By: Harkins CHST, Safety Officer Tyler Schulz
At Harkins, we take great pride in the role we play to improve people’s lives in our marketplace, in our communities, and in our company. But even more than that, we carry an unwavering responsibility to do whatever it takes to ensure that our people can return home safely to their families. Through heightened awareness and continuous training, Harkins continues to uphold the highest standards of safety.
We are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to communicate and initiate protocols across the company. This year, we plan to focus our attention on our current safety program, which has provided leadership and guidance to ensure the safest working environment for all employee-owners and trade partners. With the ever-changing rules and guidelines, it is important to continue refining our program to stay ahead of the curve and up to speed on
all things safety. Some of these changes include:
- Harkins Safety Policy – We will be reviewing the entire policy and verifying that it is up to date with best practices in the industry, including the addition of heat and cold stress programs, ergonomics, working alone, and a leading indicator program.
- Safety Manual – All sections will be restructured into separate documents to provide employee-owners an easier way to search and access specific information.
- Safety Exhibit – This exhibit will be enhanced and incorporated into all commonly used documentation as a tool for our field teams.
- Fire Safety and Temporary Heater Programs – These programs will be upgraded to the new NFPA 241 requirements that began in 2022, including changes to the types of heaters allowed in wood-frame buildings, fire watch durations, and on-site security measures.
- Safety Submittals – Create a standard procedure for safety submittals and for all new projects to request, receive, and utilize.
Harkins prides itself on making training a top priority for the company. In 2021, we achieved an EMR rating of 0.56, which is the lowest in our company history and truly exceptional. The average rating is 1.0. If your EMR dips below 1.0, this
means you are considered safer than most. This ranking signifies the dedication that we have to safety on our jobsites. We offer Harkins University classes, OSHA10 and OSHA30 certification opportunities, Click Safety webinars, toolbox talks, and quarterly Safety Stand-downs as a way of educating our field personnel on various safety rules and regulations.
We plan to implement Shaping Accident-Free Environment (SAFE) workshops to explore why individual employee-owners continue to be at-risk in spite of regulations in place, allowing them to be directly involved in a new culture of creating an incident-and-injury-free workplace.
With the help of our marketing team and safety committee, we have completed the filming of a new corporate safety orientation video that will be shown to all trade partners before they enter the jobsite. This replaces our current video with more up-to-date industry standards and company policies that we feel will better educate our partners.
With these changes and more in the coming years, Harkins will continue to be a leading contractor with safety top of mind.