By: Shawn Brannan, Commercial Division Director
In commercial and residential roofing, nearly every job task we have falls into the imminent danger category.
Signs for workplace safety are everywhere, including safety stickers on highway vehicles. But what does it take to be a safe company? How do you make decisions and set up rules that keep employees safe? There are entire industries devoted to workplace safety. At All Elements, we work hard and take great strides to ensure the safety of our employees.
In the construction trades, it's not uncommon to have an enforcement officer from the Minnesota Department of Labor's OSHA visit the job site. It's also not uncommon to have tradesmen and contractors run off the job site as soon as OSHA arrives.
At All Elements, we train our guys differently. If OSHA shows up at our job site, we teach our employees to come down the ladder and greet the officer courteously, call the All Elements safety supervisor and follow whatever process the enforcement officer sees fit. I learned a long time ago that if they're already onsite, it’s to your benefit to take the approach of a student and learn everything you can in order to avoid costly mistakes or fines in the future.
Did you know that you can bring OSHA onsite and ask for their safety input? We participated in an onsite inspection program last summer. Our inspection went well with no corrections needed and the inspection provided us with some valuable information.
During the winter, we take an entire day for safety training. We make sure everyone new understands how to use the equipment and we make sure that everyone who’s been around for awhile still follows proper safety protocol.
In 2018, we applied for and received a grant from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry’s Occupational Safety and Health Unit. This allowed us to add two R200 “Raptor” fall protection carts from Leading Edge Safety to the stockpile of safety equipment we use. This cart allows three of our rooftop crew members to attach their lifelines to the cart and safely work outside the warning line.
We make sure our employees are certified on the lifting equipment. When we are on your job site, a N.C.C.O.-certified crane operator is operating our crane. Foremen and crew members are certified in off-road forklift and aerial platform use to make sure there are no accidents when we're above your building.
In addition to the annual safety meeting, we’ll be bringing in a Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry OSHA consultant to review job site safety protocol and fall protection standards later this month.
No safety program is perfect but it is our goal to make sure that all of our employees go home safe every evening while also protecting our customers and bystanders.