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AWCI Safety Directors Committee Completes Its First Safety Peer Review


On Sept. 16, 2019, seven safety professionals from across the nation and within the wall and ceiling industry—and also who are members of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry’s Safety Directors Committee—converged on one of their own to examine the company’s safety policies and program.

    

Jared Danstrom, safety director for Daley’s Drywall & Taping Inc. of Campbell, Calif., volunteered both himself and his company to be the first AWCI contractor to submit to the peer review. Daley’s Drywall & Taping is a regional firm that provides a large scope of construction services. The company was founded in 1963 and has more than 500 employees. Service includes installation of structural and nonstructural cold-formed steel framing, and the installation and finishing of gypsum panels. Their services include lath and plaster, ceilings and wood framing. The company is also a leader in the utilization of building information modeling in the wall and ceiling industry. Daley’s safety department consists of four safety professionals led by Danstrom.



The Details

The two-day event, Sept. 16–17, 2019, included office and field observations followed with a discussion to share ideas. Safety professionals from OCP Contractors, The Raymond Group, Brady Company and Performance Contracting Group took part in the program.  

    

The project selected for review was a significant commercial project. The tasks that were observed included cold-formed steel framing and the installation and finishing of gypsum panels. Also on the project were suspended acoustical and gypsum panel ceilings.

    

The review uses the OSHA Challenge as a basis. This challenge is to help contractors to “develop and/or improve their safety and health management program.” The challenge has three stages, and members of the AWCI Safety Directors Committee chose the first stage as the basis for the review. This stage starts at the executive level of the firm and drills down to the job site providing measurable oversight at each level.

    

AWCI Safety Directors Committee Co-Chairperson Ed Hanley of The Raymond Group offered this perspective on the review: “This fall, the AWCI Safety Directors Committee offered a comprehensive review of the safety programs and policies of various participating AWCI companies as part of an ongoing effort to add value to the membership community. The Safety Directors Committee evaluated each company on its compliance and risk management procedures, as well as its level of safety engagement from executives to field employees. The findings, comments and suggestions were presented with the understanding that all information pertaining to the reviews would remain confidential.”



Two Views

The peer review team split into two groups. One team was led by Hanley. He described his task with the following: “My contribution to the peer review was to assist the field observation team with an evaluation of a Daley’s Drywall project in action. We were immediately impacted by the strong sense of family that each employee exuded during our job walk. We reported positive and constructive feedback, and all observations were met with a willingness and eagerness to do better. During our walk we were joined by the general contractor’s operations and safety teams, who were also very engaged and excited to participate in our evaluation.”

    

The second group remained in Daley’s corporate office where they interviewed Danstrom, CEO Brittini Daley-Grishaeva and company superintendents. Committee Co-Chairperson Matt Taylor from OCP Contractors led this team and in advance had written a simple questionnaire that was used for both the office and field observations. Taylor said, “The positive energy I felt when walking through the doors of Daley’s Drywall and the loyalty and commitment of each employee I spoke with made the environment one of learning, sharing and improvement for all.”

    

After completing the observation process, the teams reconvened the following morning with Daley’s Drywall staff to report their findings.  

    

The reviewing team, in general, were highly dedicated professionals with the common goal of making the construction workplace a safer environment. Taylor had the following to say regarding the individuals within the team: “This unique opportunity allowed for safety professionals in the wall and ceiling industry to put competition aside and review our safety practices with each other. We all often struggle with the same issues surrounding our scopes of work and many times are looking for answers or better ways of completing our task safely and in compliance with regulations. All though these peer review results are held confidential with the hosting contractor, I will say it was a positive experience for myself.  

    

“During the two-day review it allowed for me to network with some the brightest minds in our industry representing safety and risk. Each person brought much-needed value not only to the needs of the review process but also to many sideline conversations on better practices each of us use. As I left sunny San Jose, I felt honored to be part of this experience and seen the value it brought to OCP Contractors and myself as a safety professional.”

    

This review is viewed as the first of hopefully many more reviews to come. The following thoughts are offered by Danstrom: “I definitely would recommend [the AWCI Safety Directors Committee peer review] to anyone. Anytime you have a group of your peers coming into your facility with the sole purpose of making your processes better, that is a good day. There may be some weaknesses or inadequacies to your safety program that may be found during the review. But you will also be given praise and recognition for what you are doing well. I was given a useful presentation from the committee at the end of the process, which included very practical suggestions for improvement.  

    

“I felt the goal was to make Daley’s Drywall more compliant and effective from a safety standpoint. Plus, all those who participated have been super generous with sharing their policies to help develop ours. There is truly no competition in safety. At the end of the day, our goal as safety professionals should be to become as proficient as possible in getting our employees home safe and sound to their families. The peer review helps in this regard immensely, and can help your safety program become the best it can be.  



“I thank those who came out to Daley’s Drywall and gave of their precious time to review our operation. I also thank their companies for allowing them the time to do that as well. So, if you get the chance to have a peer review, I highly recommend you go for it. You won’t be disappointed.”



The Committee

The AWCI Safety Directors Committee is a fairly new group within AWCI. It formed only a couple of years ago but has developed aggressive plans for the future.  

    

One of the core initiatives of the committee is stated in their mission statement: “establishment of continuous improvement through establishing and evaluating best practices within our membership.” To meet that end, the committee established the peer review.  

    

Membership to the committee is open to all safety directors or managers of AWCI contractor members. Meetings are held on a quarterly basis. One meeting is face-to-face and is part of AWCI’s Convention & INTEX Expo. The other three are meetings held via telephone.

    

For more information about the committee or if you would like to volunteer your firm for a peer review, contact Robert Grupe, AWCI’s director of technical services, at grupe@awci.org.

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