Recommit to Job Site Safety
Every year on April 28, the United States Department of Labor observes Workers’ Memorial Day. The day honors workers who have died on the job and recognizes the suffering of those who are grieving as a result.
At Miller-Valentine, we also use the occasion to emphasize the importance of safety and to recommit to safe workplaces.
With more than 1,100,000 hours accident-free, it’s clear that safety is woven into Miller-Valentine’s culture. It takes a company-wide commitment to safety to achieve a record like that. From ongoing training to constant hazard analysis, we strive to keep safety at the forefront of everything we do.
Steering Clear of the Fatal Four
In his 23 years in the construction industry, Safety Director Bill Burke has seen an increased focus on worker protection and safe working environments.
“The technology and tools available now compared to 10-15 years ago is of a much higher quality,” Burke says. “Manufacturers of safety and protective equipment have done a very good job of providing just about everything we need to protect people. Training has also improved over the years, and construction associations provide great resources to promote safety.”
Yet, fatal injuries on construction sites were up in 2015 (the latest year for which statistics are available). Of the 4,379 workers killed on the job in 2015, one in five were in construction. Of those deaths, half were caused by the Fatal Four:
- Struck by an object
- Caught in/between
Often injuries result from workers not taking the time to protect themselves, Burke notes. “People think, this will only take a second, or I’ve done this a thousand times and nothing has happened,” he says. “But it only takes once.”
Committing to Prevention and Awareness
Miller-Valentine continually invests in equipment, education, and techniques to protect Associates’ safety. But individual Associates also play a role in preventing serious and fatal injuries in the workplace.
Key safety measures that everyone should practice include:
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Take the time to do a job right—and safely
- Take all precautionary measures—even if the prevention measure (for example, putting on a harness) takes more time than the actual job
- Alert your superintendent or manager to any potential safety hazards
The projects we work on have become much more complex in the past 10 years. This naturally creates more risk to safety on the site. That’s why this April 28 we invite our Associates to pause and remember those who have been lost to workplace accidents. We also ask that they recommit to making safety top of mind in everything they do, every day.
For more information about Miller-Valentine Construction’s Safety program, contact Bill Burke at 513.774.8400.