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From worksite injuries and inclement weather to labor shortages and equipment damage, construction projects inherently present a variety of different challenges. But those same challenges also give contractors the opportunity to identify risks and properly manage them to help boost profits, job performance and client relationships.
In June, The Unified Group — a national association of leading independent HVAC commercial contractors in the industry — held its second Safety Director’s Forum in Kansas City, Missouri. Each session provided attendees with valuable information on reducing risks within an organization and promoting safety in the workplace.
Gary Glader, president of Horton Safety Consultants, kicked off the first day with an informative discussion on risk management. Hot topics included the aging workforce, ways to handle an injury after it happens, navigating accident investigations and the benefits of safety training and injury prevention programs, like Fit for Work. Erica Peet of VHV Co. showed how her organization manages claims to get employees back to work. The day ended with a presentation and video on workplace violence, given by Bob Fisher of Air Comfort Corp.
Day two continued with Bill Judge, founding member of the Drug Screening Compliance Institute, who discussed medical marijuana and ways to navigate its growing legalization while maintaining the safest workforce. The group then shared tips on how to track OSHA requirements to ensure certifications do not expire. A breakout session followed for participants to receive feedback on the greatest challenge they currently face.
“Receiving input and being able to bounce ideas and scenarios off of other safety directors was incredibly valuable,” said Kevin Knights of Johnson & Jordan Inc.
On the final day, Brian Scott of Mechanical Service & Systems teamed up with Peet and Fisher to share unique perspectives on their companies’ onboarding processes. The group rounded out the session with members discussing how they complete and track safety training within their organizations, and how they use safety analytics to create effective action plans.
“The Unified Group consistently produces awesome presentations and speakers during these annual events,” said Brian Scott of Mechanical Service & Systems Inc. “I had a great time with a great group of people.”
“Everything was well organized, coordinated and thought through,” Dustin Clair of A&G Piping agreed. “The sessions were excellent, informational and directly applicable to my position, and I was able to network and connect with an awesome group of people.”