Tech Talk: Be Safe and Beware of Your Surroundings

National Safety Month is a perfect time to get your security company up to speed on learning about and implementing best worker safety practices.

Check the Contract Clause

There’s another, not-so-obvious reason for conducting your own, regularly attended safety training program. If you have not experienced this yet, you may reach a point in your company’s progress where you have an opportunity to bid on your first big contract. In looking through the project requirements you will come across a clause that states the installing company must have an existing and verifiable safety training program. If you have been running your program for months or years, you then may qualify. If you make sure your staff attendance is documented on a regular basis, then that may comply with the verifiable qualification.

Safety is a small but important element of weekly meetings. Your staff will appreciate their manager taking time to discuss new technical issues, operations procedures, customer management and staff feedback.

During meetings, I like to give a five- to 10-question safety quiz each week for further documented verification. You can have staff exchange their quizzes and then, at your lead, grade each other’s quiz. This provides a good moment for another brief safety discussion, and the whole process can be done in less than 15 minutes. Make sure your staff signs the safety training verification documents each week for future contract requirements and your records. Serious safety instructors may want to look in to Occupational Safety and Health Administration‘s (OSHA) 10- to 30-hour safety training programs.

In celebration of National Safety Month, the National Safety Council (NSC) has selected a key safety issue for each week of June. Make sure to sign up for the free safety materials, posters, handouts and quizzes. Here’s a brief rundown of NSC’s weekly focus:

Week 1: Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse. How many find themselves addicted to prescribed painkiller drugs from a previous injury? Back injuries are one of the most common work-related injuries related to these drugs.

Week 2: Slips, Trips and Falls: A Step in the Right Direction. Make sure to wear the appropriate shoes for the task at hand. Follow basic safety rules when using ladders and maintain three points of contact on ladder at all times.

Week 3: Be Aware of Your Surroundings. Sound familiar? When doing multiple tasks, focus on the task at hand. Simply put, keep an eye on what you are doing and watch everything around you. This seems simple, but do you and your workers practice it?

Week 4: Put an End to Distracted Driving. The danger of using a cellphone when driving your van to a jobsite, or anywhere else for that matter, is a big concern. Learn to call or text when your vehicle is not in traffic or moving. Sometimes you should even silence your phone when driving. According to NSC, your brain can miss seeing up to 50% of the roadway environment when talking on a cellphone.


About the Author


Bob is currently a Security Sales & Integration "Tech Talk" columnist and a contributing technical writer. Bob installed his first DIY home intercom system at the age of 13, and formally started his technology career as a Navy communication electronics technician during the Vietnam War. He then attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering and went on to complete a Security Management program at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Since 1976, Bob has served in a variety of technical, training and project management positions with organizations such ADT, Rollins, National Guardian, Lockheed Martin, American Alarm Supply, Sonitrol and Ingersoll Rand. Early in his career, Bob started and operated his own alarm dealership. He has also served as treasurer of the Wisconsin Burglar and Fire Alarm Association and on Security Industry Association (SIA) standards committees. Bob also provides media and training consulting to the security industry.

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