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ME & MY MENTOR


Initially, I started a safety program because I wanted to qualify to bid on jobs, but it’s more than that. It’s also taking pride in what you do, sending guys home safely to their families. Now we’re two years into OSHA no-recordable with no losses. While we’re excited to have this track record, it only takes one thing to mess it up.


For example, years ago one of our employees twisted his ankle. We thought it was a sprain, but it turned out to be a break. Tat one incident turned into a $90,000 settlement with two knee surgeries and disability for the rest of his life. It’s the seemingly small mistakes that will result in a lot of financial loss. Your insurance rates will go up and you will lose time because you have to deal with insurance companies instead of mak- ing sales. Safety is preventative.


Safety is also about improving your bottom line. Our safety program absolutely has benefited us 10-15% on insurance premiums, but that’s just one line item. Look at productivity: when one guy gets hurt, you don’t just lose him, you stop the whole productive crew. One hour in the doctor’s office becomes six man hours, and then you’ve lost the whole day. Tat’s the real cost: efficiency in the field. If someone gets hurt it’s very costly in terms of time and time is money.


Consider safety to be part of your marketing program. Customers want to hire well-run busi- nesses and safety excellence is one component of that. Proper people, proper equipment, proper uniforms. If you want to be credible, you have to look like $20 million even when you’re not.


If you don’t take a leadership role, safety issues will run you out of business. It’s a small invest- ment of time and it’s so simple to get started – talk with your insurance agent or use the UAC materials that are available to you and jump in. Make the commitment to have one safety meet- ing every week, even if it’s just 10 minutes. As the owner of the company, require that everyone wear their safety equipment - a simple standard: wear the gear or go home without pay.


It takes effort, of course. It’s like everything else – if you want your business to make money you have to work it. No company is ever too small to start a safety program. Make the investment of


Safety resources for UAC members


maltamembers.com/MALTAsafetyschool


Safety School topics are complete with instructions and content for the trainer and a slide presentation for your employees (most are also available in Spanish), along with an attendance sheet for documentation. Over 20 topics currently are available (more added monthly) in these categories: slips/trips/falls, general safety, personal protective equipment, and weather safety.


maltamembers.com/safetyzone


UAC’s Safety Zone Awards recognize UAC member companies who have implemented safety and loss prevention programs through management commitment, employee involvement, and program innovation.


Categories include vehicle safety, health, lost time, safety first, safety improvement, and the highest award: safety excellence, which was won by Gibson Landscape Services in 2010 and 2011.


Entry deadline for the 2012 Safety Zone Awards is March 15, 2013. Awards will be given at the May 2013 UAC dinner. No cost to enter; application materials are online.


Safety T.E.S.T. Task/Equipment Specific Training


urbanagcouncil.com > Member Login


Looking for an easy way to ensure that your employees receive the required safety training, and the training is uniform and thorough?


Safety T.E.S.T. is your answer. Pick and choose the training sheets you need or download all documents to create a new employee orientation package that contains step-by-step training for all of the tasks and equipment that your employees encounter.


10 minutes/once every week. Tere are plenty of options online and as part of your UAC mem- bership to get you started. Make sure you have a point person who will take the lead on it, make sure that you document what you’re doing, and make sure that it grows.


For more ideas about creating a safety culture, see page 28.


17


UAC MAGAZINE • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012


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