Oct 31, 2019
Here's a scenario you're likely to encounter: your organization has just landed a bid with a local construction plant that is set to expand its operations. Your job is crucial because as the facility grows, it will need your company's services in new construction and also the safety testing and maintenance of electrical wiring throughout the facility.
This is great news for the bottom line of your company. However, here's the catch. The engineer of the plant is pretty youthful and has no other experience working in and overseeing another construction facility. This is his first job in construction. To complicate matters, the young engineer has hired an electrical maintenance manager to be your primary point of contact. He, too, has no construction experience. Ready for the fun part? To complicate matters, there seems to be nonexisting safety leadership at this new construction plant you're going to be working on. There is no hard hat fule, for example, and when you look around, no employee seems to be wearing one. Even while your crew is working with conduit electrical wires and light fixtures, nobody seems to be wearing a hardhat. So what's the solution? Simply give your point of contract a hardhat and let it be? Sounds good. However, what if your contact newbie refuses to wear the safety device because it "messes up his hair". You protest and let him know the risks and hazards of not wearing a safety hardhat around sticks of EMT and he says, "it's okay, I'm the manager, I'm not doing the actual work." Yikes. You point out that whenever he walks into a room without a hardhat, your crew knows to stop working to prevent a safety accident from occurring. His refusal to wear a hardhat is not only a known safety hazard but it's bringing your company's productivity to a standstill. You tell him to please wear the hat and hope that all the problems are solved. Right? What is the correct thing to do here? Get your point person on video not wearing a hat so your company is absolved of negligence and liability? Unfortunately, that's an easy answer but not the right one. Your safety leadership gives you the burden of knowledge. Ready or not, you are the safety consultant in this situation and your job is to educate. Start by asking simple questions. For example, ask this young, inexperienced point person if it's the policy of his company to intentionally create an unsafe working environment in the construction plant. Hopefully, he will say that of course, it is not. It's then that you remind him that all the heavy, electrical wiring overheard and exposed EMT causes an extreme safety hazard. Hopefully, he'll come around to your view of safety and become the safety leader you know he can be.
Mark Lamendola | Oct 31, 2019 - Your company landed its first job with a local plant that is expanding. The job is important, because — as the plant expands — it will need not just new construction but also electrical testing and maintenance. Providing those services would be a very good arrangement for your company.
The plant engineer is fairly young. He has not worked at another plant, nor has he worked construction. He recently hired Bruce, a young electrical maintenance manager with a similar lack of background. Bruce is your primary contact.