Empirehouse Earns 2016 FCA CREST Safety AwardPosted on May 23, 2017, by Jennifer Klitzke
On Friday, May 19, 2017, Empirehouse, a Certified NACC Architectural Glass & Metal Contractor, is proud to have earned the 2016 FCA CREST Safety Award for Extraordinary Safety Efforts. Receiving the award was Jacob Reining, Empirehouse Safety & Quality Manager.
“Empirehouse employees are the backbone of our safety culture. Their buy-in to the Safety Program is what makes it work.”
—Jacob Reining, Empirehouse Safety & Quality Manager
Empirehouse creates a “safety culture” that has been embraced from leadership on down to protect our employees’ welfare, care for our owners, and gain the respect from our clients. After having been educated, trained, and cared for, our employees work safer, which result in fewer recordable injuries. Fewer recordable injuries has kept our EMR under the safety average which keeps our insurance premiums to a minimum and continues to award us Architectural Glass and Glazing Contracts with premiere General Contractors.
Our Safety Program includes a “Zero Injury” Safety Manual that covers the Company’s safety expectations for employees in all areas of our industry, as well as Policies and Procedures, Near Miss Reporting, weekly Tool Box Topic readings, and annual Right-to-Know training about potential industry hazards.
Over the last six years Empirehouse employees have learned to recognize hazards, and fewer incidents have been recorded. As a result, our EMR dropped to an unprecedented 0.67 by the end of 2014 and Empirehouse gained a reputation for being a safety-driven Architectural Glass and Glazing Contractor who produces quality results.
Four Components of a Successful Safety Program:
1. Produce a safety culture that is embraced from leadership on down. Empirehouse managers and owners lead our Safety Program by example and hold our employees to the “gold standard” in safety to observe safe practices in the field, in our shop, when they drive, and when they stretch in the morning. Leadership seeks to understand employee concerns and needs; gives, as well as receives, respect; considers options before making decisions; and explains why decisions are made.
2. Develop and implement safety processes and procedures. As a result of business growth in 2015, the Empirehouse field staff increased 200%. Empirehouse was forced to hire unskilled laborers due to the shortage in skilled laborers. However, Empirehouse was proactive and brought on-board a Safety & Quality Manager to access “risk,” address field and shop safety needs, implement new policies, promote safety education, provide insight, work as a safety representative between Empirehouse Project Managers and General Contractors, and develop safety procedures.
The Safety & Quality Manager facilitates a Safety Committee that meets each month where Tool Box Topics, Near Miss Reports, Field and Shop employee concerns, and incidents (if any), are covered. The Safety Committee is made up of members from various Empirehouse departments. Members of the Safety Committee address employee concerns and report back to acknowledge that their concerns have been addressed.
The Safety & Quality Manager communicates Hot Monthly Topics (i.e., cold weather or hot weather safety in the corresponding months), provides company-wide safety training, and promotes safety throughout the company. This information is stored for OSHA compliance, the Department of Labor, and Empirehouse records.
3. Educate employees and enforcing accountability. Knowing that if one employee fails to comprehend safety, it can hurt the entire company. Empirehouse recognizes that employees learn at different paces and styles. Some are visual learners, others are kinesthetic, while others are auditory or learn through reading. Through team-building events, Powerpoint presentations, hands-on experiences, and safety manuals, all employees are able to understand our Safety Program. Then we encourage, support, and empower our employees, and hold them accountable to their safety training.
Reporting and record keeping also hold employees accountable. Employees are required to enter Near Miss Reports, attend Tool Box Topic readings each week, go over the morning Daily Hazard Analysis (pre-task planning), participate in Site-Specific Safety Plans as the job conditions change, and complete required inspection forms (i.e., rigging straps, aerial lifts, scissor lifts, safety equipment, etc.).
Field employees are required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at all times consisting of gloves, hard hat, safety vests/coats/shirts, safety glasses, and safety boots. Shop employees are required to wear PPE at all times consisting of gloves, glasses, and safety boots.
4. Keep employees informed and encourage communication for a safe environment. Industry standards are constantly changing. Empirehouse equips our employees through training and education, and our local union (IUPAT 1324, DC 82) helps train our employees through the apprenticeship program and continuing education for Journeyman.
In 2016, Empirehouse began to hold an annual all-day, all-staff, Right-to-Know Safety Day which offers specialized training and certifications that are unique to the shop, field, and office staff. Industry standards are constantly changing.
For your next project, trust a Certified NACC Glazing Contractor for quality results. Call Empirehouse at 763-535-1150 or contact us.