Here from Adam Martin, the Environmental Health and Safety Manager at Simpson Strong-Tie McKinney Branch in Texas as he explores the implementation of professional safety guidelines within his branch. Understand the strategies, programs, and initiatives that place employee safety and well-being at the forefront of our organization. Gain insight into how our Texas branch exceeds expectations to create a safe work environment for our employees.
Employee health and safety are important values communicated throughout Simpson Strong-Tie. As you walk through the McKinney plant, you’ll see a wide variety of banner signage, posters and apparel reminding employees and guests that safety always comes first.
One popular apparel item you might see Simpson employees wearing is a bright shirt that says, “Keep Safe the B.A.R.C. Way.” The McKinney branch needed a safety slogan, so we held a contest within the branch asking employees to help create one. We received over 100 entries and “Keep Safe the B.A.R.C. Way” was the winner. Chris Jamison, previously part of the Shipping and Receiving team and now an EHS Coordinator, was the creator of this unique slogan for the McKinney branch. It tells everyone who sees it or wears it to follow a simple but very important code of conduct: Be the example. Ask for help, ask questions. Responsibility matters. Commitment to Simpson safety standards. Together, those four guidelines spell BARC, a reminder of our founder, Barclay Simpson.
Our safety culture is built on practicing safety as both a personal and company value. We’re nurturing a culture of world-class safety practices where employees are empowered to contribute to finding and correcting hazards; bringing up safety suggestions; nominating a monthly Safety Champion; leading stretching and flexing exercises; leading safety meetings; performing job behavior observations; participating in job hazard assessments; joining the employee safety committee; and receiving best-in-class health and safety training taught by safety professionals.
Regulations are something that federal, state, and local governments have created as a legal framework for incident prevention and regulatory enforcement. Some examples of federal regulations and guidelines are the following:
i. EPA Title 40 Protection of the Environment
ii. NFPA 70 National Electrical Code
iii. NFPA 101 Life Safety Code
iv. OSHA 29 CFR 1910 Occupational Safety and Health Standards – General Industry
v. OSHA 29 CFR 1926 Safety and Health Regulations for Construction
Our latest effort to strengthen our safety practices is our Safety Incentive Program. The goal of this program is to train and encourage employees to proactively look for and correct unsafe conditions and behaviors. It also encourages habits in each employee of proactively identifying hazards, thinking of solutions, and formally suggesting safety improvements. Since this program was rolled out this February, we’ve already seen a significant increase in participation and safety leadership, along with a decline in the number of workplace accidents or injuries.
Our EHS policies and best practices meet and often exceed the requirements of governmental regulations. Rather than “just following EHS rules,” our culture focuses on explaining the why behind them, building trust, and rewarding employees who demonstrate leadership in safety.