Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association


Safety Pros Share How to Elevate Company Safety Programs

Aug 14, 2018

Members will learn how safety professionals identify “at-risk” behaviors, reduce injuries, and refine their safety programs into company-wide safety cultures during Elevating Your Safety Program to a Safety Culture, Wednesday, Oct. 17, at SMACNA’s Annual Convention in San Diego.

A panel of three successful safety experts will share their strategies in developing and implementing an effective safety culture as well as their thoughts on the future of safety in the sheet metal industry. They will discuss their proven safety methods including instilling a safety vision and values, commitment from management and labor, preplanning, field observation, and safety refresher training.

Ralph NataleWhat does it take to develop a safety culture? Ralph Natale, CSHM, safety director for McKamish Inc., will explain how commitment from management and team building have been integral to the company’s long record of safety excellence.

“Upper management’s acceptance of safety is an essential element of a successful business model,” he reflected. “Another factor is management’s support of safety at all levels of the construction phase, such as estimating, construction, and wrap-up. This leads to labor’s acceptance that management will support their efforts for a safe working environment.”

Natale, a 2017 SMOHIT Safety Matters award-winner and chair of SMACNA’s Safety and Health Committee, will illustrate how a key best practice, job safety analysis, improved safety and reduced hand lacerations.

“At the outset, many complained that a job safety analysis was a time-consuming task,” he said. “Our safety standpoint was that it was a team-builder by giving everyone a voice and role in the task. So comparable tasks were performed—one with a JSA being completed and one without—and the results confirmed that a team effort at the beginning was essential to the safe completion of the job. This team concept leads to bonding with fellow workers and a culture is developed.”

Dominic CaminitiAt University Mechanical and Engineering Contractors Inc., Dominic Caminiti, director of loss control and workforce development, will illustrate how the company’s Safety Observation Program helps to identify and eliminate at-risk behaviors and conditions early on to protect workers’ safety and health.

“We also correct work-area traps in the ‘Spot the Trap’ program, conduct safety refresher training, and actively coach personnel at all levels with the ‘Coach and Correct’ program,” he said.

Safety excellence starts off with a safety vision, noted Donovan Seeber, vice president of corporate safety with ACCO Engineered Systems. A key to the company’s award-winning safety performance is “a safety vision and values,” he said of their safety culture.

Donovan SeeberAnother key factor to success, he said, includes commitment from management, first-line supervisors, and craftspersons to hold safety as a value. The company has quarterly Safety Leadership Team meetings, monthly safety meetings for each region and discipline, regular safety flashes on current issues, weekly site audits, and first-line supervision leadership training.

Another important factor is their Safety Programs and Systems such as pre-mobilization analysis, (“safety working closely with the project team to understand scope, risks, and mitigation plan”), site-specific safety plans designed specifically for the worksite, daily site safety meetings, and readiness reviews with safety “must-haves” prior to mobilizing to the site.

The session will conclude with a panel discussing the future of safety and how contractors can take advantage of opportunities to improve safety efforts. Elevating Your Safety Program to a Safety Culture, takes place Wednesday, Oct. 17, during SMACNA’s Annual Convention at the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina in San Diego, Oct. 14-17.