Importance of Safety

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:

Previously, we talked about the critical importance of maintaining an accurate inventory to support asset management. Knowing your inventory is just the first step in good asset management. It's also important to know the condition of that inventory, which brings us to the next step, assessing your infrastructure inventory.

Some people see a survey plat as an overpriced piece of paper but it's not just a pretty picture. It represents hours spent reading moldy court records and digging through centuries of legal documents about a piece of land two people transferred back and forth....and back and forth. It represents the blood and sweat shed during days spent in the field in a seemingly endless search for property corners of the distant and not so distant past. Let's not forget the hours spent compiling data, grumbling at field crew for busting a traverse (which mine never do by the way), interpreting deeds, head scratching, pencil throwing, and rants of profanity that all go into painting that "picture".

The P3 approach includes preventive, lifecycle maintenance for the asset and avoids the problems associated with deferred maintenance. Simply put, deferred maintenance is the practice of postponing infrastructure maintenance activities, usually due to lack of available funding. Lack of proper and timely maintenance leads to early deterioration that costs more to repair later on or shortens the lifespan of the asset. Both of these situations will cost extra over the long term as the asset will have to be replaced well before it was planned, resulting in unanticipated capital costs.

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.