the proper safeguards in place those activities can be made safe. Roofing activities are no exception.

Some of the most common hazards associated with roofing activities include poor placement of the access ladder, weather conditions, holes in the roof, losing awareness of the edge, and improper training. In 2018, roofers had the fourth highest number of fatal work injuries. Roofers also have the highest incident rate of nonfatal falls.

For these reasons it vital that steps be taken to protect workers who are performing roofing activities, especially from falls.

The preferred method of protecting workers from falls is using personal fall arrest systems designed for roofing activities. The other conventional methods of fall protection are using guardrail systems and safety net systems.

However, it is not always feasible to use conventional systems. In those cases, consideration should be given to non-conventional fall protection. Non-conventional methods include safety monitoring system, warning line systems, and fall protection plans.

Safety monitor systems can only be used on “low-slope” roofs that are 50 feet wide or less. Low-slope roof means a roof having a slope less than or equal to 4 in 12 (vertical to horizontal). If the roof is greater than 50 feet wide, a combination of non-conventional systems must be used.

Safety Monitors must be Competent Persons who are responsible for recognizing and warning employees of fall hazards. If a safety monitor system is to be used, the Safety Monitor must be on the same level as the employees being monitored and monitoring must be their only responsibility.

The use of warning line systems is only allowed for roofing work on low-slope roofs and must be used in conjunction with another system (i.e., warning line system and guardrail system, warning line system and safety net system, or warning line system and personal fall arrest system, or warning line system and safety monitoring system).

When using warning lines, they must be erected around all sides of the roof work area and constructed of rope, wires, or chains.

The option of using fall protection plans is available only to employees engaged in leading edge work, precast concrete erection work, or residential construction work who can demonstrate that it is infeasible, or it creates a greater hazard to use conventional fall protection equipment.

The fall protection plans must be developed and evaluated by a Qualified Person (as defined by OSHA) on a site-by-site basis. The same components may be included in each Plan, but it must be tailored to meet the needs of each specific site. If there any changes made to the Plan, those must be approved by a qualified person as well.

A copy of the Plan with all approved changes must be maintained at the job site.

Workers engaged in roofing activities must be provided with a training program on fall protection. The program shall enable each employee to recognize the hazards of falling and shall train each employee in the procedures to be followed in order to minimize these hazards.

The training must be conducted by a Competent Person.

For further information, consult 29 CFR 1926 Subpart M.

 


Alan STC

Alan Hurtado | CHST, CIT
Client Partner

Every organization deals with risks. How your organization manages those risks, directly effect your company and employees and should be treated appropriately. The key to managing these risks is having a plan, carrying out that plan, checking that plan and making the necessary adjustments.

This “Risk Management” thing is not a new concept. We have always evaluated risks and made decisions accordingly. This holds true throughout history, dating all the way back to cavemen. It could be argued that logic or common sense played a key role in managing risk in a caveman’s world.

In the interest of self-preservation, physical risks such as poisonous plants, dangerous animals, other cavemen, and yes, even fire were at the center of focus when managing risk.

But as the quote goes:

“Anyone who believes that they have common sense has simply forgotten who taught them what they know” — Alan Quilley

Safety Risk STC Safety

Fast forward a few years when construction managers were still using paper notepads. At that point in time regulations consisted of “one size fits all” standards and it was thought that if you were compliant, it was safe.

Years later there was a fundamental change. Companies no longer relied on the “one size fits all” standards and began to implement systems that established reasonable measures to keep their workers safe.

Eventually, companies concluded there were three main reasons for managing their risks:

1. There was a MORAL OBLIGATION to avoid putting workers in hazardous situations.
2. There were STANDARDS that created a legal responsibility for companies to maintain safe working conditions.
3. Time, money and effort spent on dealing with accidents and/or incidents COST more than it did trying to prevent them.

Ultimately, this led to the implementation of a true Safety Management System (SMS). A systematic way of identifying and manage risk in the workplace.

A systematic approach to building a culture of safety from within the company. This approach includes policies, procedures, systems and organizational accountability to verify the SMS is being effectively deployed and maintained.

Four key factors to properly implementing an SMS include:

1. Identification of Risk – Identifying hazards and the assessment of the risk associated with each hazard.
2. Management of Risk — Procedures to mitigate risk.
3. Monitoring of Risk – Constant evaluation of SMS.
4. Continual Improvement – Improvement of processes

The method behind the management of an effective SMS is a cycle of continual improvement called “Plan, Do, Check, Act” and is not always as simple as it sounds.

– Plan: From the risk assessment, to the identification of risks associated with in your organization, to the policies and procedures and the allocation of resources.

– Do: The implementation of your plan as it applies to your organization.

– Check: The performance of your plan is evaluated for efficiency, effectiveness and relevance.

– ACT: Adjustments and improvements are made accordingly, which resets the process.

STC is a culmination of lessons learned. We are comprised of experienced safety and risk professionals serving many industries across the United States.

Our team understands the risks companies encounter each day and are ready to go on the journey to build foundational cultures through a systematic process that is unique to each individual organization.

Although slightly more complex than a caveman’s risk management, the focus is still the same, preserving the world’s most precious resource – human life!


Chris Hall
Client Partner | SSH, CRIS
Chris has worked as a Safety Consultant with STC for the last 4 years, helping clients develop and implement safety plans.

Do you realize the effects a good safety record can have on your business? How can others tell if you have a good safety record?

The answers to these questions can be found in your company’s EMR, a safety metric that is stashed away in the company’s profile which has a large impact on your bottom line.

What is an EMR?

An Experience Modification Rate (EMR) is a “Key Performance Indicator (KPI)” that insurers use to determine the likelihood that a company will experience a worker’s compensation claim. An above average EMR will drive premiums up. Adversely, a low EMR keeps insurance rates low. But wait, there’ more…….

Your company’s EMR doesn’t only impact your insurance premiums. It is the only consistent and measurable metric of safety on a job site used by both government and private owners when considering bids, and it can have a tremendous impact throughout the bidding process.

How is Your EMR Calculated?

Calculating your company’s EMR can involve some extensive calculations that, for the purposes of this article, we will leave up to the insurers.

In a nutshell, it compares your specific payroll and loss history to other businesses in the same industry and of like-size. This is compared to a calculation of expected losses for a company conducting similar work within the same state and modified for the size of the employer.

If you have an average rate among similar businesses of similar size, then your EMR would be 1.0. If your history is 10% better than average, your EMR would be .90 or 10% worse at 1.10.

How is Your EMR affecting your Bottom Line?

Even though your EMR is calculated for insurance purposes and has a direct and measurable impact on your company’s premiums, there are other ways it impacts your bottom line.

1. Most Importantly, Your Employees Are Being Injured On Your Watch

  • That safety metric (EMR) that is stashed away in your profile, represents actual people that are being impacted by injury within your company.
  • Injuries that are preventable.
  • Impacted lives, that are preventable.
  • Aside from the massive human costs by these injuries, these injuries are costing your company time and money that your competitors, with a lower EMR, aren’t spending.

2. Losing Large Contracts

  • By having a significantly higher EMR than your competitors, you put yourself in an extreme disadvantage with other considerations being equal.
  • Or worse, your competitors may be submitting higher bid prices, but still winning the bid due to their excellent EMR.

One Final Question….

How Can You Improve Your EMR?

Improving your EMR is a direct result of improving and changing your company’s mind-set and culture in regards to safety. In other words, IMPROVE YOUR SAFETY, IMPROVE YOUR EMR.

The easy answer is to avoid hazardous situations and prevent accidents that result in injuries, claims and losses. Naturally, this is a lot “easier said than done”. With the right assistance, you can improve in all of these areas.

STC can provide:

COMPREHENSIVE safety solutions and provide an innovative and customized approach that stays on top of initiatives, responsibilities, and most importantly, the employees’ health and safety for their best quality of life.

PROACTIVE deployment of industry best practices, efficiencies and proven processes. We establish leading indicators in an interactive cloud-based system that targets behaviors and trends and ultimately reduces compliance issues and injuries.

RESPONSIVE We leverage powerful technology tools so you can make informed business decisions based on your company’s needs. Our team is committed to real time reporting for a fast response to unsafe situations.

Safety does pay off, whether it’s the safety of your employees, the cost of your premiums, or winning the bids for the work you’re looking for.

With the right help, you can strengthen your bottom line ten-fold.


Chris Hall | SSH, CRIS
Client Partner
Chris has worked as a Safety Consultant for the last 4 years helping clients develop and implement safety plans. He has recently achieved his Construction Risk Insurance Specialists (CRIS) certification.

Safety Training

Accidents and injuries in the workplace can be very frightening to most companies in corporate America today. The US Department of Labor reported a total of 2,857,400 OSHA recordable cases in the US across all business sectors.

If we add numbers and dollar signs associated with those numbers, that means that the average back injury (sprain/strain) can cost more than $10,000 in direct costs (NSC Statistics) and anywhere from $30,000 up to $100,000 in indirect costs!

For a small growing company, this could mean putting their business in jeopardy financially, or impact their reputation in a negative way at an early stage of growth. For larger companies, this could mean years of paying out injury related and legal expenses.

To further understand the effects of injuries, this article sets forth some basic standard operating procedures employers can implement to understand the true cost of injuries in their workplace.

Effects of accidents and injuries in the workplace

Workplace accidents and injuries have several negative effects on employees, families, management and the company as a whole. Effects of injuries in the workplace include:

  • Financial costs from fines, medical treatments, death, survivor benefits, and safety corrections.
  • Lost time from disabling injuries, both from the injury itself and follow-up medical checkups after the injured employee returns to work.
  • Damage to employee morale leading to lower productivity.
  • Lower productivity while the injured employee is off work.
  • Reduced trust in management.
  • Increased absenteeism and turnover because employees don’t feel safe on the job.

However, accidents and injuries can also have the positive effect of focusing attention on safety issues and accident prevention. When an accident occurs, many employers don’t understand that the way each case is handled and the amount of care that members of management put into it, is the final impression that is transmitted to all employees.

If employees see that their employers take each accident and injury very serious, they’re more likely to assist in accident prevention programs and a positive morale will be present.

Estimating costs of accidents

Management needs to be able to determine the cost of accidents in order to prove that accidents are more costly than prevention programs. To estimate the cost of accidents, management members need to do the following:

1.Divide accidents into major classes:

    • Those involving lost workdays, permanent partial disabilities, and temporary total disabilities.
    • Those requiring treatment from an outside physician.
    • Those treated with first aid on site, with minimal property damage and work loss time.
    • Those requiring no first aid or physician visits.
2.Examine accounting records to determine the insured costs associated with accidents.
3.Calculate the uninsured costs associated with accidents, including the following:
    • Lost work hours
    • Medical costs
    • Property loss and damage
    • Insurance premiums
    • Hidden costs such as the cost of the investigation and emergency response.

Once the cost of several accidents over a period of time is known, an estimate can be made of the average cost of an accident in each class. This helps management create incentive programs and also new or improved accident prevention programs.

As an employer we all understand that any accident or injury that occurs on the job will cost money, the real question is, how much money? How do you evaluate the risks in your areas of employment? Where do you begin? What corrective action do you implement? How do you know that the corrective action taken is the most efficient and effective?
These questions can and will continue to add up, therefore, employers need the professional guidance and experience in these areas so that the real needs of their business are focused on to prevent future injuries.

Alan STCAlan Hurtado
STC Safety Consultant

“It’s Not What You Know or What You Do. It’s HOW You Do It. “

STC Leadership

The saying, “It’s not what you know or what you do, but HOW you do it” best illustrates the difference between a safety professional and a safety leader.
Many of today’s corporate and industry leaders feel that, if they hire a safety professional who possesses all the accreditation’s and safety degrees available, they’re bound to end up with just the right person.
Invariably, a great deal of effort goes into recruiting a candidate who appears to have all the required “boxes ticked” only to sometimes discover that, while education and experience are undoubtedly essential, they are not the most important factors in determining whether a person will effectively lead the organization toward safety excellence.
The best results will be obtained, in fact, by those who possess the ability to combine education and experience with servant leadership.
Servant leadership is a widely recognized and highly valued leadership style that puts the focus on individuals and encourages the embracement of core values and personal development of the members of the organization.
An individual who, along with education and experience also embodies servant leadership, is a safety leader and will be far more likely to lead an organization toward the attainment of safety excellence than the safety professional who relies upon knowledge and experience only.
Here are a few indicators that differentiate the safety professional and safety leader:
  • Safety professionals lead from behind a desk.
  • Safety leaders lead from the front and are visible in all work places and accessible to their people -they are the veritable “Tip of the spear” in the charge toward safety excellence.
  • Safety professionals know the safety rules and regulations.
  • Safety leaders know the safety rules and regulations and can be relied upon consistently to set a personal example of adherence to the rules—they are, in essence, “Poster Children” for wearing PPE and complying with all established policies and procedures.
  • Safety professionals tell people what to do to comply with safety.
  • Safety leaders demonstrate personal compliance with safety and never ask people to do things they wouldn’t or couldn’t do themselves in the first place.
  • Safety professionals realize the importance of demonstrating competency and knowledge in managing resources.
  • Safety leaders realize the importance of sharing competency and knowledge with others to develop their skills and never forget that people are their most valuable asset—they genuinely care about people.
  • Safety professionals possess excellent speaking and writing abilities.
  • Safety leaders possess excellent speaking and writing abilities but put a premium on being an active listener—they seek to understand before being understood.
  • Safety professionals can be relied upon to make people accountable for safety.
  •  Safety leaders make people accountable for safety but can also be relied up to reward good behavior in the form of formal recognition or perhaps even a well-deserved pat on the back.

The list could go on, but have no doubt, there is a world of difference between a safety professional and a safety leader. The outcomes for the organization’s expectations and goals in pursuit of safety excellence will be determined not so much by what they know or do, but in HOW they do it.

STC’s Vision for Success

At STC, we are focused on preserving the world’s most precious resource – human life. In order to do that, we understand the importance of building and sustaining effective safety management systems that produce tangible results over time.
In order to implement this type of safety system, STC follows the practical framework of Plan-Do-Check Act (PDCA) which is included in ISO 45001. The 4 steps are summarized below:
Plan:
  • Identify safety hazards and risks in the workplace
  • Build and/or revise safety policies, programs & procedures
  • Establish safety goals & objectives moving forward
Do:
  • Put preventive & protective measures in place
  • Communicate safety policies and procedures to organization
  • Execute safety inspections/audits, training, meetings, investigations
Check:
  • Monitor and measure safety activities
  • Leverage technology for the trending and tracking of data
  • Analyze results consistently
Act:
  • Review safety results in comparison to set goals
  • Hold people and divisions accountable (positive or negative)
  • Improve overall plan and continue the cycle

As you can tell, this process is simplified to create a framework that gives way to continual improvement over time. STC Safety works with both leaders and employees to help build and sustain the safest working environment possible.

If you are interested in learning more about STC Safety and ways in which we can help your organization develop an effective safety management system, simply reply back to this email or call our office at the number listed below.

STC Safety Award

For the past four months, STC has partnered with Harmon, Inc. at the American Airlines campus construction site in Fort Worth, TX. Recently, Harmon was recognized by the site’s GC, Austin Commercial, as the first top safety subcontractor of the month for January 2018.

STC Safety Award

Working alongside our outstanding client, STC’s Alex Navarro has been instrumental in elevating the site’s safety knowledge and awareness for all personnel working on this high-profile project. Harmon’s award is a testament to their employees’ buy-in and acceptance of STC’s consistent safety oversight and focused services.

Through STC’s approach, Harmon has constantly identified hazards, assessed risks, and taken action in order to prevent safety incidents.

This type of safety culture has given way to a more productive and efficient work site for Austin Commercial, Harmon, and all other subcontractors involved with the project.

At STC, we are focused on preserving the word’s most precious resource – human life.

In order to do that, we understand the importance of building and sustaining effective safety cultures that produce tangible results over time.

If your company is in need of safety assistance on similar job sites, please reach out to us by responding to this email to learn more about our approach to safety and how we can help your organization.


 

STC is your one stop place for all your safety staffing needs. Contact us today!

Heading into 2018, this is a time for reflection, evaluation and strategic planning. As each department within your organization prepares for the new year, it’s critical for systems to be put in place to ensure success.

The health and safety of employees is the foundational element for any business. While many companies put in place standard safety programs in order to be compliant, few organizations build and sustain quality Safety Management Systems that are strategic and continually improve the overall working environment. Here are some of the main differences between the two:

Standard Safety Programs

    • Focus on compliance
    • Concentrate on isolated incidents
    • Reactive in nature
    • Execute redundant activities
    • Lack employee involvement and accountability
    • Fail to improve over time

 

Safety Management Systems

  • Focus on performance
  • Standardize processes
  • Proactive in nature
  • Bring employees together
  • Use data to make decisions
  • Promote accountability
  • Focus on outcomes
  • Continually improve with time

At STC, we are focused on preserving the word’s most precious resource – human life. In order to do that, we understand the importance of building and sustaining Safety Management Systems that produce tangible results over time.

As your company prepares for 2018, please reach out to us by responding to this email to learn more about the implementation of a Safety Management System in your organization.

STC is your one stop place for all your safety training and managed safety services . Contact us today https://stcsafetyconsultants.com

This past weekend, members of the STC Team headed down to Houston to provide relief efforts from the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey. STC was humbled to be part of the experience and wants to give thanks to a few of our clients who generously provided needed materials to assist in our efforts.

Specifically, STC would like to thank Lasco Acoustics & Drywall, Prime Construction, AEC, and Drywall Interiors for providing kevlar sleeves, wheelbarrows, gloves, shovels, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) needed in order to provide assistance in a safe manner.

STC feels extremely fortunate to have been able to provide aid to many families and organizations in Houston and further realize the dire need that the city and South Texas region has and will continue to have moving forward.

Please click the link below to learn more about practical ways that you and your company can take to be part of the Hurricane Harvey relief effort.

Lastly, please feel free to give us a call at 972-347-3377 if you are in need of ideas on how to provide assistance in a safe group setting.

STC’s thoughts and prayers continue to go out to all of those affected by Hurricane Harvey and the other natural disasters that have recently taken place.

Hurricane Harvey Relief Link

 

Hurricane Harvey Relief