Eye on Safety

The year 2012 will be the first year for the MCAA to begin presenting mason contractors with awards for exemplary performance in safety. We are excited about starting this program, due to its importance and need. Safety is overlooked by some contractors for several reasons: cost, time, resources, compounded focus on production, simple ignorance, or possibly many other things. Our goal is for the MCAA Safety Awards to help draw attention to the need and benefits of performing safely.

MCAA Safety Advantage
The safety awards are just one part of a larger plan: The MCAA Safety Advantage program. Mammoth benefits emerge from working safely, from morale and money to workers’ compensation premiums and OSHA penalties. The MCAA Safety Awards program is being rolled out with the MCAA Safety Advantage Newsletter, the weekly safety meetings, the written safety program, the monthly safety forum webinars, and several other Safety Advantage benefits – not to mention joining a network of safety professionals working in the masonry industry. All of this is free to members of the MCAA.

A safety award presentation took place at Brazos Masonry, which has an outstanding injury record and was recognized by Texas Mutual insurance company.
A safety award presentation took place at Brazos Masonry, which has an outstanding injury record and was recognized by Texas Mutual insurance company.

Safety Award Judging
The Safety Awards will be presented, base on a company’s Incident Rate. This seemed to be the most equitable and best way to judge between contractors. The Incident Rate will be the only criterium, at the present. Many other guidelines could be thrown into the mix: OSHA citations, comprehensiveness of safety policy, superseding of OSHA compliance by company policy, peer review of policies, job site inspections, volunteer safety work, using biodegradable earplugs, non-concrete block, using anti-alien abduction hardhats or a gamut of other qualifiers and disqualifiers. However, we thought that starting simple would be best for the moment. Here are the specifics:

OSHA Record Keeping
The Incident Rate by which the safety awards will be judged is calculated from OSHA logs. All OSHA recordable injuries and illnesses are logged for that year. The number of illnesses and injuries are multiplied by 200,000, and then divided into the total number of hours worked by all employees for the year. This equation gives you the company’s Incident Rate. This should not be confused with the DART Incident Rate, which only takes into account the incidents that result in days away from work.


Getting in the hunt
To have your company considered for the MCAA Safety Awards, simply visit www.masoncontractors.org, fill out the sign-up form, and return it with your 2011 OSHA 300 form. All entries will be tabulated, and the awards will be presented at the MCAA 2012 Mid-Year Meeting in September.

The MCAA looks forward to this event, and we hope that there is huge participation. Safety is extremely important. Safety helps get more work, keeps workers’ compensation costs down, and, most importantly, allows parents and spouses to come home healthy. Join with us in this small way to reach that goal.

Zach Everett is corporate safety director for Brazos Masonry Inc. and MCAA Safety Committee chairman.

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