Oct 24, 2018
Superior’s Safety Committee Innovates with Ease
All of Superior’s safety devices and initiatives are born from the company’s safety committee, which includes about 20 to 25 employees from various segments of the company.
The committee includes people from laborers to executives and everyone in between, Atkins said.
The safety committee was originally formed 12 years ago when Superior joined a captive insurance group in which a condition of inclusion was having an active safety committee with regular meetings, members, and taking minutes.
In addition to EPIC, the committee has also thought up a number of other safety initiatives and devices.
Other ideas include implementing a color-coded hard hat for employees who have worked for the company for less than a year. “In five months into the paving season, a veteran employee might forget who’s new to the crew,” Ellis said, “but you might be going into a new environment or experiencing a unique challenge and that hard hat reminds the veteran that the rookie might need some help.”
They’ve also implemented safety whistles to use to notify crew members past the point where someone might be able to yell for help. “You can only yell for maybe 10 minutes, but you can blow a whistle for hours,” Ellis said. It can also be helpful for situations such as heart attacks. Although they haven’t had to use the whistles yet, it’s one more level of safety embedded into Superior’s required PPE.
Just this year, Superior has implemented a new hard hat more similar to a rock climber’s helmet, with shock prevention and a chin strap.
Some of Superior’s safety ideas come from things they see other paving companies doing. Some come from other industries entirely.
“We’re happy to steal good safety ideas from other companies and other industries,” Ellis said. “At the end of the day, we’re all brothers and sisters and we want everyone to go home safely at the end of the night.”