Let's Be Smart About Safety

By Ted Reiff

Ever gaze in wonder and unease as one or more construction workers climb about a rooftop with no safety gear? No hardhat or proper footwear, and certainly no lanyard?

Ever wonder how they get away with it? Not merely survive it, but do it over and over again, on job after job, with total impunity? What kind of contractor sanctions such carelessness? Where is OSHA?

I'll tell you where OSHA is. It's anywhere in the construction industry that has anything to do with safety - and that's virtually everywhere. It sets regulations, provides a profusion of information, and offers dozens of training programs (more about these later). What OSHA doesn't have is enough inspectors. And without inspectors, all those regulations are often treated as optional.

Not by everyone. You'll never see construction crews working without safety gear on urban skyscrapers or residential towers. The big guys are far too savvy and professional to neglect the safety of their workers.

OSHA has been around since 1971, and CalOSHA since 1973. Although the number of inspectors is still insufficient, budgets for both organizations were recently increased and CalOSHA has added 50 field inspectors.

TRP introduced improved safety training and stricter safety requirements several years ago. At first workers just saw the new requirements as a hindrance, added merely to comply with the law. However, that perception changed once workers understood how much TRP relies on them as employees, and more importantly, how much we value them as friends and neighbors. We want our workers to go home to their families in the same condition as when they left for work.

The loss of a valued worker is exacerbated by the cost of hiring even a temporary replacement, and by the impact on worker's compensation insurance. As with automobile insurance, any negative mark on the company's worker's compensation record remains for a three-year period.

Obviously, safety is a subject about which I've grown passionate - and tough. All it takes is one or two minor injuries to impact the company's bottom line, and more serious injuries devastate families, disrupt crews, damage morale and hurt hard-earned reputations.

A few years ago, I enrolled in a series of OSHA classes and became an OSHA Authorized Construction Trainer. As is typical with any type of training or education, I really started to understand construction safety when I began to teach it.

TRP offers safety training through its ReUse Institute. Safety training can be as simple as demonstrating the proper usage of power tools, practicing ladder safety, or recognizing common workplace hazards. With proper training, contractors can obtain OSHA 10 or OSHA 30 cards for their employees.

TRP also provides customized Tailgate Safety Meetings, as required by OSHA.

For a free telephone consultation on your safety needs, give me a call.
510.383.1983. 

Location and Contact Information

TRP ReUse Warehouse - Oakland
9235 San Leandro Street
Oakland, CA  94603
(510) 383-1983; toll-free 888-588-9490
Hours: Mon-Sat 9:00-6:00 Closed Sunday

TRP ReUse Warehouse - Los Angeles
3015 Dolores Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90065
818-244-5635
Hours: Mon-Fri 10:00-5:00; Sat 10:00-4:00

Please visit our partnering warehouses:

Reuse Depot
50 West Madison
Maywood, IL 60153
(708) 223-0502
Hours: Wed-Mon 10:00-6:00p; Closed Tuesdays

Salvage Too - Rockford Reuse Center
907 S Main Street
Rockford, IL 61101
(815) 963-6236
Hours: Tue-Fri, 11:00am-4:30pm

The ReUse Warehouse
1400 East Geer Street
Durham, NC 27704
(919) 219-4913
Hours: Mon-Fri, 2:00-6:00; Sat, 9:30-5:00

Second Chance Building Materials Center
1423 West Grove Street
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 331-2707
Hours: Mon-Sat, 9:00-6:00; Sun, 12:00-5:00

Roaring Fork Valley Habitat for Humanity
7025 Hwy 82
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
(970) 945-7733
Hours: Mon-Fri, 10:00-5:30; Sat, 10:00-5:00; Sun, 11:00-4:00

Stardust Building Supply
3901 E. Thunderbird Road
Phoenix, AZ 85032
(602) 459-9803
Hours: Mon-Sat, 8:00-6:00; Sun, 10:00-4:00

Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Salt Lake Valley,
1276 South 500 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 263-0136
Hours: Mon-Sat 9:00am-6:00pm; closed Sunday

Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Summit & Wasatch Counties
6280 N. Silver Creek Drive, Silver Summit, UT
(435) 487-9015
Hours: Wed-Sat 10:00-6:00; closed Sunday

Recycle Utah
1951 Woodbine Way Park City, UT 84060
(435) 649-9698
Hours: Mon-Sat 8:00-5:30; Sun 10:00-4:00

New England Reuse
400 Sackett Point Rd
North Haven, CT 06473
(203) 230-2638
Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00-5:00p; Saturday 9:00-1:00p

 

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