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A group of safety professionals from across the country gathered at the inaugural Safety Directors Forum in Fort Worth, Texas. The Unified Group, an association of independent HVAC commercial contractors in the industry, hosted the event to address challenges and share best practices by member companies on managing safety programs, minimizing loss, training team members and tracking safety metrics.
The Unified Group member Ken Trotter of A&G Piping — a plumbing and HVAC mechanical contractor in Fort Worth, Texas — shared his organization’s proactive approach to safety and new partnership with the Occupational Safety and Health Consultation (OSHCON) program.
When Trotter took over the company’s safety program in December 2016, he implemented new training tactics companywide. In addition to weekly Toolbox Talks, field technicians are equipped with iPads containing monthly training videos that can be viewed on each job site. The company also adopted a tool management system, which standardizes the consumables, personal protective equipment and safety devices they purchase and stock in an effort to reduce paperwork and provide more focused training.
“Our EMR has dropped to the lowest we can have in the industry, 0.61, and I credit it to having a proactive approach to safety,” Trotter said. “OSHCON was also a piece of that puzzle.”
While OSHCON’s services are separate from federal enforcement, the voluntary program was designed to assist private employers with identifying the areas within their companies that do not meet OSHA safety and health standards.
“They reviewed our safety manual and looked at some of our current procedures and the safety actions we’re taking, like Toolbox Talks. They also pointed out a number of things we were doing that were hazards that we just didn’t know,” Trotter said.
Attendees of the Safety Directors Forum took a tour of A&G Piping during the conference to view examples of how the company improved its facilities based on OSHCON recommendations.