May is for Safety

by Karen Maine, President, MEA Board of Directors

What an honor to be elected as the new President of MEA. Jason has done a great job as your past president and I am now excited for the goals and accomplishments that the MEA team and I plan to achieve throughout the next year. We plan to build on the vision that was created during the last strategic planning session. Three main areas of focus throughout 2018 are Workforce Development, Education, and Financial Stability.

May is for Safety and we all know that the very nature of harnessing electricity presents dangers. I started my own electrical contracting business back in 1988—now celebrating 30 years in business—and safety is always on my mind. I recently came across an article in the
Occupational Health & Safety magazine that I thought was noteworthy.

When companies focus on safety, at least four valuable things happen:
1. Employees are safer and morale improves because they are glad you care.
2. A culture of safety becomes a valuable company benefit, such that better employees will want to work for you.
3. Both managers and employees take greater responsibility for operations, and results improve.
4. Profits increase due to streamlined operations and efficiencies.

Having a culture of safety is key and “ultimately, construction safety must become a habit practiced by everyone, every minute.”

How can you maintain this level of successful construction safety culture?
1. Make construction safety the CEO’s priority.
2. Make construction safety everyone’s priority, without fail.
3. Empower all employees to be responsible about safety.
4. Communicate regarding construction safety on day one and every day.

“Promote your safety brand in everything you do because it will be a powerful differentiator for your company against its competition.”

5. The culture of safety must extend beyond your company, to subcontractors and other vendors
6. The culture of safety includes staying ahead of the curve regarding the latest technology

MEA is here to help you with all of these pieces. The training alliance with MNOSHA brings you up-to-date information in this newsletter. Toolbox Talks are sent to members on a monthly basis to be used at staff meetings or job site training. The AWAIR manual is in an updateable format for easy customization for your company. An all-star MEA trainer can even come to your shop to conduct a private class/safety day (read more). Now that the snow has stopped and construction season is in full swing, please keep yourself and your employees safe out there.