Our present safety program began in the fall of 1991 and has been revised multiple times, most recently in 2008. Management recognized the need to develop a program in which the field and the office shared ideas and concerns. Most importantly was to better facilitate the communication with the general contractor to address jobsite-specific hazards. Their efforts resulted in a program that is creative, innovative and timely.
Our current experience modification rate of .85 reflects our success with this new program. With over 600 employees, this is certainly an accomplishment. However we are striving for an even better rate by implementing new ideas on safety and meeting the goals of our safety plan.
Field Operations – Overview
- Safety Book – Our field employees are issued a safety standards book containing pertinent safety standards for the drywall industry. The book also contains complete information regarding communication with the office and general contractor as well as the necessary contact information in case of an emergency
- Weekly Safety Meetings – Each of foreman on every jobsite perform weekly scheduled job site meetings. Workers performing every aspect of the drywall installation are encouraged to offer ideas and concerns regarding making the jobsite a safer place to work.
- Safety Certifications – Regular training sessions for First Aid and CPR are mandatory for all foreman and certification cards are kept current. Any of our employees using a forklift are properly trained by an independent third party authority and certified.
- Safety Supervisor – We have a general field superintendent that oversees all foreman on every project. Included in his duties are weekly inspections that rate jobsite cleanliness, OSHA compliance, emergency action plans and all other general safety concerns.
- Incentive Plan – Our foreman are trained to recognize potential hazards and take action to abate any area that might become a problem, therefore preventing possible accidents. We have come to understand the benefit of maintaining an excellent safety record and are now offering monetary incentives to our foreman. These incentives are designed to offer an added bonus to the foreman on each project for going beyond their regular duties to promote general jobsite safety. We currently average around $50,000 per year in payouts to the field supervisors. This is a testament that our plan is working and the employees are becoming much more safety conscious.
- New and Maintained Equipment – New equipment is purchased on a regular basis to keep ladders, scaffolding, safety harnesses and guardrails readily available, thus providing the safest possible equipment for our employees. All workers using power equipment are trained by the manufacturer’s factory representatives on the safe use of their tools.
Office Duties – Overview
- Safety Committee – The safety committee is made up of the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and attending parties including the safety supervisor and foreman from the field.
- Safety Meeting Minutes – The safety committee meets once per month in the main office for approximately an hour long meeting. The minutes are recorded and then distributed to everyone in the office and to all foremen in the field. They include each item discussed as well as addressing any potential changes to safety policy.
- Communication – The safety committee conveys safety concerns that are received from the field to the general contractor. Letters and phone calls to the general contractor’s project managers and superintendents make them aware of any potential safety issues that we have on the jobsite. Good communication has led to a decrease in the number of injuries as well as increasing productivity.
The safety program at Pacific West Wallboard will continue to grow and provide the safest possible work site for the employee. The company benefits from this through lower insurance costs, greater competitiveness and increased profitability. These benefits are passed along to the customer through a safer, more productive job site.
“Working with Pacific West Wallboard was a true pleasure. Not only were their employees and field personnel diligent and responsive, but they always took into consideration the effect of what they were doing on the overall project. We appreciated their experience and expertise as a subcontractor, which showed in every one of their employees; especially in their superintendents and project foreman.In this industry it is a rarity to find and work with someone like Pacific West Wallboard.”