Save Lives

Top 10 safety rules for the end of summer

John Meola, PILLAR’s Safety Director, penned an article for the Richmond Times-Dispatch discussing safety rules motorist should be aware of as summer comes to an end. 

Read the full article here.

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Safety Should Not Take Days Off of Work

The safety measures a company puts in place tend to be taken for granted. That is until an accident occurs and the issue is brought to the forefront.

June is National Safety Month, an initiative led by the National Safety Council (NSC) to ensure “No One Gets Hurt.” The month aims to reduce the leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in homes and communities.

Each week of the month highlights a different aspect of safety: Week 1, emergency preparedness; Week 2, wellness; Week 3, falls; and Week 4, driving.

Prepare for the Unexpected

As news reports confirm, there are many types of emergencies we must be prepared to face in today’s workplace: active shooter situations, weather and natural disasters, terrorism incidents and medical emergencies, among others.

It’s critical for employees to be prepared to act according to your safety policies before, during and after such emergencies. Having plans in place and reviewing them with employees will help everyone get on the same page and minimize the risk of worst-case scenarios in an emergency.

Don’t Slip on Fall Prevention

Did you know that the third-leading cause of injury deaths is falls? According to the NSC, almost 32,000 people died from falls at home and work in 2014. In 2013, more than 47,000 workers were injured severely enough from falls that they required days off of work. Half of all fatal workplace falls were from 20 feet or lower, according to Injury Facts 2016®.

The good news is that falls are 100% preventable if proper safety procedures are implemented and followed. A couple of tips to keep in mind:

  • Ensure you and coworkers are properly trained on equipment.
  • Make certain stepladders have locking mechanism to hold front and back open.
  • At all times, keep either two hands and one foot or one hand and two feet on the ladder.
  • The ladder should be one foot from the surface it rests on for every four feet of height; it should also extend a minimum of three feet over the top edge.

Decrease Distracted Driving

The most proactively safe companies are going above and beyond state laws to ensure employees are not driving distracted on company time. Knowing you are four times more likely to crash when operating a cell phone, NSC maintains that any company serious about eliminating distracted driving accidents implement a cell phone ban on both hand-held and hands-free devices.

The NSC points to one Fortune 50 company with a simple phone-ban policy that covers all of the bases. It states that employees cannot use cell phones if an employee is doing any of the following:

  1. Driving a company car
  2. Operating a personal car on company business
  3. Driving on company property
  4. Using a company-supplied phone
  5. Using a personal phone for company business

Although June is designated as National Safety Month, it’s a reminder that safety procedures do not take vacations. Following safety protocol is of utmost importance to your business and its employees 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.

PILLAR’s safety team offers innovative and cost-effective solutions for your organization’s unique needs, including job-related safety meetings, distance learning opportunities, safety records management and on-site training.

For more information on PILLAR’s safety program, contact us online or call 276.223.0500.

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Top ten safety issues for contractors

After many years in the safety-consulting business, I have heard the loud chorus of employer complaints aimed at “Why do I need to do all this stuff?” To educate the contracting community, here is a brief summary of the Top 10 safety issues for contractors.

10) “No one told me I had to train these guys.”

Correct. You will not receive an engraved invitation from anyone on this topic. However, if you decide to open a construction business, you should be perceptive enough to understand, “There are rules in this game….”

Employer responsibilities for worker safety are actually fairly straightforward and relatively simple to meet. Visit the page. There are simple tutorials available paid for by your tax dollars. You could also call a local personal-injury law firm. They’ll be glad to advise you.

9) “We are the best at what we do.”

Along with trade proficiency, your employees should also have matching safety skills depending on your line of work. Most large general contractors are increasing the contractor safety program admission criteria to bid their jobs. Just doing the job on time, on spec. and under budget is no longer enough. Proof of safety performance is necessary.

8) “Don’t blame us; we didn’t create that hazard!”

OSHA and VOSH (Virginia’s safety police department) have heard this excuse a lot. They actually have an answer for it called the Multi-Employer Worksite Policy. This doctrine basically holds all contractors on a site accountable if their employees were “exposed” to a hazard. You can be found at fault if you were just near the hazard. Your defense for this allegation is called due diligence and documented communication to the responsible parties about the hazard. In the meantime, if necessary, move your people well out of harm’s way.

7) “He’s my best guy, but he just won’t follow the safety rules.”

This statement is self-contradictory. For a tradesperson to be truly proficient, he or she will understand and adhere to applicable safety practices. You should be highly supportive of that. Your “best person” may need re-education or the exit door. Whether you realize it or not, you have a lot at risk from a rogue actor.

6) “Now my insurance company is pestering me about safety.”

Welcome to the new reality. The insurance company wrote coverage for your operation, therefore it expects you to play by the rules. Even the simplest of claims can turn ugly, so prevention is the preferred avenue of relief. Blatant non-compliance could result in revocation of coverage or big premium increases at renewal. Or you may end up in the assigned risk pool; in which case, you will regret not having done more of this safety stuff.

5) “There was nothing we could have done to prevent the accident.”

Even the most conservative appraisals classify preventable incidents in the high 90th percentile range. Most, if not all, incidents are preventable. Incident prevention is a matter of degree and commitment, but, at the end of the day, there is a simple list of must haves to gain admission. Trust me: With a little effort, you can avoid this stuff. Acts of God notwithstanding.

4) “The cost of doing all this safety stuff will put me out of business.”

When properly understood and applied, safety compliance is actually a small component of doing business. You are either in denial or misreading the safety rules. Yes, the rules can seem voluminous. Once understood, they’re actually not all that onerous.

3) “We have a good track record; we don’t need all this safety stuff.”

This is a commonly heard refrain in the safety business. The translation of this remark is, “We’ve just been lucky, that’s all.”

Reliance on your luck as a substitute for a safety program is ill-advised. Yes, most tradespersons will exercise a healthy degree of caution on the job without you lifting a management finger. But more complex work or even just driving around in the company truck deserves reciprocal attention for the risks involved. If you have employee driver fleet units, you should regularly be preaching defensive-driving practices.

2) “We are not worried about workplace violence; we got that covered.”

Not so fast. There is a lot of liability attached to the issue of workplace violence. A couple of simple maneuvers can help protect your organization and also help educate employees for prevention. We will most assuredly see a lot more emphasis on this in the near future from the authorities. Interestingly, there is currently no OSHA requirement to do anything for violence prevention. However, prudent management should step forward and define the policy and procedure.

1) “I thought all this red tape was going to be reduced.”

OSHA and the DOL may be temporarily underfunded, but the ABA and trial lawyers have the best lobbyists and wealthiest power grid on the planet. You might skate on compliance if your GC and client are sound asleep, but the legal community never rests. At least the safety police will treat you fairly depending on your transgression. Tort law and claim adjusters will be less kind.

Statistically, our population is most at risk from walking or driving to and from work as opposed to on the job. Workplace safety is ingrained into our societal DNA at this point, and regulatory compliance is largely taken for granted.

Business risk management, which includes occupational safety, has long been a monolithic field. That state of slumber is due for an awakening, and it is happening very quickly. We will examine these implications further in a future piece, but in the meantime, for additional reading, check out:

This article was originally posted by the Richmond Times Dispatch

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Managers Manage Things, Leaders Lead People

Are you still using Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) metrics as your safety standard? Do you plan on being in this business 5, 10 or 20 years from now? If you answered yes to both, you have a value conflict. Why accept some random statistical average composed of questionable data as your standard when it is more effective to create personalized best practices and performance metrics?

PILLAR’s Safety Director, John Meola was recently published in Construction Business Owner magazine discussing 3 essential elements of a world-class safety program.

Read the full article here.

Save Face Save Lives

Workforce Development & Your Company Culture

Understanding your employee demographics is a key attribute in a human resources program. It is a big part of what makes your organization tick, and getting it right can make a significant impact on your bottom line. Ask yourself if you plan on being in business five years from now, or 10?

In this brief space we offer tips and truisms that can help you manage the development process in the near and mid-term. If you haven’t noticed, the Boomers are retiring and the rules-based conformity mentality is going with them. The game has changed by an order of magnitude. In other words, the days of “Theory X Boss is Right” management are history.

Adjust your HR program and management approach

According to the Supreme Court, corporations are people. This judicial-political absurdity should be reflected in things like:

  • Regular company-wide family engaging events, (summer picnics, holiday parties, etc.)
  • Employee recognition programs
  • Refined and family targeted communications, suggestion programs, enlightened HR programs and policies, etc.
  • You may have been in business for 50 years, make sure your thought processes didn’t stay stuck in the comfort zone of the 80s.

Safety programs

These are often a good place to start the process because they are pretty much neutral territory and cover a wide swath of inputs.

  • Start an Employee Safety Committee, empower it, guide it but let the employees drive. Empower and enable it.
  • Put your name and logo on safety gear. In other words, own it!
  • Quit buying the cheapest PPE available, it sends the wrong message. The difference in cost in miniscule but the branding message is priceless

Don’t try to do everything alone

Inviting stakeholders to the party will help people feel as though their voice is being heard and that they can have an impact on the company.

  • This is also known as ‘Leadership,’ which is the gold standard in the safety and workforce development business.
  • Ideally, leaders should be developed through your ranks, not the want ads.

Peer Group Dynamic

This is a powerful tool when used properly, so make sure you review this process carefully.

  • Department managers are LEADERS first
  • Lead persons and working supervisors LEAD by example. They are the face of your organization – for both employees and clients.
  • Each employee must be recognized, respected, treated fairly and valued for their contribution to the group. Setting reasonable and achievable standards of performance and conduct is a basic element of this process.

Employee wellness

Promoting a healthy lifestyle is one of your best allies in developing your company culture. This means people who are relatively healthy are usually better workers, safer on the job, more productive, take less time off and return sooner following an illness or injury. In other words:

  • Offer wellness assistance such as smoking cessation; exercise and fitness initiatives, 5K walkathon sponsorships, dietary advice and encouragement, i.e. remove the soda pop from the vending machines, replace it with some kind of hydrating beverage, etc.
  • For the enlightened of our readers, offer health club memberships or discounts.

Refine your hiring practices

Post a job description that defines the necessary criteria for a successful employee not just for the job you are trying to fill, but for the longer range.

  • Configure some questions to determine if the applicant has an aptitude for self-study, learning, advancement, promotion or learning, etc.
  • This translates to: community college course work; membership and participation in trade associations; a track record of achievement; innovation, invention, etc.
  • When you hire ‘average,’ why would you expect any other result? It’s tough to be selective in an economy with 96% employment, but unless you are desperate (not a good sign), ramp up your criteria.
  • It’s not all about the money, but obviously you need to be competitive in the wage market. The peripherals we mentioned above can make a huge difference in how your employees perceive the culture and future of the people they work for.

Accommodate non-English speaking employees

Set up a simple version of English as Second Language (ESL) teaching.

  • A half-hour a week in the breakroom with a bi-lingual instructor can set up the dynamic.
  • You are not teaching physics, just the basics. Move the classes along based on aptitude and participation.

Carefully construct a company benefits program

These can often become the quick-sand of the HR program. Your program should at least match the industry average, as meager as it is.

  • If you can afford it, offer the buy-up option. As we know, this is an expensive outlay but try to configure it to show you’re at least trying to stay in the game.
  • This is also a highly a competitive playing field so unless you’re a math expert, use a trusted advisor to configure your employee benefits program.

Summary: Stay in business and grow

What we have seen is that the ‘C Word’ (CHANGE) has become ever more critical in the overall scheme of how a business is going to succeed.

We all can’t be General Motors, but we should be managing our enterprises according to best practices. These should be pointing more toward PEOPLE in the service economy, and people want to see their reflection in their workplace, not a number or a machine.

In other words, we should be looking to HUMANIZE versus mechanize.

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The Importance of Your Safety Program

Did you know that your safety program is an important part of your new business strategy? Potential clients want to know about your safety program as part of their request for proposal (RFP) screening when accepting bids on a project.

John Meola, Pillar Inc.’s Safety Director, recently published an article in Construction Business Owner magazine about this very subject.  When accepting bids on a project, clients no longer ask the simple question “Do you have a safety program?” They want pages of information about every detail of your safety program and proof that your company is committed to safety.

Part of the reason for this is that OSHA has intensified its accountability process and revised the violation fine structure, making it very costly for those not following safety guidelines. For that reason, it’s important to know what clients are looking for when it comes to information about your safety program. Some of those items include:

  • Evidence of leadership and a commitment to safety. Your company website should even have a policy statement that bidders can refer to if they visit your site.
  • Proof that you have trained and credential staff members on your team in your specialty discipline
  • Display your commitment to your business’ safety committee  
  • Describe the processes that take place if there is a spill on your construction site. You can even include pictures and other visuals.

These steps only scratch the surface of what your company should supply when bidding on a project. For more details about the importance of safety language and how your company can plan ahead, read John’s full article about “Understanding The New Safety Language”.

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Work Safety Regulations 2016 Update

Most folks would rather endure a root canal procedure than attend a safety meeting. And that’s perfectly fine, as long as you are confident that you know all there is to know about doing a job safely. Admittedly, most safety meetings are mind-numbingly boring. That’s largely the fault of the safety community. We need to change that failing.

Safety is boring, unless and until, of course, you’re sitting in the ER Waiting Room. Now THAT can be the definition of boring. By the way, those ridiculous highway signs bragging about ER wait time in minutes are total fiction. You’re going to be there for hours. Minimum.

All of which is to emphasize that there is no middle ground on most of this safety stuff. You are either committed to it and a true believer, or you are comfortably in denial and planning to remain there.

In July the Virginia Safety Police (VOSH) issued a press release about an alarming spike in workplace fatalities. We are about 18% ahead of this time last year. That’s a big jump in funerals. All preventable. No particular industry is to blame, they cover the waterfront. Industrial, construction, educational, agricultural. No one is immune.

Antidote: Make sure you are saying the word “Safety” to your people at least daily. More often if the work is high hazard, i.e. fall protection. Rub their noses in it for emphasis. The message needs to come from the most senior people in your organization; in other words, show commitment and leadership. The more detailed the message, the better.

Telling a worker to ‘Be Safe’ is pretty lame. Telling them to ‘Buckle Up’ and burn daytime running lights is better. Telling then to leave a lot of space to the guy in front of them is better still. Putting a dash board camera and GPS on their rig is really sending the message.

Hispanic worker populations? Make absolutely sure the safety instructions they hear are translated, comprehensible and meaningful to them. Inclusivity is the goal. For extra credit, start pushing for basic English as a common language.

Ideally, your safety process will include the concepts of empowerment, enabling, self-directed ownership of the process, contributing, and participation. Safety Committees are an important organization-building formative step. If you plan on being in business five years from now, these concepts need to be on your agenda – short and mid-term.

OSHA, the federal Safety Police, has been busy lately as well. They recently increased their penalty structure by a lot. And they are on the way to require electronic reporting of all Recordable Cases. Meaning: your clients can easily check on your safety record. Along with your Workers Comp insurance Mod (EMF). No place to hide now.

These are all pretty good reasons to ramp up your safety mantra. The most compelling reason is to put those Emergency Rooms out of business.

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Safety Summit 2016

Hello friends, colleagues, and clients,

I am pleased to announce that I will be presenting at the 3rd Annual BLR Safety Summit, held April 4-6, 2016 in Austin, Texas.

I will kick off the Summit with a Preconference Workshop on job hazard analysis and risk management, explaining how you can go beyond basic hazard identification to examine your workplace’s biggest safety and health hazards.

During the main conference’s Strategic Safety Management breakout, my session will focus on developing a behavior-reinforcement plan to identify key outcomes and position workers for success.

The Summit will also feature EHS metrics, safety culture construct, job hazard analysis, emergency planning, OSHA’s new rapid response investigations, mobile technologies, and so much more! This powerful conference is crafted for safety and risk managers, consultants, and HR professionals who need to stay up-to-date on the latest workplace safety management and compliance strategies.

I’d like to extend an exclusive discount on conference registration. Use coupon code SPEAKER50 to get an instant $50 off. (And if you register before February 1, you can also take advantage of the $100 early bird discount!)

Visit the Safety Summit website to register or learn more!

I hope you’ll join me and the most progressive leaders in occupational health and safety at this unmatched event.


John J. Meola CSP, ARM

Save Face Save Lives Save Time

Snow and Ice Control: Roadway Winter Preparations

Pillar, Inc. offers consulting services to Public Private Partnerships, specifically regarding the many different Operations and Maintenance services these specialized procurements include.

In order to better educate our partners, as part of our Continuous Improvement philosophy, Pillar periodically provides these informational O&M fact sheets to interested parties. 

NOW is the season to order your stockpiles of salt, abrasives, and pre-treatment liquids. Actually, this order should have been placed back in July, but we’ll bring you up to speed just the same.

Asset Managers are tasked with taking care of infrastructure, such as roadways and related facilities. This includes budget, cash flow, finance, credit, etc. Basically, here is some advice from our school of experience to help you manage cash flow with a minimum of pain and a few easy to execute tips. 

Salt. A simple chemical and relatively inexpensive, but in the quantities we use it, with prices from $75-$125 per ton, we need to manage our stockpiles carefully. Industry standards call for having at least 100% of your “worst case” winter inventory on hand before the season starts. While this is a good rule of thumb, it can be costly both in inventory holding costs as well as capital outlays to build a larger than necessary containment facility.

Consider the following operational tips:

If your project is located within a reasonable distance (1-2 hours) of the shipping point, consider ordering less salt at the beginning of the season and being very proactive in re-ordering salt. In order to do this, you must do it with forethought, not a guess.

Place a resupply order a day before the next event happens. You can estimate the salt you will use during the event and simply order that amount before it snows. Your project will be first in line to receive salt after the storm while other projects are ordering after the event and waiting longer.

If your project is too small to demand “first priority” delivery, negotiate this into your purchase agreements; it may cost more per ton but save you the corresponding outlay for facility and holding costs.

Delays in shipment are usually due to lack of trucking availability, especially at the rate negotiated by the salt supplier with their independent carriers. Consider an FOB price to provide flexibility and redundancy: You go pick up the salt with your own truck fleet rather than wait for non-guaranteed resupply by the vendor’s trucks.

Consider keeping the doors of your facility open at offhours or weekends. Many DOT’s will only receive salt between normal operating hours of 8am-4:30pm Monday-Friday, thus creating a bottleneck in the supply lines. If you tell the shipper “we’ll accept your salt 24-7” you’ll probably get it quicker.

The extra few dollars in staff overtime is minor compared to the cost of not having the salt.

At some point the shipper’s dispatch personnel will call you to confirm shipment. Have your on-call staff save this number into their phone. It is likely this trucking company will be your exclusive supplier. You can get more up-to-date delivery information from the shipper than going through your supplier, who is only going to contact the shipper and email you back. Short circuit the runaround.

Use less salt. This seems elementary, but you would be surprised at how much salt can be wasted by ineffective salting strategies or uncalibrated or out-of-adjustment equipment.

  • Salt at the right time.
  • Re-calibrate your equipment if usage seems excessive.
  • Use a well thought out and sufficiently detailed pre-treatment plan to minimize the usage of salt.
  • These are all standard procedures, probably already written into your O&M Plan, but is it really happening on the project?

What is the “right” time to apply salt? There are now rugged and accurate sensors available to measure the slickness of pavement in real time.

Instead of guessing when to put down salt, you can now accurately and remotely measure pavement friction and apply salt if needed, not when it “feels right”. Keep an eye on the temperatures. Salting at 9am at 31 degrees on a slushy road is not cost effective if the forecast is for sunny skies and a high temperature of 40 degrees.

“If we have it, let’s use it.” This mentality is a problem with oversized inventories of any material. It’s just human nature. If your client gave you their existing facility, remember that facility may have been sized to service more road network than you now have. Resist the urge to fill it up.

What is your real “worst case” winter scenario? Re-examine the assumptions used to calculate your annual usage. Is it a case of “that’s how we have always done it”? How much salt is left every year to sit all summer long? If it’s more than 1/3rd of your annual usage, you are probably buying too much. That’s a lot of money sitting there in a pile all summer.

While these ideas may sound counterintuitive to some readers, remember that we are managing the road, our crews and our materials and should be looking for efficiencies and improvements wherever they may exist. Because a lot of money goes into snow & ice control, it’s a good place to look for improvements. If you are satisfied with your current results and expenditures, then keep doing it. Our Asset Management philosophy at Pillar tells us to keep looking for improvements. We think there are methods and techniques to reduce or delay capital expenditures without affecting performance.

Pillar, Inc.’s staff has been involved with highway maintenance and incident response on many different projects with 40+ years of combined experience. We can help write an O&M plan including Snow and Ice

Control procedures for your next project. Please do not hesitate to contact us!

Dan Dennis, PE | Senior Project Manager / P3

To download a PDF version of PillarTalk 2015 please click here.

Save Lives

Violence In The Workplace

In the US, public health authorities and OSHA have identified violence as the fastest growing occupational safety hazard and are taking steps to address this issue. Some worker populations are more at risk than others, such as delivery drivers, cab drivers, health care workers, social workers, mental health workers, and others who carry cash or deal with large numbers of people. Practically all working persons have some degree of exposure to violence simply because we spend about 30% of our lives ‘on the job’.


The most obvious targets are persons whom seem likely to have cash or valuables in their possession. The amount doesn’t matter. This is why a lot of vehicles are marked with ‘Driver Carries No Cash’ signage. Or convenience stores, where we can see the sign posted stating ‘Not more the $20 in the till’ or other limitations. Drop safes are also used there to limit the amount of cash on hand.

Sadly, many unbalanced people seem particularly fixated on resolving even minuscule disputes with a firearm. Maybe this is due in part to our upbringing in a culture based on Hollywoodstyle lessons of violence and guns. Firearms are relatively easy weapons, which has the effect of making a bad situation worse. A less reliable method, for example, would be poisoning your boss because he fired you.

We have learned a few basic truths about what drives some people to become violent toward their coworkers, but human nature is infinitely changeable, and keeps coming up with even more unpredictable behaviors.

Very often, there is a history or pattern of bad behavior preceding the blowup. This pattern is often ignored or ascribed to strange personality or otherwise dismissed. No one wants to be confrontational over it, because we all want to ‘get along’, right?

Take threats seriously. If someone is unbalanced, they will often vocalize their revenge, 2/3 anger or fantasy. It’s part of their relief mechanism.

Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Late night, remote areas, drunk or impaired motorists, disoriented people, vagrants, criminal activity, drug deals, etc. These are all elements of potential trouble.

Be proactive against danger. Getting out of work late into a dark parking lot? Use your car alarm fob as a warning device.

Stay connected. Listen to the local radio or at least have the emergency alert app loaded on your phone. Social media is increasingly being used to make wide notice of events. (Remember to NEVER text while driving!)

Protect yourself at all times. Usually by maintaining distance, such as avoiding the scene of an event unless you have no choice. This is a judgment call based on a lot of factors

Keep in mind, EMS or police response via 911 calls are not always exactly on target. Your location may not be known or found with any degree of precision. Be mindful of your exact location address and definitive landmarks and directional clues for describing your exact whereabouts.

Do not engage a situation. With something like Road Rage, further engagement usually only worsens an incident.

The ‘disabled motorist’ scam is a common ruse used by criminals. Although, most of us ‘want to help’,remember, we are not ‘Road Rangers’ or AAA.

Report unusual incidents such as highly suspicious behavior, unauthorized presence, someone following you or making threatening gestures, brandishing a firearm, random gunfire, unusual or other unpredictable behavior, etc. This is highl judgmental, but be aware of your situation at all times. If there is no report, the police cannot “connect the dots” to reveal a pattern or establish a presence or timeline.

Many workplace incidents are gradually precipitated by some type of domestic or romantic issue or other underlying psychosocial dysfunction in a persons life. “They’re a loner” or “They’re weird.” The ‘job’ itself usually does not have enough emotive power over a person to cause the snap.

The grudge is usually not about work or money, it’s about respect, personality, cred, affection, custody of the kids, etc. Work is just the most convenient place to make it happen. Plus, there’s a built in audience, and maybe more opportunity to harm others.

Preventive planning includes preemployment screening, simple behavioral psychology tests and questionnaires, reference checks, etc. If it’s a highly sensitive position, you should consider doing a hair sample test for drug use history.

Offering counseling as part of your benefits package is kind of like putting padlocks on the pantry door they keep out the honest thieves. But it might help an individual with mental difficulties.

Defensive planning includes having a ‘safe room’ that has strong locks on any doors, a means of communication and defensive objects. Large offices with long shifts would potentially benefit from a safe room.

If something happens, record the details like time, place, descriptive information, etc. Take cell phone pictures or video only if it is safe to do so. Carjacking: Give the keys and walk away. Do not try to defend your vehicle. Report the incident immediately. Law enforcement will take over.

Criminal robbery: Surrender your cash or property without question, do not try to fight back, unless there is no alternative. Report the incident immediately. Get a description as 3/3 best as possible.

Avoid carrying large amounts of cash, display of expensive bling, etc. We all want to look good, but this encourages criminals. Save it for when not in public.

Avoid common hazards: drug deals, meth labs, using /smoking dope in public, etc. Avoid involvement, do not acknowledge and do not interfere. In other
words, mind your own business. Report the incident in detail as soon as it is safe to do so. Protect the scene or evidence.

For what it’s worth, remember the old expression: “Jack Frost is the best cop in the world”. Translation: the colder it is, the less erratic or criminal a person’s behavior. This comes from the realm of junk science, but a lot of law enforcement folks will back it up. BTW, this winter is supposed to be ‘mild’.

Some of this advice is counterintuitive to our culture of independence and may be distasteful to some people. It is not normally in our nature to ‘give up’ and not defend ourselves when threatened. However, statistics have shown that nonaggression will generally offer the greatest avenue to safety.

PILLAR Inc. was established in 2002 with the goal of providing a unique and systematic approach to civil engineering, surveying, management, and safety to ensure the efficient and successful completion of projects large and small for the betterment of our community. Please do not hesitate to contact us!


Download September PILLAR Talk PDF Here!