After recently hiring a new safety manager for our Austin division, I was thinking about the manager’s daily responsibilities, the credentials required to do the job well and how important they are to the company.
Safety has become a top priority at BakerTriangle, and it should be a top priority for all companies. As we all know, our employees in the field are some of our greatest assets, and getting them through each day without injury or incident should be forefront in our minds. We believe that our safety manager’s first duty is to get out in the field and make sure that all of our people have been properly trained. Every employee should know the difference between doing things correctly in a safe manner and doing things incorrectly in an unsafe manner.
Our safety manager and employees all need to work together to stay on top of safety practices. This needs to be acknowledged by the general contractor and all other trades on a project, not just our trade. Every worker needs training to identify potential safety issues and hazards. They need to know not just how to use safety equipment, but equipment in general—scissor lifts, booms, scaffolds and ladders are examples. And measures must be in place to ensure every worker is practicing what they have learned.
Remember: The primary reason for a safety program is to make sure our employees get home safely every day. As employers we need to foster trust, creative thinking and a general well-being for our employees. The end result: a healthier and happier workforce that is apt to produce more and stay longer. That’s an environment where we all thrive and prosper.
In addition to being 2018–2019 president of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry, Smith is president of Baker Drywall Austin, Ltd.