Monday, December 19, 2011

When Should I Wear Gloves?

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  I hope everyone had a great weekend.  If your weekend wasn't so great, at least keep in mind that the Packers lost and they can no longer lay claim to having a perfect season.  Had they run the table, gone undefeated and won the Super Bowl, we Bears fans would have NEVER heard the end of it. 

Now for a little glove discussion.  When should I wear gloves and does the type of glove matter?  There are several tasks that employees perform that require gloves.  Lets start with hand & finger laceration protection.  I.D.I. has a policy in place that requires carpenter/framers and all employees that are handling or working around sharp objects to wear gloves.  This policy is mainly in place to reduce the laceration risk of employees working with metal track & studs.  This applies mainly to our framers and delivery drivers.  I.D.I. put this policy in place in February 2010 and we have since had a dramatic reduction in hand and finger lacerations.  As a matter of fact, since February 2010, we have had only 1 framer sustain a laceration on his hand and he was not wearing gloves when the incident occured.  I.D.I. supplies a cotton Jersey type glove to our employees to use for this purpose.  Employees installing insulation are also required to wear gloves.  The main reason for this policy is because the M.S.D.S. (Material Safety Data Sheet) calls for gloves to be worn when handling insulation.  For the common fiberglass insulation batts, the cotton gloves work very well.  If you are installing Thermafiber type insulation, we require the nitrile coated gloves (rubber dipped type) to be worn as they are impermeable to the small granules and fibers that come with this type of insulation.  Prior to requiring the nitrile coated gloves to be worn for Thermafiber insulation handling, we had 2 employees sustain infections from the granules getting embedded in their hand and/or fingers.  Since we put the nitrile coated glove policy in place, we have had no further infection problems develop from the Thermafiber insulation.  Another task that requires gloves are when an employee is working with a corrosive material such as a corrosive paint that can burn their skin.  We supply and require a PVC coated type glove for this application.  The PVC coated gloves that we supply are usually black in color and are a rubberized type of glove that runs about half way up the forearm.

Please keep in mind that there are other times that gloves are required.  The above mentioned scenarios are when I.D.I. does require gloves.  It is diffucult for an employer to name every situation where a glove would be required.  It is important that employees read the M.S.D.S. sheets for the products being used as they will tell you if a glove is required and the type of glove required.  Also, think about the task you are performing and if there is a chance you can injure your hand or fingers, think about the type of glove that would protect you and ask for a pair. 

If you have any questions about gloves or our gloves policies, please contact our Safety Director, Peter Graham.  You can e-mail him at pgraham@4idi.com and I believe that everyone has his phone number.

Thank you and have a Safe Day!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Next Quarterly Safety Meeting - Saturday, 2/11/12

Good afternoon to all I.D.I. employee:  In case you are looking ahead at your calendars, our next quarterly safety meeting will be held on Saturday, February 11th, 2012 at 7:00am.  The meeting will be held at our usual meeting location at our Barrington office at 28059 W. Commercial Ave.  We have not selected the safety topic for the meeting as of yet.  We want to wait until the meeting date gets closer in case a timely topic comes up that we need to train on.  In the meantime, you can mark your calendars with the date.  We will provide everyone with more information about the meeting in a mailer as we get closer to the date. 
Have a Safe Weekend!

Friday, December 2, 2011

2 More Employees Caught Working Safely!

Good afternoon to all I.D.I. employees:  Two more employees were caught working safely on 11/28/11.  Framer's Lou Spalla and Daniel Dominick were caught in the act working on a roof deck on a baker scaffold with the wheels locked, safety rails in place on their fall exposure side, tied off with fall protection to the overhead steel beam and using a face shield & safety glasses while cutting steel track with a partner saw.  They were also wearing their hard hats, gloves, work boots, etc. 
Great job guys - keep it up!  Have a safety day everyone!




Friday, November 25, 2011

4th Quarter & Year End Quarterly Safety Meeting Attendance - Great Job Everyone!

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  We had our 4th & final quarterly safety meeting of 2011 on 11/5/11 and our final makeup safety meeting on 11/22/11.  Our final attendance results have been tallied and here they are:  For the 4th quarterly safety meeting we had a total field show up rate of 92% and a Safety Coordinator show up rate of 96%.  For the whole year, the total field show up rate was 86% and the Safety Coordinator show up rate was 91%.  We exceeded our attendance goals which are 75% for total field and 80% for Safety Coordinators.  We want to extend a big thank you to all of the employees who took time away from your busy schedules to attend our quarterly safety meetings.  This reflects your true colors and shows what you are all about.  Your attendance is vital to I.D.I. in helping us to maintain our strong safety culture and making us the industry leader in safety in the construction field.  Hopefully we reap the benefits of the strong performance of exceeding our safety meeting attendance goals by having fewer injuries which means less pain for our employees and overall should help us to be more competitive in our bidding of projects.  You may recall at the last quarterly meeting we announced that we also exceeded our injury cost per man hours worked goal which is to be at $0.50 or better.  We ended the year at $0.46 which was the first time we have exceeded this goal since we began tracking it 5 years ago. 
Now the challenge ahead is to keep the momentum rolling into 2012.  We cannot let our guard down when it comes to safety.  Safety is not something you purchase once and you own it.  Safety is on ongoing process.  Safety is something you do all the time.  The goal of safety is to make it become engrained and 2nd nature to the point where you don't even really have to think about it, you just do the right thing and make the correct safe choices because that is just how you do it. 
Great job everyone on having one of our safest years on records.  We can't do it without you!
Have a Safe Day!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Makeup Safety Meeting - Tuesday, 11/22/11 at 4:00pm

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  We have scheduled our quarterly safety makeup meeting for Tuesday, 11/22/11 at 4:00pm.  The meeting will be held at our Barrington office in the warehouse area.  If you plan on attending, please ensure that you contact our Safety Director, Peter Graham, no later than Monday, 11/21/11 so we can obtain a headcount for chair rental, etc.  This meeting is intended for those that had to work on Saturday, 11/5/11, during our regularly scheduled quarterly safety meeting and for those that could not attend due to special circumstances.  The 11/22/11 safety meeting topic is regarding our Safety Coordinator Program, our safety rules, policies and more.  If you have any questions regarding this meeting, please contact Peter Graham.  You can reach Peter via e-mail at pgraham@4idi.com, call our office at (847) 526-7477 or you can reach him on his mobile phone. 
Have a Safe Day and hope to see you at the safety meeting!

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Couple of Guys Caught Working Safely!

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  Last Tuesday, I caught a couple of I.D.I.'s finest working in a safe manner.  Carpenters Dave Snedecor & Earl Bingman were working on the exterior doing some framing.  Both were wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment for the tasks being performed and Earl was appropriately wearing a safety harness while tied off to the boom lift's anchorage point.  Mario was observed working in the interior of a structure brushing and rolling a block wall while in a boom lift.  Mario also was wearing the approprite PPE for the task being performed and he was also using fall protection and tied off to the boom lift's fall protection anchorage point.  Great job gentlemen on helping to make our safety culture what it is! 


Monday, November 7, 2011

M.S.D.S. Sheets - What Does Readily Available Mean?

Good afternoon to all I.D.I. employees:  You often hear that you must have the material safety data sheets (M.S.D.S.) available at your site for every product you are using or there could be big trouble.  For clarification, I called OSHA and discussed this topic.  OSHA informed me that M.S.D.S. must be readily available within 4 hours of request from OSHA.  We discussed this further and I was advised that it is o.k. to have a library of our M.S.D.S. in our computer as long as they could be on site within 4 hours of a request.  However, there are times when it is a requirement to have the M.S.D.S. on site.  The M.S.D.S. are required to be on site when required by the general contractor.  Also, if we are using a product that is harmful to one's health or could cause death, then we would be required to have the M.S.D.S. on site.  In general, for our drywall board, taping mud, metal studs, latex paints, fiberglass acoustic tile, and other non-hazardous materials that we use, it is O.K. to not have the M.S.D.S. on site.  If you are using a product that you are unfamiliar with, a highly corrosive product, a product that can harm your organs through inhalation or ingestion or severely harm you in any way, and if you don't have the M.S.D.S. on site for those products, you should contact our Safety Director, Peter Graham and he will get the M.S.D.S. to you.  Should you have any questions regarding material safety data sheets, working with chemicals, our hazard communication program, etc., please e-mail our Safety Director, Peter Graham at pgraham@4id.com.  Also, we do supply M.S.D.S. sheets to the projects we work at a majority of time.  Where it can be difficult to manage are the shorter-term tenant space jobs.
Have a Safe Day!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Reminder - Next Quarterly Safety Meeting on 11/5/11

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  As most of you know, our next quarterly safety meeting is on Saturday, 11/5/11 at our Barrington office location.  This meeting will be a little different than our typical quarterly safety meeting in that at 7:00am, we are going to perform Safety Coordinator training with the Safety Coordinators only.  We have invited the rest of our employees or non-Safety Coordinators to attend the meeting at 8:00am.  Starting around 8:10am, we will begin the 2nd half of the quarterly safety meeting with all employees and we plan on ending the meeting around 9:10am.  So, if you are a Safety Coordinator, you should arrive no later than 6:55am as we will start the meeting at 7:00am sharp.  We will then lock the doors to help keep the distractions to a minimum and we will re-open the doors at 8:00am at which time the rest of the employees should have arrived. 

The reason we are performing Safety Coordinator training is because over the past few years, we have promoted some employees into the Safety Coordinator role and we would like to get everyone on the same page as to what being a Safety Coordinator entails.  We are also doing the Safety Coordinator training to revive the Safety Coordinator program for the benefit of all employees in the battle against injuries. We will be distributing the Safety Coordinator manuals which contain the toolbox talks, weekly safety inspection forms, accident report forms, etc. to the Safety Coordinators at the meeting. 

If you are not sure if you should attend the 7:00am Safety Coordinator training portion or if you should arrive at 8:00am, you are advised to contact your Superintendent and he will let you know what time to arrive.  Should you have any questions about this meeting, you can also contact our Safety Director, Peter Graham at pgraham@4idi.com
Have a Safe Day!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Field Safety Committee Meeting Today at 3:00pm

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  We are having our bi-monthly Field Safety Committee meeting today at 3:00pm.  This is where our Safety Director gets together with representatives from each of our trades and we discuss safety.  We go over the recent injuries that occurred since we previously met and we develop corrective measures to help prevent reoccurrences to other employees.  We discuss our safety policies and procedures.  We discuss how our job sites are looking such as housekeeping, fall protection, electrical hazards, etc.  We discuss unsafe acts that have been occurring and many other topics.  We get together to help make your career and profession safer.  If you have any ideas, thoughts or suggestions for the safety committee to discuss, you can talk to the field representatives about it and ask them to bring it up at the safety committee so we can brainstorm the matter.  The field representatives are Joe Bellich - paint, Rafael Nunez - taping, James Millar - acoustic, and Matt Larson for framing and carpentry.  These guys are volunteering their time for 6 meetings for the year to help make your career with I.D.I. safer.  Please use these safety committee members as your mouth piece. 
Have a Safe Day!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

303 Consecutive Days Since Our Last Lost-Time Injury

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  As of today, we are currently on a streak of 303 consecutive days worked since our last lost-time injury which occurred on 12/20/10.  That is a pretty darn good run, however, we are still over 100 days short of our record of 435 consecutive days worked between lost-time injuries.  This is a nice goal to shoot for which would be good for everyone in the company.  Our other shorter term goal is to finish out our current year with no more injuries.  Our year ends in 1 1/2 weeks on 10/31/11.  As you know from a previous article, we were at $0.31 cents injury cost per man hours worked and our goal is to be at $0.50 or better.  This would be our 1st time of exceeding this goal since we began tracking it 5 years ago.  As of today we have dropped another penny down to $0.30 injury cost per man hours worked.  We encourage you to stay focused on safety over the next week and a half to help us obtain and exceed this goal.  Reaching and exceeding this goal will enable I.D.I. to bid more competitively in the years to follow as this would help to reduce our insurance premiums.  Being able to bid more competitively can only help to get many of our family members back to work in this poor construction economy.  This will be discussed in further detail at our upcoming company wide quarterly safety meeting on 11/5/11.  Be safe for yourself and your loved ones as they count on it the most. 
Have a Safe Day!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

11/5/11 Quarterly Safety Meeting ....... 7:00am Safety Coordinators Only, 8:00am All Employees

Good afternoon to all I.D.I. employees:  As most of you know, our next quarterly safety meeting is on Saturday, 11/5/11 at our Barrington office location.  This meeting will be a little different than our typical quarterly safety meeting in that at 7:00am, we are going to perform Safety Coordinator training with the Safety Coordinators only.  We have invited the rest of our employees or non-Safety Coordinators to attend the meeting at 8:00am.  Starting around 8:10am, we will begin the 2nd half of the quarterly safety meeting with all employees and we plan on ending the meeting around 9:10am.  So, if you are a Safety Coordinator, you should arrive no later than 6:55am as we will start the meeting at 7:00am sharp.  We will then lock the doors to help keep the distractions to a minimum and we will re-open the doors at 8:00am at which time the rest of the employees should have arrived. 

The reason we are performing Safety Coordinator training is because over the past few years, we have promoted some employees into the Safety Coordinator role and we would like to get everyone on the same page as to what being a Safety Coordinator entails.  We are also doing the Safety Coordinator training to revive the Safety Coordinator program for the benefit of all employees in the battle against injuries. We will be distributing the Safety Coordinator manuals which contain the toolbox talks, weekly safety inspection forms, accident report forms, etc. to the Safety Coordinators at the meeting. 

If you are not sure if you should attend the 7:00am Safety Coordinator training portion or if you should arrive at 8:00am, you are advised to contact your Superintendent and he will let you know what time to arrive.  Should you have any questions about this meeting, you can also contact our Safety Director, Peter Graham at pgraham@4idi.com
Have a Safe Day!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

$0.31 Injury Cost Per Man Hours Worked!

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  I just wanted to make everyone aware of some good news for everyone in the company.  As you all know, we have 7 major safety goals that we discuss at every quarterly safety meeting and throughout the year.  Some of our safety goals are lofty, however, they are lofty for a very important reason.  The goals are lofty for your safety.  One of the goals that I want to highlight today is our Injury Cost Per Man Hours Worked Goal which is to be at $0.50 injury cost per man hours worked or better.  Due to having zero injuries the past 2 months, due to having only 1 lost time injury during our current insurance policy year and due to all injured workers being fully healed, released to full duty and from medical care, we together as a team have driven our injury cost per man hours worked down to $0.31

First of all, great job to everyone in the company for all pulling on the same rope and in the same direction to make this happen.  We cannot let our guard down though.  We still have 3 1/2 weeks to go in our current insurance policy year which ends on 10/31/11.  Let's all do everything we can to go injury free over the next 3 1/2 weeks.  If we can do this, we will exceed this safety goal.  Again, this is good for every single person in the company as this can help to reduce our E.M.R. or insurance costs which can lead to helping us to bid more competitively.  The more competitively we can bid, the more work we can obtain, the more employees we can get back to work during this cruddy economy we are in.  Should you have any questions regarding this goal or safety in general, please contact our Safety Director, Peter Graham.  You can reach him by e-mail at pgraham@4idi.com
Have a Safe Day!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Orange Tape on 3-Pronged Electrical Tools and Extension Cords

Good afternoon to all I.D.I. employees:  All Safety Coordinators should have been provided with a roll of orange tape  from your Superindendents.  We began a new quarter on 10/1/11 for our Assured Grounding Program.  You are to inspect, test and color-code with orange tape all 3 pronged electrical tools and extension cords.  All electrical tools and cords need to be visually inspected.  If you see any defects in the cords such as bare wires, severe kinks, missing or damaged ground prong, the cord pulling away from the plug end housing, etc., then that tool or cord would need to be immediately removed from service and reported to your Foreman.  If your tool/cord passes the visual inspection, your next step is to test the cord with a receptacle tester.  First, you should test the oulet that you will be plugging your cord into to ensure that it is properly wired.  You should see 2 yellow lights lit up on your tester and the red light should be off.  This means the outlet is working appropriately.  Next, plug your cord into the outlet and then test the cord with the receptacle tester.  Again, you should see the same light pattern as mentioned above and this would mean the cord passed the test and it is good and safe to use.  Any other light pattern means that there is a problem with the cord and the cord needs to be removed from service and reported to your Foreman.  If the cord passes the visual inspection and the cord tester test, you should then remove the previous quarter's green electrical tape and install the red electrical tape about 1" down from both plug ends.  Your cord is now in compliance with our 3rd quarter's Assured Ground Program.  The orange tape shall remain in place from 10/1/11 through 12/30/11.  You are not quite done yet!  You now need to visually inspect all electrical cords and tools on a daily basis and if any defects are found, the cord needs to be immediately removed from service.  Thank you for taking the time to ensure your electrical tools and cords are in safe working order.  Your actions may prevent one of our family members from sustaining an electrical shock type injury or worse yet and electrocution.  If you have any questions regarding our Assured Grounding Program, please call our Safety Director, Peter Graham, at (847) 417-1689. 
Have a Safe Day!

Monday, September 26, 2011

280 Consecutive Days Since Our Last Lost Time Injury!

Good afternoon to all I.D.I. employees:  As of today we are currently on 280 consecutive days since our last lost time injury which occurred on 12/20/10.  That is a pretty good run but still along way off of our record of 435 consecutive days between lost time injuries.  We have approximately 5 weeks remaining in our current insurance policy year which ends on 10/31/11.  For our current year, the injury that occurred on 12/20/10 is our only lost time injury of the year.  Our goal is to never have any injuries, however, let's make it a short-term goal to finish the year with no more injuries.  Please do your part and work in a safe manner.  If you see others performing an unsafe act, please stop them.  If your job site conditions are poor, please bring this to your Superintendent's attention and/or call our Safety Director, Peter Graham at (847) 417-1689 so we can implement a plan to make the job site conditions safer.  You can make a difference - so be a "difference maker!"  Safety at I.D.I. is all about "Everyone Going Home Alive and in the Same Condition As They Arrived; Your Loved Ones Count On It!"
Have a Safe Day!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

When Are Outriggers Required On My Baker Scaffold?

First of all, what are outiggers?  Outriggers are components that get attached to a scaffold base to help prevent it from tipping.  OSHA requirements call for outriggers or securing a scaffold whenever you are exceeding a 4 to 1 height to base width ratio.  This would mean that if you are on a 5' wide scaffold tower and your platform height is 20' or higher, you would then have to install outriggers on the scaffold or secure the scaffold to the structure to prevent the scaffold from possibly tipping.  Baker scaffolds are narrower than the heavy duty frame type scaffolds.  The baker type scaffolds that International Decorators owns are 29" wide.  Our baker scaffolds have a manufacturer requirement that is more stringent that the OSHA outrigger requirement for scaffolds used at construction sites.  Our baker scaffold manufacturer requirements call for outriggers to be used whenever you are double stacking or triple stacking sections to create a scaffold tower.  The highest you are allowed to erect a baker type scaffold tower is 3 sections high which is approximately 18' high.  So the next time you find that you are double stacking or triple stacking your baker scaffolds meaning that your platform height is going to exceed the 6' height, you are required to install outriggers or secure your scaffold to the structure. 
Do I need to install outriggers on all 4 sides of my baker scaffold?  You do if you are not close to a wall.  If your scaffold is out in the open area of a room or building and your scaffold could possibly tip in any direction, you would then be required to install outriggers on both sides of your scaffold meaning that you would need 4 outriggers.  If your scaffold is set up close to a wall, the wall will act as your outrigger and prevent you from tipping towards the wall, so in this case, you would just need to install 2 outriggers on the scaffold opposite of the side of the wall. 
Below is a photo showing carpenter, Kent Cutshall, using outriggers on his baker scaffold.  Kent's scaffold is not double stacked and his platform is below the 6' height, so outriggers would not be required.  However, Kent chose to install outriggers as a safety precaution since he is using force against the structure to drill holes in the structural steel.  Kent is also using safety rails to prevent falls and he appropriately has all 6 wheels locked.  Great job - Kent!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Next Quarterly Safety Meeting Will Be On 11/5/11

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  We have scheduled our 4th and final quarterly safety meeting for 2011.  The meeting will be held on Saturday, 11/5/11 at 7:00am at our Barrington office location.  Please mark your calendars.  The exact training topic has not yet been determined.  We will provide more information to everyone over the next couple of weeks.  Please plan on attending as your attendance is vital to sustaining our overall safety culture and in our battle against injuries.  As always, if you have any safety related questions, please contact our Safety Director, Peter Graham at (847) 417-1689. 
Have a Safe Day!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Safety Coordinator Reports E-mailed Direct to Safety Coordinators

Good morning to all I.D.I. Safety Coordinators:  You should have all received an e-mail this morning from me explaining that we are now e-mailing our Safety Coordinator report to all of you.  That e-mail contained an attachment which is our Safety Coordinator spreadsheet.  If you are having any trouble opening the attachment or trouble understanding the spreadsheet, please contact your Superintendent or our Safety Director, Peter Graham, at (847) 417-1689 so we can help you with it. 
You will be receiving this report via e-mail from me every Monday morning unless I am not in the office on a particular Monday in which case I will e-mail the report the next business day that I am in the office.  The reason for e-mailing each of you this report is to help us to better manage obtaining the toolbox talks and safety inspection forms from you.  This report will also serve as a reminder if you are behind on getting your safety documents turned in and will also serve as a notice that if you turned one in and for some reason didn't get credit for it.  If you see any descrepancies on the spreadsheet, please give our Safety Director, Peter Graham a call at (847) 417-1689. 
Also, thank you for being a Safety Coordinator and helping us in the battle against injury prevention.  Performing your safety inspections and toolbox talks on Monday mornings is a vital and necessary part of our safety culture.  Please do your part and gather your crew for the safety talk; your actions may prevent a serious injury from occurring. 
Have a Safe Day!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Safety Coordinators - Monday Toolbox Talk Reminder!

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees - This is just a reminder to our group of prestige Safety Coordinators; we need your help in keeping up the safety momentum by performing your weekly toolbox talks on Monday mornings. We have noticed a drop off in the number of weekly toolbox talks and safety inspection forms being turned in by active Safety Coordinators.  These two procedures are a vital part of our safety culture and there are many reasons that we need them performed consistently.  As far as the weekly safety inspection form, Safety Coordinators should walk their job site on Monday morning before 1st break and look at the areas that our employees will be working in during that given week.  Then document any safety hazards found on the safety inspection form.  The next step is to gather our employees together at your site to perform a weekly toolbox talk on a topic that is timely or pertinent to the job site conditions, the equipment being used or based on the hazards found during your walk through safety inspection.  Read the toolbox talk to the crew of employees and talk about the topic so that everyone has a clear understanding of the training.  Then, you should report any hazards found during your walk through safety inspection to the crew of employees.  Advise them of the hazards so they know to stay clear of them and discuss together what corrective measures are to be implemented to eliminate the hazard.  If the hazard cannot be eliminated or we are not responsible for eliminating the hazard because we didn’t create it, then you should call our Safety Director to report the hazard so an abatement plan can be put into place. 

The reason we find it critical to perform these procedures on Monday mornings is because the job site may have changed over the weekend and the toolbox training is to start the week off by getting everyone focused back on safety following the weekend.  Starting off the week on a positive safety note can have a tremendous affect on reducing injuries by creating the safety awareness. 

Please do your part in promoting a positive safety culture and starting next Monday, perform the safety inspection and toolbox talk session.  Your efforts may prevent a serious injury from occurring.  Don’t forget to have everyone who was involved in the training session sign the toolbox talk roster and to turn both documents into our safety department.  If you have any questions about performing toolbox talks and/or job site safety inspections, please call our Safety Director, Peter Graham at (847) 417-1689. 
Have a Safe Day!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  This is a follow up reminder from our recent quarterly safety meeting held on 8/13/11 in which we covered ladder safety.  Click on the video below to see how "not" to use a ladder.  If you are using a ladder today, tomorrow or ever, please remember to use it in a safe manner whether you are at home or at work. 
Have a Safe Day!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Final Reminder - Makeup Safety Meeting Tomorrow at 4:00pm!

Good afternoon to all I.D.I. employees:  Just another reminder that our quarterly safety makeup meeting is tomorrow, 8/24/11 at 4:00pm at our Barrington office location at 28059 W. Commercial Ave.  Makeup meeting notices were mailed out last week to all of those that were invited.  If you are attending, please ensure that you contact our Safety Director, Peter Graham via e-mail at pgraham@4idi.com or you can call or text him at (847) 417-1689.  You should contact Peter no later than 11:00am on Wednesday, 8/24/11 as we need a fairly accurate headcount for chair rental, room size, etc.  The safety meeting training topic will be on Ladder Safety.  Again, please don't forget that we moved and the meeting will be held in Barrington, not in Waudonca                                             
 Have a Safe Day! 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Makeup Safety Meeting is Scheduled for Wednesday, 8/24/11

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  If you could not attend our quarterly safety meeting that was held on Saturday, 8/13/11 due to having to work for International Decorators on that day or because you were out of town or had a family emergency, you are invited to attend our safety makeup meeting.  The meeting will be held on Wednesday, 8/24/11 at 4:00pm.  If you are attending, please ensure that you contact our Safety Director, Peter Graham via e-mail at pgraham@4idi.com or you can call or text him at (847) 417-1689.  We need for you to call so we can ensure we have the appropriate room size, chairs, etc.  The safety meeting training topic will be on Ladder Safety.  Just a reminder that we moved back in June and the meeting will be held at our Barrington office located at 28059 W. Commercial Ave
Have a Safe Day!
Thank you, Peter

Monday, August 15, 2011

I Caught Someone Working Safe Again!

I performed a safety inspection on 8/5/11 and caught carpenter, Kent Cutshall working in a safe manner.  Kent was framing around an overhead canopy while on a baker scaffold.  He had his scaffold wheels locked, safety rails in place and he was using outriggers to prevent the scaffold from tipping. Great job - Kent!  That's what I'm talking about.
Have a Safe Day Everyone!
Safety Pete

Friday, August 5, 2011

Quarterly Safety Meeting on 8/13/11 (Ladder Safety)

Good afternoon to all I.D.I. employees:  Just a reminder that our 3rd quarterly safety meeting for 2011 is on Saturday, 8/13/11 at 7:00am.  The meeting training topic will be on ladder safety.  Please remember that we moved back to our Barrington office located at 28059 W. Commerical Ave., Barrington, IL 60010 and this is where the meeting will be held.  We look forward to seeing everyone at the safety meeting.  Should you have any questions about the meeting, please call our Safety Director, Peter Graham, at (847) 417-1689.
Have a Safe Day!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Gloves When Handling Sharp Objects!

Good afternoon to all I.D.I. employees:  On Tuesday, one of our employees who is a drywall hanger, was cutting a metal stud with tin snips to use as backing for some drywall.  During this task of handling and cutting the metal stud, a small sharp metal burr on the stud punctured into his right middle finger.  He did not bleed and did not need medical care at the time.  In fact, he didn't report the incident to anyone at the time as he didn't think much of it.  Today, his finger is sore and swollen as he was developing an infection.  He went in for medical care and was supplied with anti-biotics.  He was released to full duty and he should be just fine for the long run. 
This employee was not wearing gloves while handling the metal studs.  This is just a reminder to all of our employees.  One of our company policies involving gloves states:  "Carpenters and framers are required to wear gloves when handling metal studs and track."  The policy continues on to say:  "All employees are required to wear gloves when handling or working around sharp objects."
We do not require drywall hangers to wear gloves while handling drywall as we realize that the gloves make it difficult to handle the drywall and difficult to grab the drywall screws.  However, when a drywall hanger changes his/her task to now handling a sharp object such as a metal stud, he/she would then be required to wear gloves. 
This policy is in place for your protection.  All employees at all times should have a pair of gloves in their back pocket or at least in their work location so they have them on hand when needed. 
This glove policy went into affect in February 2008 and we have had a huge decrease in our finger and hand laceration frequency.  Had the drywall hanger mentioned above been wearing gloves, it is likely that he would not have needed medical care today.
So, all I ask is that you show me some love and where the glove.  I know, keep your day job - Safety Pete.
Should you have any questions about our glove policies, please feel free to contact our Safety Director, Peter Graham at (847) 417-1689.
Have a Safe Day!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Next Quarterly Safety Meeting - 8/13/11

Good afternoon to all I.D.I. Employees:  Our 3rd quarterly safety meeting of 2011 will be held on Saturday, August 13th from 7:00am to about 9:00am.  Please keep in mind that International Decorators has moved our office location back in June and the meeting will be held at our Barrington shop located at 28059 W. Commercial Ave. in Barrington, IL.  The quarterly safety meeting training topic will be on ladder safety.  In the construction trades, ladders are used by everyone at one time or another.  Many of us use ladders on a daily basis.  Ladders are often used to access an elevation or to stand and work on.   There are many different types of ladders such as extension ladders, portable A-frame ladders, straight ladders, fixed ladders, job-made ladders, and they can be made from fiberglass, aluminum, wood, etc.  Ladders also come in all different lengths with various weight capacity requirements.  Each type of ladder also has various OSHA requirements pertaining to setup and safe usage.  We will cover all of this at our 8/13/11 quarterly safety meeting to help reduce our injury exposures involving ladders.  Over the years, we have had injuries involving ladders.  Some of the injuries were due to not securing the ladder in place, using a make shift ladder instead of an actual ladder, etc.  Please mark your calendar and plan on attending.  Between now and the meeting, please think of any ladder safety related questions that you may have and by all means, please ask them at the meeting.  Communication amongst us is a major aspect of safety and is encouraged in our safety culture.  See you at the meeting! 
Have a Safe Day!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Heat - Drink Plenty of Water and Communicate With Your Foreman!

Working In The Heat!  Summer is here and we are getting 90 plus degree weather for the rest of this week.  This is a good time to put out another reminder of what too look for as for as heat exhaustion symptoms, prevention methods, etc.  Although summer heat is the largest cause of heat distress disorder, it may also occur when workers are exposed to confined areas such as pipelines, tanks and other spaces with limited ventilation, and any confined area involving welding or cutting.
Symptoms:
The symptoms of heat stress disorders are very slow to start, but increase in intensity if precautions are not taken. The onset of the initial symptoms are mild and usually involve headaches, thirst, and tiredness.
Heat stress can move to heat stroke, a life-threatening medical emergency, quickly when the body's natural cooling system breaks down and causes the body core temperature to rise and overheat the brain. Some of the symptoms of heat stroke are immense thirst, severe headaches, disorientation, dry/hot skin (no sweating) and possibly collapse.
Treatment/Prevention:
The following ideas may aid in combating heat stress disorders:
1. Employees accustomed to working in the heat are better candidates for job assignments where heat stress disorders may occur.
2. Until employees acclimate to the high temperatures, allow them for short frequent breaks to cool down.
3. If heat is affecting employees, it’s a good idea to rotate employees job tasks from the heat exposure area to a non-heat exposure area on a regular basis to help in avoiding heat stress symptoms.
4. Employees should be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids (water, Gatorade, Powerade, etc.) to replace electrolytes. Employees should not drink any carbonated beverages (Coke, Pepsi, etc.) as these only increase dehydration and give a false sense of being properly hydrated. Also, the use of alcohol the evening before the work shift, can lead to dehydration even before heat exposure.
If an employee appears to be suffering from heat stress disorder, remove him or her from the heat and provide a cool, shaded place to rest and provide them with water. If the employee is disoriented or non-responsive, call for medical attention immediately. (911 in most areas)
The goal is to recognize the hazards and symptoms of heat stress disorders and stop them before they occur. Remember, there is no better cure than prevention, and heat stress disorders can occur in winter as well as summer. 
Should you have any questions regarding heat related stress, you are encouraged to call our Safety Director, Peter Graham at (847) 417-1689. 
Have a Safe Day!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I will begin posting articles on this blog starting on 7/18/11

Good morning everyone:
I have been away from work attending an OSHA 500 safety course for the week of 7/11/11 - 7/15/11 and I have limited access to my computer.  I apologize for not having any recent posts.  I will be posting some safety articles next week. 
In the meantime, be safe and look out for other's safety. 
Thank you, Safety Pete

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I'm Trying To Work Safe But My Job Site Is Cluttered - What Can I Do?

Poor housekeeping is on ongoing battle at construction sites.  Wouldn't it be great if job sites were always empty rooms with nothing on the floor?  The fact of the matter is they aren't.  Construction job sites are ever changing.  Each job site is different depending on the number of contractors on site at a given time, depending on the general contractor running the project, depending on the contractors that are present including their materials and equipment brought with them.  You may be doing the best you can to keep your own housekeeping matters under control.  Your equipment, tools and materials are organized, your debris is picked up but your work area is still cluttered with other contrator's tools, equipment or materials.  What can you do in this case?  It's pretty much all about communication.  If other contractors tools, equipment and/or materials are cluttering your work space and are presenting slip, trip and fall hazards, don't just accept those conditions and work in them as it could lead to a serious injury.  Discuss the hazard with your Foreman and/or Superintendent.  The Foreman should then communicate the poor housekeeping hazard to the general contractor and seek out assistance in having the other contractor's get their items cleared out and organized.  If this step in the process doesn't go well, the Foreman should then contact our Safety Director, Peter Graham, to seek out additional assistance.  He will then offer up other solutions and he will probably come out to the cluttered project and take some photos and have a sit down discussion with our Superintendent and the general contractor to discuss a housekeeping plan and implementation of the plan.  What we don't want for you to do is to start moving other contractor's heavy equipment and materials yourself as that has the potential to cause an injury to you.  Again, it's about communication.  If you have any questions regarding poor housekeeping issues, please call our Safety Director, Peter Graham at (847) 417-1689.
Have a Safe Day!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Red Tape on 3-Pronged Electrical Tools and Extension Cords

Good afternoon to all I.D.I. employees:  All Safety Coordinators are being provided with a roll of red tape  from your Superindendents.  We begin a new quarter on 7/1/11 for our Assured Grounding Program.  You are to inspect, test and color-code with red tape all 3 pronged electrical tools and extension cords.  All electrical tools and cords need to be visually inspected.  If you see any defects in the cords such as bare wires, severe kinks, missing or damaged ground prong, the cord pulling away from the plug end housing, etc., then that tool or cord would need to be immediately removed from service and reported to your Foreman.  If your tool/cord passes the visual inspection, your next step is to test the cord with a receptacle tester.  First, you should test the oulet that you will be plugging your cord into to ensure that it is properly wired.  You should see 2 yellow lights lit up on your tester and the red light should be off.  This means the outlet is working appropriately.  Next, plug your cord into the outlet and then test the cord with the receptacle tester.  Again, you should see the same light pattern as mentioned above and this would mean the cord passed the test and it is good and safe to use.  Any other light pattern means that there is a problem with the cord and the cord needs to be removed from service and reported to your Foreman.  If the cord passes the visual inspection and the cord tester test, you should then remove the previous quarter's green electrical tape and install the red electrical tape about 1" down from both plug ends.  Your cord is now in compliance with our 3rd quarter's Assured Ground Program.  The red tape shall remain in place from 7/1/11 through 9/30/11.  You are not quite done yet!  You now need to visually inspect all electrical cords and tools on a daily basis and if any defects are found, the cord needs to be immediately removed from service.  Thank you for taking the time to ensure your electrical tools and cords are in safe working order.  Your actions may prevent one of our family members from sustaining an electrical shock type injury or worse yet and electrocution.  If you have any questions regarding our Assured Grounding Program, please call our Safety Director, Peter Graham, at (847) 417-1689. 
Have a Safe Day!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Working In The Heat!

Summer is here and we are getting 90 degree plus heat for the rest of this week.  This is a good time to put out another reminder of what too look for as for as heat exhaustion symptoms, prevention methods, etc. 
Although summer heat is the largest cause of heat distress disorder, it may also occur when workers are exposed to confined areas such as pipelines, tanks and other spaces with limited ventilation, and any confined area involving welding or cutting.
Symptoms:
The symptoms of heat stress disorders are very slow to start, but increase in intensity if precautions are not taken. The onset of the initial symptoms are mild and usually involve headaches, thirst, and tiredness.
Heat stress can move to heat stroke, a life-threatening medical emergency, quickly when the body's natural cooling system breaks down and causes the body core temperature to rise and overheat the brain. Some of the symptoms of heat stroke are immense thirst, severe headaches, disorientation, dry/hot skin (no sweating) and possibly collapse.
Treatment/Prevention:
The following ideas may aid in combating heat stress disorders:
1. Employees accustomed to working in the heat are better candidates for job assignments where heat stress disorders may occur.
2. Until employees acclimate to the high temperatures, allow them for short frequent breaks to cool down.
3. If heat is affecting employees, it’s a good idea to rotate employees job tasks from the heat exposure area to a non-heat exposure area on a regular basis to help in avoiding heat stress symptoms.
4. Employees should be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids (water, Gatorade, Powerade, etc.) to replace electrolytes. Employees should not drink any carbonated beverages (Coke, Pepsi, etc.) as these only increase dehydration and give a false sense of being properly hydrated. Also, the use of alcohol the evening before the work shift, can lead to dehydration even before heat exposure.
If an employee appears to be suffering from heat stress disorder, remove him or her from the heat and provide a cool, shaded place to rest and provide them with water. If the employee is disoriented or non-responsive, call for medical attention immediately. (911 in most areas)
The goal is to recognize the hazards and symptoms of heat stress disorders and stop them before they occur. Remember, there is no better cure than prevention, and heat stress disorders can occur in winter as well as summer. 
Should you have any questions regarding heat related stress, you are encouraged to call our Safety Director, Peter Graham at (847) 417-1689. 
Have a Safe Day!

Monday, June 13, 2011

We Have Moved!

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  In case you have not heard, International Decorators has moved back to our Barrington office/shop located at 28W059 Commercial Ave. effective today, 6/13/11.  We have moved for various reasons.  Our phone numbers, e-mail addresses, business structure, etc. will all be the same as it was at our Wauconda office.  The only thing that has changed is our physical address.  Please keep this in mind in case you are coming to the office for a meeting, to pick up supplies or if you are referring a friend for a position.  The main office phone number remains as (847) 526-7477.  If you have any questions related to our move, please ask your Superintendent.
Have a Safe Day!

Monday, June 6, 2011

2nd Quarterly Safety Meeting - Attendance Goals Real Good!

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  The following are the final tabulations of the attendance at our 5/21/11 quarterly safety meeting and makeup meeting which was on electrical safety.  There was a total head count of 88 attendees at the meetings.  We had a total field show up rate of 85% at the 2nd quarterly safety meeting and a total show up rate of 93% for the Safety Coordinators.  Year to date we are at a 90% show up rate for the total field and 95% for the Safety Coordinators after our first 2 meetings of the year.  We want to say thank you to all of the employees that took time out of your busy summer schedules to attend the safety meeting.  Your attendance is vital towards the company sustaining our positive safety culture.  We hope you took something away from the meeting to help prevent you from sustaining an electrical type injury.  Your attendance is helping us to live up to our safety mission statement being:  "Everyone Goes Home Alive and in the Same Condition as they Arrived; Your Loved Ones Count On It."  Again, thank you for attending and let's strive to keep up the safety momentum by working injury free. 
Have a Safe Day!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Makeup Safety Meeting Tomorrow at 4:00pm

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  If you could not attend our quarterly safety meeting that was held on Saturday, 5/21/11 due to having to work for International Decorators on that day or because you were out of town or had a family emergency, you are invited to attend our safety makeup meeting.  The meeting will be held at our office tomorrow, 6/2/11 at 4:00pm.  If you are attending, please ensure that you contact our Safety Director, Peter Graham via e-mail at pgraham@4idi.com or you can call or text him at (847) 417-1689.  We need for you to call so we can ensure we have the appropriate room size, chairs, etc.  The safety meeting training topic will be on Electrical Safety.
Have a Safe Day!
Thank you, Peter

Friday, May 20, 2011

Big Safety Training Day - Tomorrow at 7:00am

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  The year is flying by as our 2nd quarterly safety meeting of 2011 is upon us.  Our safety meeting is tomorrow from 7:00am to about 9:00am at our usual meeting location at our Wauconda shop located at 1225 Karl Court.  The meeting topic is Electrical Safety and this promises to be an electrifying meeting.  We have a guest presenter/trainer, Tom King from Continental Electric, on hand to perform the training.  We look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow morning.  As always, we will be supplying the coffee and donuts and you can supply the questions and interaction.  Have a Safe Day and see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Couple More Employees Caught Working Safely!

I recently caught a couple more employees working safely.  Great job with the scaffold set up, appropriate ladder usage and wearing the appropriate PPE including your respirators while paint spraying.  That's what I'm talk'n about!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

5/21/11 Q.S.M. "Electrical Safety"

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  As you know, our 2nd quarterly safety meeting for 2011 is being held on Saturday, 5/21/11 at 7:00am.  The safety training topic has now been selected and we will be providing training on Electrical Safety.  Tom King, Safety Director for Continental Electric will be presenting the training.  Tom is an electrician who became involved with safety due to his passion for preventing injuries.  Tom knows his stuff when it comes to electrical safety.  This promises to be an electrifying meeting.  We look forward to seeing everyone on 5/21/11.  Please think about any electrical safety related questions you may have as this is the perfect time to ask them.  See you at the meeting!

Friday, May 6, 2011

"I.D.I. Works Ridiculously Safe!"

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  I was at a project in downtown Chicago on Tuesday and after walking the job site, I met up with the general contractor who hired us to perform steel stud, drywall, taping, acoustical ceiling installations and painting.  I asked the general contractor how we are performing as far as meeting his expectations with safety and his answer was; "Your Employees Work Ridiculously Safe!"  This should be taken as a compliment.  He mentioned things such as our employees are always wearing their hard hats when other contractors aren't, we keep our work areas clean and our employees have a positive attitude about safety.  Great job team - this is what our safety culture is all about.  Let's keep being ridiculously safe.  Sounds like a new motto for I.D.I. for the rest of 2011. 
Have a Safe Day!
Peter Graham, Safey Director for I.D.I.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Is The Height Of My Fall Protection Guardrail That Important?

As you know, in the construction industry, we are required to use fall protection when a worker is exposed to a fall of 6' or more to a lower level.  When your choice of fall protection is to use a guardrail, the toprail of the guardrail is required to be set at 42", plus or minus 3".  That means the highest you can legally set your toprail of the guardrail system would be 45" and the lowest you can legally set it would be 39".  Is it that important?  If my toprail is set at 36", is that good enough?  The answer is no!  OSHA recently issued a citation to a contractor that had an employee working at a commercial project next to a window sill.  The window sill height was 36".  The contractor should have installed a secured 2 x 4 or secured some other form of an approved guardrail across the window opening somewhere between the 39" to 45" height level.  Doing so would have saved this contractor from an OSHA citation. 
Please don't let this happen to you or to our company.  Please remember that the top rail of your guardrail system must be at the correct height.  The toprail of a guardrail must also be able to withstand 200 lbs of outward and downward force and the guardrail system must also have a midrail in place.  Should you have any questions about fall protection, please call our Safety Director, Peter Graham at (847) 417-1689.
Have a Safe Day!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tapers - Sanding Safety and PPE!

One of our tapers asked me a question last Friday about what personal protective equipment is required when sanding.  He asked if we require safety glasses while sanding? The answer is yes!  Besides our requirement for wearing hard hats and work boots 100% of the time while on job sites, we also require tapers to wear safety glasses and dust masks while sanding.  The safety glasses are to help prevent dust from getting into your eyes.  Dust in the eyes does not seem like a big deal but it can be a costly one that is easily preventable.  Medical care costs are out of control and having to go to the doctor to get your eyes flushed out to remove dust can easily cost $500.00.  A pair of safety glasses cost about $2.00 and we provide them to our employees free of charge.  The safety glasses we provide are anti-fog so you should be able to see through them even when the humidity is high.  If safety glasses aren't offering you enough protection from dust, you can also wear safety goggles which we have available to you free of charge.  If you are sanding and you need either safety glasses or safety goggles, ask your Foreman if he/she has them in the gangbox. If your Foreman does not have them on site, then contact your Superintendent or our Safety Director, Peter Graham at (847) 417-1689 and we will get them to you typically the same day or in one business day.  You only have one set up eyes so make sure you protect them!
Have a Safe Day!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Quarterly Safety Meeting on 5/21/11

Attention all I.D.I. employees:  We have scheduled our next quarterly safety meeting for Saturday, 5/21/11 at 7:00am.  The meeting will be held at our usual meeting location which is at our shop located at 1225 Karl Court in Wauconda IL.  Please mark your calendars.  This will be our 2nd quarterly safety meeting of 2011.  We had a terrific turn out at our 1st quarterly safety meeting which was held in February.  We had a total of 83 field employees on the payroll for the week ending 2/12/11 and 79 of the 83 field employees attended the meeting for a total show up rate of 95%.  We had a total of 45 Safety Coordinators and only 1 Safety Coordinator did not attend the meeting and we had a 98% Safety Coordinator show up rate at our 1st quarterly safety meeting.  The above show up rates were both record turnouts at our meetings.  We want to thank all of those who attended and we look forward to seeing you on 5/21/11.  Your attendance at these safety meetings helps us to keep the safety momentum going in the right direction.  The quarterly safety meetings are where we train on specific safety topics to help prevent you from getting injured.  We also share and exchange safety information to help sustain our overall positive safety culture.  It's all about our safety mission statment which is: 
"Everyone Goes Home Alive and in the Same Condition as they Arrived; Your Loved Ones Count On It!" 
See you at the meeting!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

From the "I Caught You! Series"

Yesterday afternoon, I was at one of our industrial paint projects in the south suburbs and I caught 2 of our industrial painters working safely while exposed to falls of 6' or more to a lower level.  Both industrial painters were on the roof top of a concrete tank and they were appropriately tied off with fall arrest equipment.  They were using concrete anchors (Spider Bolts) as their anchorage points along with lanyards and safety harnesses.  Great job - Jeremy Von Behren, Daniel Diaz and David Fraire!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Green Tape on 3-Pronged Electrical Tools and Extension Cords

Good afternoon to all I.D.I. employees:  All Safety Coordinators should have been provided a roll of green electrical tape last week from your Superindendent.  We began a new quarter on 4/1/11 for our Assured Grounding Program.  You are to inspect, test and color-code with green tape all 3 pronged electrical tools and extension cords.  All electrical tools and cords need to be visually inspected.  If you see any defects in the cords such as bare wires, severe kinks, missing or damaged ground prong, the cord pulling away from the plug end housing, etc., then that tool or cord would need to be immediately removed from service and reported to your Foreman.  If your tool/cord passes the visual inspection, your next step is to test the cord with a receptacle tester.  First, you should test the oulet that you will be plugging your cord into to ensure that it is properly wired.  You should see 2 yellow lights lit up on your tester and the red light should be off.  This means the outlet is working appropriately.  Next, plug your cord into the outlet and then test the cord with the receptacle tester.  Again, you should see the same light pattern as mentioned above and this would mean the cord passed the test and it is good and safe to use.  Any other light pattern means that there is a problem with the cord and the cord needs to be removed from service and reported to your Foreman.  If the cord passes the visual inspection and the cord tester test, you should then remove the previous quarter's white electrical tape and install the green electrical tape about 1" down from both plug ends.  Your cord is now in compliance with our 2nd quarter's Assured Ground Program.  The green tape shall remain in place from 4/1/11 through 6/30/11.  You are not quite done yet!  You now need to visually inspect all electrical cords and tools on a daily basis and if any defects are found, the cord needs to be immediately removed from service.  Thank you for taking the time to ensure your electrical tools and cords are in safe working order.  Your actions may prevent one of our family members from sustaining an electrical shock type injury or worse yet and electrocution.  If you have any questions regarding our Assured Grounding Program, please call our Safety Director, Peter Graham, at (847) 417-1689. 
Have a Safe Day!

Friday, April 1, 2011

I.D.I.'s #1 Safety Goal - ZERO FATALITIES

The following is the most recent fatality data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  In 2009, there was a total of 4,340 work related fatalities in the United States.  Of those, 969 of the fatalities were construction workers.  27 construction workers died while on the job in the state of Illinois.  That means that right here on our own Illinois soil, we are losing a little over 2 construction workers each month to needless deaths.  We don't want that to happen to any of our International Decorators family members and that is why Zero Fatalities is our #1 safety goal. 

We have been in business since 1952 and we have never had a work related fataility.  This is something that we are extremely proud of and if you are employeed at International Decorators, you should be proud of that also and that should give you confidence in that wev'e got your back.  We aren't perfect when it comes to safety, but our goal is to be perfect.  Our # 1 safety goal is also preached in our safety mission statement which is:  "Everyone Goes Home Alive and in the Same Condition as They Arrived; Your Loved Ones Count On It." 

To see a list of our 7 safety goals, please visit our website.  You can click on the International Decorator's website link to the right of this article.  Once on our website, you will see a link or button along the left column called "Safety."  Click on the safety button and that will bring you to a list of safety links or buttons on the right side of the safety page.  The top button contains our safety goals. 

Make today another safety one; your loved ones are counting on you being there for them this weekend!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Exposed Live Electrical Panels - Stay Away From Them!

What should I do when I come across an exposed electrical panel at a job site?  Number 1 - always assume it is live and that it could severely injure you or even kill you!  You must stay a minimum of 6' away from exposed live electrical panels and report the hazard immediately to your Foreman.  Your Foreman should then report the hazard to the general contractor so the hazard can be abated.  All employees should be made aware of the hazard and told to stay a minimum of 6' away until the hazard has been abated.  You should then discuss with your Foreman about working in another area until the hazard has been abated.  Also, do not attempt to cover the exposed electrical panel by yourself as this is very dangerous.  Leave that up to the electrical professionals. 

Some things you can do in the meantime.  If the electrician is nearby, ask him/her if the electrical panel is live or dead.  If you are told the electrical panel is dead, have the electrician prove it to you.  He should be able to touch the buss bars inside the panel or he should be able to show you with a voltage tester that the electricity is not running to and from the panel.  If it is proved that the electrical panel is dead and that no power is running to it, you can then commence working in this area as there is not an electrical hazard present.  If the electrical panel is live, it must be appropriately covered before you commence work in this area. 

Electrical panels are supposed to be covered with an approved cover unless an electrician is working on them.  What is an approved cover?  An approved cover is the metal door that comes with the panel box.  There is also a temporary cover which is made of corrugated plastic.  This type of temporary cover whould say on it that it is A.N.S.I. (American National Safety Institute) approved.  Cardboard is not considered an appropriate cover.  The electrical panel cover/door must be installed by a qualified electrician.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO COVER THE ELECTRICAL PANEL BY YOURSELF!

Why is a live exposed electrical panel a hazard to me if I stay a couple of feet away from it?  Electricity is known to travel a few feet from the panel depending on the job site conditions such as dust and humidity.  Dust and humidity are good conductors of electricity.  Your own body sweat is also a good conductor of electricity.  Keep in mind that you are using tools that could come into contact with the panel.  You could trip and fall towards the electrical panel.  So, stay 6' away and you should be o.k.  Better yet, see to it that the electrical panel gets covered.

Friday, March 18, 2011

"I Caught You" (working safely that is)

On March 16th, I caught taper Jose Lara working safely on a baker scaffold.  Jose was observed working on a baker scaffold with his platform set about 7' high.  He had his wheels locked and he was using safety rails.  The scaffold also had extra support bracing to help keep the scaffold from racking and to keep it stabilized.  This is what we are talking about when it comes to safety.  Great job Gildardo Sotelo and Jose Lara on being pro-active with safety.  Your actions greatly reduce the chances of a fall type injury from occurring while working on the scaffold. 

Our Safety Mission:  "Everyone Goes Home Alive and in the Same Condition as They Arrived; Your Loved Ones Count On It."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Quarterly Safety Meeting Show Up Rates - Awesome Turnout!

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  We wrapped up our quarterly safety makeup meeting yesterday evening and we have now caluculated our show up percentages following our 1st quarterly safety meeting (Q.S.M.) of 2011.  We had a total of 79 out of 83 active employees attend the meeting for a show up rate of 95%.  We also had a total of 44 out of 45 Safety Coordinators in attendance for a total Safety Coordinator show up rate of 98%.  This was our record turn out in International Decorator's history.  We want to extend a huge thank you to all of the employees that attended our 1st quarterly Q.S.M. for 2011.  Let's strive to have our safest year ever which is good for everyone.  Let's keep the momentum going into our next Q.S.M. which is tentatively scheduled for May 14th, 2011.  As we get closer to the next meeting date, we will continue to update you as to the safety meeting topic and confirmed date of the meeting.  In the meantime, continue to look out for each other to keep our family members from getting injured. 
"Everyone Goes Home Alive and in the Same Condition as They Arrived; Your Loved Ones Count On It."
Have a Safe Day!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Makeup Safety Meeting Reminder!

Just a final reminder:  Our quarterly safety makeup meeting is this Wednesday, 3/9/11 at 3:00pm at our shop location.  If you are planning on attending, please ensure that you call our Safety Director, Peter Graham at (847) 417-1689 or e-mail him at pgraham@4idi.com.  We need a head count for the meeting so we can prepare in case we have to rent chairs, etc.  The safety meeting topic is on trade specific tools that we commonly use.  Framers, acoustic carpenters and drywall hangers will be receiving safety training on the various Ramset and Hilti tools that we use.  Attendees will be issued operator's license cards for the powder actuated tools of which the training will be on.  This training will be performed by our tool vendors.  Our tapers that attend will meet with our Safety Director, Peter and we will cover stilt safety, mini-Perry scaffold safety, impalement hazards, bucket heater electrical safety and we will discuss the main hazards tapers face while performing their tasks and how to prevent injury from those hazards.  If you are a painter and you are planning on attending, your makeup meeting will be on a different day.  Painters should not show up at the 3/9/11 safety training date.  If you are a painter and you want to be scheduled for a makeup meeting, please contact our Safety Director, Peter Graham. 
Thank you and have a Safe Day! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Quarterly Safety Makeup Meeting on 3/9/11 at 3:00pm

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  If you didn't have the opportunity to attend our quarterly safety meeting that was held on 2/12/11, you now have a 2nd chance to attend.  Our quarterly safety makeup meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, 3/9/11 at 3:00pm.  The meeting will be held at our usual meeting location at the shop located at 1225 Karl Court in Wauconda, IL.  This makeup meeting is for our framers, carpenters, acoustic carpenters, drywall hangers and tapers.  If you are a painter, you are advised to call our Safety Director, Peter Graham at (847) 417-1689 and he will get you scheduled for a makeup meeting.  Furthermore, if you are planning on attending the 3/9/11 makeup meeting, you need to contact Peter Graham on or before 3/8/11 so we have an idea of the headcount before hand.  If you have any questions at all about the quarterly safety makeup meeting, you should call Peter at (847) 417-1689. 
Have a Safe Day!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Electrical Tools & Extension Cords; Don't Get Zapped!

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  Getting zapped by electricity is not fun.  You can get external burns, internal burns that affect your organs and it can even stop your heart causing you to die.  When electricity runs though the human body, it is seeking a path through your body to get to the ground.  If you are holding a tool such as a mixing drill or an electric saw in your right hand and your cord on your tool has exposed wires protruding out from the cord's rubber insulation and that exposed wire happens to be laying in a puddle of water, you will likely have electricity running through your body.  The electricity will enter through your hand, run up your arm and then down through your body.  There is no exact path that the electricity takes to get to the ground, however, if the path happens to run across your heart, this is when it can change your heartbeat causing a possible serious problem or even death. 
So, how do you protect yourself from this occuring?  By inspecting your electrical tools and cords daily.  Ensure that your cords have no exposed wires.  Ensure that the outer rubber insulation on your cord is in good condition.  If you are using a tool that has a ground prong on the plug end, make sure the ground prong is in place.  The ground prong keeps the tool grounded to the earth to help protect you.  Ensure that you are following our Assured Grounding Program meaning that your tools and extension cords with 3 prongs on the plug end have been properly inspected and tested on a quarterly basis and appropriately color-coded to document the cord was inspected and tested for the current quarter.  From 1/1/11 through 3/31/11 we are using white tape for our Assured Grounding Program. 
Also, a good safe practice is to plug your cords into a ground fault circuit interrupter or GFCI.  A GFCI monitors the amount of current flowing from hot to neutral.  If there is any imbalance, it trips the circuit.  It is able to sense a mismatch as small as 4 or 5 milliamps, and it can react as quickly as one-thirteenth of a second. 
So let's say you are outside with your power drill and it is raining. You are standing on the ground, and since the drill is wet, there is a path from the hot wire inside the drill through you to ground.  If electricity flows from hot to ground through you, it could be fatal.  The GFCI can sense the current flowing through you because not all of the current is flowing from hot to neutral as it expects -- some of it is flowing through you to ground. As soon as the GFCI senses that, it trips the circuit and cuts off the electricity.  Some general contractors require GFCI's to be used 100% of the time.  I.D.I. does have GFCI's available for you to use.  If you are working in wet conditions or if you are at a job site that requries GFCI's, notify your Foreman and/or Superintendent and advise that you need a GFCI. 
Final note; do not repair electrical tools and cords yourself.  If your tool or cord has a problem, remove it from service and have it turned into our shop for service.
Have a Safe Day!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Today's Message - Do a J.H.A.!

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  Don't forget to perform a job hazard analysis today for the tasks you are performing.  Think about the tasks you are going to be performing and all the potential ways that you could get hurt doing them.  Then develop your plan to prevent yourself and others from getting injured while doing the task.  Do you have the correct PPE?  Are there electrical hazards?  Check your electrical tools and cords to ensure they are in good safe condition.  If the conditions are wet, do you have GFCI?  If scaffolding is required, do you have safety rails?  Don't forget to lock your scaffold wheels.  Is your work area clean and free of slip, trip and fall hazards?  If not, clean the area before you commence working in it.  If the area is not clean and it is others debris or materials in your way, you should notify your Foreman so he/she can communicate with the general contractor or other subcontractors on a cleanup plan before you go into the cluttered area. 

Performing a pre-task job hazard analysis is simple, only takes a few minutes and starts you off on the right foot in the battle against injuries and health hazards. 

Have a Safe Day!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Thank You To All Who Attended Our Safety Meeting On Saturday, 2/12/11

Good afternoon to all I.D.I. employees:  We just want to say thank you to the 91 employees that attended our Saturday, 2/12/11 quarterly safety meeting.  As of today, we do not have the safety meeting show up percentages calculated.  Those numbers will be posted towards the end of the week after we receive our payroll information for the week ending, 2/12/11.  The overall turnout was tremendous as compared to the number of employees on the current payroll.  We hope that you took something away from the safety meeting that will be beneficial to you in the battle against injuries.  Thank you for supporting your safety program and International Decorators.  We truly appreciate it!  Also, we extend a big thank you to Brett Hoekman of Dee & Bee Fasteners, Matt Spelde of Ramset, Lance Krall of Hilti, Luis Moctezuma of 3M and Daniel Smith of Carboline for supporting our safety training program and providing some excellent safety training to our employees on Saturday.  If your efforts prevent even just one injury or health hazard, it was well worth it!
Have a Safe Day!












Thursday, February 10, 2011

Coldest Day Of The Year - Keep an Eye On Each Other!

Good morning to all I.D.I. employees:  Today looks like our coldest day of the year as it is -4 degrees outside as I am typing this notice.  You are advised to dress in layers of clothing.  Wear gloves and try to keep them dry.  You should also wear a knit hat under your hard hat as most of our body heat is lost through our head. If employees need extra breaks from the cold, they are advised to discuss it with their foreman and in turn the foreman should notify and discuss this with his/her Superintendent.  If you notice any signs of hypothermia or frost bite, get to a warm area immediately and notify your foreman.  Of course if there is any emergency due to the extreme cold, call 911.  Keep an eye on each other.
Have a Safe Day!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Safety Meeting This Saturday, 2/12/11 at 7:00am

Just a reminder that our next company-wide quarterly safety meeting is this Saturday, 2/12/11 at 7:00am.  This meeting will be a little different than our typical quarterly safety meeting as we are going to all meet together for about 1/2 hour and then we are going to break out into trade specific groups.  We will be providing trade specific safety training on some of the various fastening tools used by our carpenters, acoustic carpenters, framers and drywall hangers, respirator training and fit testing for our painters, and various safety topics and discussion with our tapers.  This should be an exciting and interactive safety meeting.  Please plan on attending to help sustain our safety culture at International Decorators.  You might just learn something that will prevent you from sustaining an injury.  I learn something from all of you at every one of these meetings.  These meetings are about communicating and exchanging safety information to help prevent injuries to yourselves, your friends around you & the public.  These safety meetings are all about you which starts with our safety mission statement:  "Everyone Goes Home Alive and in the Same Condition as They Arrived; Your Loved Ones Count On It!"  Please plan on attending; if not for yourself, attend for your loved ones.

Have a Safe Day and we will see you on Saturday!