By Daniel Feeney, BWC Technical Resource Consultant
Over my career as a BWC Safety Consultant I have met with many employers regarding occupational safety and health. All of them wanted a safe workplace and none of them wanted anyone hurt at work. Some were more advanced in accident prevention; some were at a basic level of safety compliance.
As an employer, maybe you are asking, “what does a BWC safety consultant do?” Well, in a nut shell we help employers and employees identify workplace conditions that may be hazardous or cause injuries. As consultants, we look for solutions.
Employers are faced with many tasks. Take for example an excavation company that has been contracted to install a concrete pipe storm sewer. They know how to operate the back hoe, they know how deep the pipe has to be, and they know how to construct a manhole. They probably have the experience to identify the soil type and select an appropriate protective system to prevent injuries from soil collapse.
I made contact with just such an employer a few years ago. I began working with them conducting jobsite safety observations. We identified some concerns, items covered in the Ohio Administrative Code and/or OSHA: a defective ladder, spent fire extinguishers. These were corrected right away. I asked about the progression of the job, they had advanced to the finishing stage. One of the tasks was to place the covers of the manholes. I had worked with other excavation employers and one had experienced a back injury when an employee was placing manhole covers manually. I recognized the potential for this employer to be exposed to the same kind of injury and helped them brainstorm solutions. They came up with the idea to use a magnet attached to a skid steer loader to mechanically lift the sewer lids in place, avoiding the potential injury.
Is your safety process effective? Do your employees have safety concerns you’re not sure how to address? Could you benefit from a review of your safety programs? We can help.
This is just one example. As BWC Safety Consultants, we can help with all types of safety issues, from very specific things like confined spaces and machine guarding, to conducting a comprehensive assessment of an employer’s safety program. We are able to provide these services at no charge to Ohio employers as part of their BWC premium.