NRCA asked …

November 3, 2021

What is the biggest challenge in ensuring a safe workplace/job site? Three NRCA members share their answers.

Scott Baxter

One of the biggest factors is employee buy-in—making sure employees actually use the tools/training they have received and, even more so, getting them to hold each other accountable for working safely. Another is overall safety culture—effective safety programs that involve everyone on the team, from the newest laborer to the company president, with accountability by everyone for everyone. If a laborer sees the president working/driving in an unsafe manner, the laborer should be able to hold the president accountable without fear of repercussion.

—Scott Baxter, Tecta America Commercial Roofing, Portland, Ore.

Dan Nowak

The biggest challenge is making sure everyone on the team from the top down has the same mindset and goal toward safety. Sometimes, working safely isn’t the problem—it’s the mindset that needs to be adjusted.

—Dan Nowak, Evans Roofing Company Inc., Elmira, N.Y.

J.J. Smithey

The biggest hurdle in creating a safe workplace is ensuring your entire team, from top to bottom, understands safety is the priority. From the first time your project estimator looks at a job, safety needs to be at the forefront; you need to create a good safety plan and estimate the labor necessary to execute that plan in a safe environment. This continues to your operations manager, who will be communicating to your crews regarding how to work safely on the job site, as well as how the job was estimated for a safe completion.

—J.J. Smithey, Frost Roofing Inc., Wapakoneta, Ohio

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