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HCSS Safety Week Webinars Give Construction Companies a Starting Point

May 15, 2015
 / Safety / 

safety1While the construction industry is much safer today than it was 20 years ago, the number of injuries and fatalities in construction is alarmingly high. HCSS partnered earlier this month with contractors across the country for Safety Week 2015 in an effort to raise awareness for construction injuries and make workplaces safer.

HCSS hosted three webinars during Safety Week to give safety managers and construction business owners a roadmap of how to run an effective safety program.

Jim Goss, Chairman of the Government Affairs Committee of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) National Safety & Health Committee and an OSHA Training Institute instructor, presented two webinars during the week. The first, "Safety Preplanning: Where Do I Start?" focused on how to properly set up and implement a safety plan tailored to a specific project.

His presentation described why a safety plan is necessary -- to protect personnel, the environment, the public, and the project operation and equipment -- as well as the steps required to build an effective plan. The safety manager should perform a Job Hazard Analysis of the scope of the project and use it to train employees for the job.

See the full "Safety Preplanning" PowerPoint here.

Goss also presented "Lessons Learned in Construction Safety," which focused on the what we can learn from construction's past to make the industry safer today. Goss described the Focus Four hazards -- falls, struck-bys, caught-ins or caught-betweens, and electrocutions -- and he focused on the top citations for injuries and hazards. He discussed the changes made to OSHA regulations due to injuries and fatalities, and the changes that will be coming in the future.

"Going to the statistics, 81 percent of fatalities are related to Focus Four, as well as 90 percent of the dollars applied to fines," Goss said. "This is teaching us two lessons: we're knowing where these things are happening to our business, as well as where OSHA's attention is when it comes to regulatory compliance. This is where our safety program should be focused, eliminating these particular situations."

Watch the recorded "Lessons Learned" webinar Click Here

See the full "Lessons Learned" PowerPoint here.

Emmerich, an OSHA-authorized trainer and a nationally recognized construction instructor, hosted a webinar on "Crisis Management" that focused on what to do when an injury or accident occurs. He emphasized that a written crisis management plan is important to preserve business reputation in the heat of a crisis, when emotions may overtake logical thought or action. 

The plan should include crisis team members and their responsiblities, immediate needs that should be handled, and how to deal with the media. Two important people would be the company spokesperson and a decision maker.safety2

"Something you should always consider with your plan is, from time to time, create a scenario that could happen, get everybody into a room, pull out your plan, and see how you're goign to go forward," Emmerich said. "You want to make sure that it directs people and personnel and gives them an assignment. If you develop a crisis program, you have to make sure that it's kept up to date and that people are aware of it."

Watch the recorded "Crisis Management" webinar Click Here.

See the full "Crisis Management" PowerPoint here.

The webinars were viewed by more than 100 attendees across the U.S., including companies like PCL Construction, Traylor, Loenbro, and many more. 

Safety Week 2015 was created by more than 40 national and global construction firms in the Construction Industry Safety (CISI) group and the Injury Free CEO (IIF) Forum to inspire everyone in the construction industry to be leaders in safety.

"We are hurting and killing our employees every year and that's something that I wish we could stop," Goss said. "The fact is that we have lost 802 last year -- that number is down significantly from about six years ago. We're talking about a reduction of almost 45 percent. But the fact is that 802 people dying is unacceptable."

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