If you’re in the market for a hardened or robust modular building, you’re obviously concerned about the safety and well-being of your personnel—but what about the manufacturer of the building you’re looking at purchasing?

Safety-culture-modular-buildingMost people don’t give much thought into the behind-the-scenes safety precautions that went into the production of their modular building, after all, what possible impact could that have on them?

As an industry leader in the construction of hardened and robust modular buildings and a standard bearer for company-wide safety, at CoverSix we believe that how a company approaches its own safety has a direct correlation to the product it delivers.

First, if you are looking for a product that is going to keep your people safe, it only makes sense that the company building it should be focused on the safety of every aspect of their own operation. After all, if they are willing to cut corners on the safety of their own employees why wouldn’t they do the same for yours?

Beyond that, a company that is 100-percent focused on company-wide safety will have fewer delays due to accidents, will be more efficient, and will have standardized processes that will ultimately lead to a better product.

The primary components of a company-wide culture of safety

Above all, any company interested in developing a company culture focused on safety must institute an in-depth corporate safety program that will develop a common belief system that will support an environment that values the well-being of everyone who steps foot within the operation.

This doesn’t mean simply holding yearly or even twice-a-year safety seminars that are meant to merely check a box off a to-do list, but instead making safety discussions part of every employee’s day-to-day life in order to keep it top of mind—both at work and at home.

At CoverSix and RedGuard, we do this in little ways like including notes about safety in our company newsletter and we reinforce that message each day during service and production meetings that begin every shift. The goal in these discussions is to get everyone on the same page—since oftentimes “safety” can mean different things to different people. At the same time, by ensuring that the topic of safety is one that is always out in the open, the goal is that every employee will feel comfortable bringing concerns to the floor without the fear of possible retribution.

But that’s just the beginning. 

We strongly believe that any manufacturer that is truly serious about safety should have someone on staff whose sole responsibility is to make sure the company is living up to its own expectations. That’s why at RedGuard, we have a full-time safety and compliance officer.

We also recommend following the guidelines set forth by SafeStart, a safety training program proven to successfully reduce workplace accidents, by focusing on reducing human error. 

SafeStart offers practical techniques that keeps workers alert to potential risks and produces a sustainable plan that transforms temporary safety gains into a permanent culture. As a long-time client of SafeStart, RedGuard has seen firsthand the impact of SafeStart’s techniques and, in 2017, we were honored to be awarded a gold certificate—SafeStart’s highest designation.

How to know if a company’s safety procedures are actually working

Saying you have instituted a  “culture of safety” is one thing, but proof that it is actually reducing accidents is another.  Luckily, there are some ways for you to know for sure. The most obtainable proof is through lagging indicators that take a look back at a company’s historic data. Among those available, the lagging indicator available is a company’s TRIR score (Total Recordable Incident Rate). Developed by OSHA, a TRIR score is based on a complex formula that takes into account the number of accidents that have occurred and the man hours worked.  A company with no incidents recorded during a calendar year would receive a TRIR score of 0.00, but for reference, in 2019 the U.S. industry average was 3.9 and the Canadian average TRIR was 6.0. During the same time period, RedGuard’s TRIR score was 1.4. But what does a high or a low TRIR score really mean? A high TRIR score indicates:
  • No, or very low, safety culture and ownership
  • No safety commitment from management or employees
  • OSHA visits with thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars in fines
  • Increased injuries, workers' compensation claims, and settlements
  • Paying >10% higher workers' compensation premiums
  • OSHA violations remain on record/ISN, Avetta, etc., for five years
  • Ineligible to apply for SHARP Certification (OSHA Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program)
  • Low morale, low engagement, zero recognition, and job satisfaction

A low TRIR score indicates:

  • High value on safety culture and ownership
  • Safety commitment from the top down and bottom up
  • Only random OSHA visits for special emphasis
  • Only one worker’s compensation claim in a given year
  • Lower premiums 
  • No OSHA violations
  • Eligible to apply for SHARP Certification
  • High morale, high engagement, recognition, and job satisfaction

Beyond a company’s TRIR score, a good indication of the effectiveness of a company’s safety precautions is its compliance with OSHA, EPA, Quality/ISO and all other regulatory organizations which can often be found through a simple internet search.

Cultivating Your Own Safety Culture

If you’re looking at making a major investment in the safety of your personnel, you owe it to yourself—and them—to take a close look at the culture of the company behind the product you’re looking at purchasing. 

To put it simply, how they approach their own safety will tell you a lot about the care and dedication they put into ensuring yours. In addition, a safe company is an efficient company and that efficiency can mean on-time delivery and lower end costs.

To learn more about how to keep your most valuable resource—your employees— safe, our safety and compliance officer has three questions that can help you develop a sustainable culture of safety.