Clients with complex needs and limited resources will benefit by engaging the services of a professional safety consulting firm.
The majority of our safety consulting clients are of a size they cannot financially justify hiring a qualified, full-time, safety professional. Unfortunately, these same clients have complex safety needs, but very limited resources.
As the “part-time safety director” for a loyal and long-time client, the Vice President and leader of our Wisconsin safety consulting operation, Tim Walsh, was able to help this client through a recent, difficult time. This client experienced an uptick in injuries and near misses in their underground construction operations. Tim assisted in the investigation of these events and developed a corrective action strategy targeting the unsafe behaviors that comprised the root causes of these events. Affected employees were retrained by Tim and counseled by the owners of the company.
About a month later, OSHA inspected one of our client’s underground job sites. Construction sites are highly visible, and a large number of OSHA inspections in construction occur because an unsafe condition or behavior is easily observed. As a result of this “drive-by” inspection, two serious citations were issued with $7,760 in penalties. Citations and penalties for trenching violations can be significant and result in Willful violations in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The citations issued recognized the excellent work we’d already done for our client as it could have been much worse.
An investigation by Tim following the OSHA inspection revealed the foreman of the crew was willing to take shortcuts, and employees on his crew were afraid to speak up for fear of losing their jobs. The client decided it could no longer employ a foreman who put the lives of other employees at risk, and he was terminated.
Armed with evidence of the years of work we’d delivered to our client, Tim attended the OSHA informal conference to negotiate on behalf of our client. By demonstrating to OSHA the client’s strong commitment to safety evidenced by our work, the action is taken to fire a foreman, and a plan to provide leadership and safety culture training to their foremen and managers, Tim was successful in leveraging OSHA to change the category from Serious to Other Than Serious for both citations.
The role of a Part-Time Safety Director is much more than just writing safety manuals and doing safety inspections. Tim’s role as a trusted advisor with his clients includes troubleshooting and developing solutions to severe problems. As a result, his clients are more productive and profitable. Who is your part-time safety director?
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