The Safety Management Show
The Safety Management Show

Episode 2 · 3 months ago

Navigating the Minefields of the Safety Industry

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

When you sign up for a career in the safety industry, you inadvertently agree to a couple of things.


You may always be seen as “the safety person” there to ruin productivity.


And you may be signing up to witness firsthand, or at least be present in the aftermath, some sort of workplace incident, maybe involving injury or worse.

On this episode of The Safety Management Show, we talk with Daniel Torres. Daniel is the safety director at Skender, one of the top construction firms in the United States, and has literally seen it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Daniel talked with us all about:

- Utilizing technology to help make safety a priority

- Making sure everybody in your organization is prepared for every possible scenario

- Responding to and recovering from a workplace incident that results in injury

Hear more stories from safety professionals by subscribing in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

You're listening to the SafetyManagement Show where safety professionals share engaging storiesabout their time in the trenches and the hard earned lessons they've learnedalong the way. Let's dig in beg you for joining a safety management,show your host might being senior Safety Advisor Safety Services Company.Today we have a very special guess: He's been in the safety field fortwenty plus years. He is a a family man and proud father, husband, Hale fromIllinois, and he's a safety director at skender one of the leading constructioncompanies in the US. I want to welcome to day Dan Torus a Dan. How are youtoday Great Mike? It's an honored approach to be on your show, thank youfor for the invitation, I'm looking forward to the conversation, so thankyou for the introduction very special introduction. Thank you very much. Ohyou're welcome so spading off till my listeners a little bit about yourself,Dan, all right, so my yep, my name's Dan Torris, just like Mike stated I'mfrom Illinois, I'm actually from Chicago, been in Chicago my entire life.I've been in construction. Basically, my entire life. My father was a generalsuper tenant from one of the largest minority contractors back in the Y, somy life was in Gulf with construction twenty four hours a day again, Iactually got into the trades early on in my career. I was eighteen years oldwhen I started working with my father. Well, one of the largest generalcontractors here in the Chicago Land Area. I actually was a carpenter forover fourteen years before I got into safety, moved up to the ranks with thislarge organization. I previous worked for had many great opportunities workwith some fantastic people learn some wonderful things had some great mentorsand then I, and about two thousand and seven I was introduced to the safetyfield within my previous organization. They felt that I would ve been a goodasset to the team. I took real a lot of pride in my in managing my crew and mystaff that rolled around with me on multiple projects, and I took on thechallenge I took on the challenge to get into the safety field, so I steppedinto the safety department. I was a young buck. Did it no much? I felt,like the odds were against me, but the most important thing for me was: I wasvery ambitious. I was very ambitious and hungry to to learn and to grow andto be a better asset for our employees and and our organization and, moreimportantly, I'm a construction junkie. You know I love seeing construction go.I love seeing buildings built. I have nothing but the utmost respect foreverybody in the field from the individual. That's pushing the shovelup to you know the project manager. That's that's managing the projectitself, along with the Super Tennis, because you know they are very craftedspecial individual. So just to be part of that on the safety side, I basicallyhave almost my hands at every project: Have the ability to get a pulse inevery project, so I'm a nut in the junkie when it comes to construction.So I love this industry. Very much came over to skender in two thousand andeighteen. I actually came here to scander as an SB manager and that'swhat scander pushed as a philosophy when it comes to SB for some individual.Don't know what Pq is it's an acronym for Safety Production Quality, so ourgroup not only looks at safety, but we also operate with the production, thequality mindst, understanding that one or two could impact the other. Sothat's a big reason why I came over to scander because of that mind set andthat philosophy wanting to learn more about the link construction principles.So I came here BA I've been here for about three years and then I waspromoted to Santy director in two thousand and twenty. So I've been doingthis for almost three going on three years now. Excuse me thousand twothousand and nineteen is when I became safety director. So now it's twothousand and twenty one I'm getting ready to be in my thirty or safe torector here at scander. How often do you get out to the job? Like that's some of the my biggest problems,I think and probably a lot of my fellow conner prats here I like to be a bootson the ground guy. You know I understand in my role. There is a bigcomponent where I need to be more on the operation side more on the officeside. Obviously there is a high demand in administration administration workthat we do as say t directors, because I don't have an administrativeassistant. I don't have a coordinator. I pretty much do the all theadministration on my own, along with the assistants from our Rish Director,who also we work together with each other. Obviously, when we have any riskissues, but pretty much, I love to be on the job as s. much as I can. I lovethe fact that I see what is the pulse...

...of the job. What are some of ourchallenges? What are some of the issues we're going to be seeing? What are someof the things we the forecast? So I try to at least visit two to three projectsa week as much as I can. Currently, we have about thirty six projects up andrunning in the Chicago land area, along with some work we're starting into NewMexico area. So maybe I'll pay you a visit one day might they'll be great,I'm not going to be too far. It would be great to grab a bite to eat, get toknow you a little bit more so yeah. I think it's really important. Regardlessof what title you have, you have to be out on the job as much as possible,because that's where the magic happens, that's where you actually seetechnology being brought in, that's where you see, subcontractors beingbringing in their own philosophies and their own way of working and and thenew equipment and P P that you see out there I mean that's where you canreally get a pulse of the projects to schedule the management.What is the mood of the project? Is the project going on the right path? Howare your people right? You know, you know, how are your people doing? Arethey struggling on? They stress. Are they overworked? Are they overwhelm? SoI think it's very important that we have a presence on the job, so I try todo that as much as I can. Is it one of those things when you show up on thejob side? Everybody's, like Oh beer's, a safety guy, make sure the safety guysout here. Watch out. So you know one of the things that Ilearned early in my career and some safety professionals have a differentway of operating. I mean some of the we say he to show up the job and lock thejob here at skender and even early out in my career. It was very important forme to be very respectful for other people's time. You know when I go tothe project, I typically place a call, or a tax or I'll, send Emai thinking ofvisiting your job. It's most likely it's a fit. Fifty chane going to makeit anyways because being say director. Sometimes you get pulled in differentdirections, and you can't you know obviously make your make. Your job isbecause you got to get pulled into a meeting, so I actually I'm assuming itsounds like my teams are very welcome me again, working with our selfcontractors and having a partnership with them, and they know your face.They see you come out to the job. They know that you're going to come into thejob with an open mind that you're going to come here to help that you're tryingto come and see how the projects functioning you're coming there to,hopefully obviously correct any unsafe conditions, you're coming in to be aresource. So you know I never really had an issue. It's very I'm verythankful that that I had that level of respect within my peers within our selfcontractors, within all our tradesmen, because I've never had an issue whereoh here comes to. Guy here comes the safe to guy lock up the gate. You knowthat never really has happened because Mike it really it's really about yourapproach and your credibility and what I do and, like I said, being in theindustry here for over three years. A lot of people know Dan tour is the goodin the bad right. So so so I think that's really importantthat establishing your credibility gaining the respect, because you knowthose doors will always be open whenever you want to walk the job. Sothat's very important for me, and I would imagine so you had saidsomething when we spoke earlier, that kind of stood out to me and it tells mea lot about you and I can imagine the type of levelor respect you get on the top side, but you said before I point the finger. Ipoint the Thong, so that shows a level of accountability. You're right therewith the guys team work, making sure everything is safe, make sure everybodyis going what they're supposed to do, but that quote it it stood on a lot tome shows that you know you really have accountability. Well, you know that'swhere it starts like a lot of people when you get into safety, don't takesafety personally right make it personnel. We have to understand thatwe are coming to the JAB sites as a resource and when things don't work outor we have a near Miss, we have an incident. We have to be verytransparent. Open is okay. What went wrong here! Obviously, we want to bequick to point the blame and point the finger to push or to deflect the faultaway, but at the end of the day, these are skender projects. The minute weopen that gate. You are my responsibility. This you're part of meyou're, part of scander, no matter what side of the fence you're on no matter.What have you wear? No matter, what's your stantis on the project, so our jobis to put our individuals in the position to succeed. That's art goal.If they succeed, we succeed. That's another saying from one of our othersenior superintendence. He always says and that's our goal is we got to putyou in that position to succeed now? If something does happen, we have to askourselves what we're wrong and how we're going to fix it and how we'regoing to make it better, because that's...

...one of the principles in linkconstruction is continuous improvement. So we really try to ingrain that intothe SP mind set. We just don't want to sweep the incident or the occurrenceunder the carpet. We want to take it. We want to own it, we want to make itbetter and we want to be very transparent with these things arehappening. So that's very important for me is that's why I go by. I point thethumb before I point the finger. We could do the fingerpoints in afterwards,but yeah Nice, no, absolutely which some ofthe systems that you all have in place to kind of ensure safety. I know wekind of spoke about some of the analytics that you're using andtechnology. How are you utilizing some of those resources to make poor saferdrops song we currently are using? We currently migrated over to Pro Corp ProCorps. Probably one of the top project management software s out there andwhat I like about an instrument such as pro cor is that it's a complete projectmanagement tool. Where are subcontractors and our project mangeroutines and er superintendents are doing all their reporting with improvedcore. As far as daily reports weekly sitisfection incident reports, any typeof special safety form we have to complete for the project. So what Ireally like about using that software is that it actually has the ability toprovide us analytics. It's able to point out the trans. Were we we'regoing as far as on the project management side, on the field side, onthe incident side and how consistent we are with our side, inspections? Howconsistent are we are with our reporting so that software there givesus that ability to be able to forecast what are some of the trends where weleading to what are some of the things we need to focus on what are where'sour trends in regards to when our instance occurring, which day the weekthey're in cure, they are occurring what time of the day they are, and wetry to use all that information. That's that's filtered to us to figure out.Okay, these are the things we need to focus on, because I think what wetalked about Mike during our discovery meeting was so our biggest tread hereat scanderoon were water incidence. It wasn't as that's necessarily personalinjuries, because we have a small group of field personnel that our selfperforming work. Although that's expanding, because we now have a selfperformed group, so what's happening, is we're starting to track and thosetrends in, for instance, water, and since we were able to find out that themajority of the wateriness were occurring either before or after aholiday. They were occurring the last hour of the day or the first hour ofthe day in the morning or in the late afternoon. So what that was telling meis obviously we have to focus on when we're going into a holiday where we'recoming back. Are we staying focused on the job? What type of tools we're doingas far as communicating to our projects teams during this week of a holiday aswe're stepping into stay focus on the job? You have any special activitiesgoing on, make sure you are coordinating and pre planning with yourself contractors and, most importantly, just being very transparent. What I wastalking about, these are the types of incidents that we're having we to beaware. These type of instants are occurring on the frequency be prepared,and what we're finding out is that by using that analytics, it's actuallydiminishing our incidents, so we're finding some success there and- andit's been a great tool to use again. I know many companies don't have the thethe fortune of having a system like propor. So early on my career before Ibecame a computer junkie like I am now, I think sometimes, and look in atanalytics. I basically will lay out all our incident reports and start lookingat the trends that I would physically read the INSA reports. When are theycurry? What Day they are occurring? What are we are we heading to becausethe more you are tracking, the better you're able to pin point and actuallywork on the things you need to work on you're, not wasting time and energy ondeveloping process or procedures that are not going to be no value for you oryour organization. So now we have the ability to bele dissect. You knowwhat's happening on our process and really focus out where we're spendingour time, because, unfortunately, there's only eight twelve hours in theday in construction, so you only have so much time. So you want to make surethat you are really spending all your time on on what is important. What iskey, where you trending towards so when you get the data and to tell you whatthese trends are and with the holidays, for example, and you say being prepared,what steps do you take to ensure that everybody is prepared? You do likespecial safety meetings, focus trainings? What does that look likeyeah, so actually getting back to our water incidents, our frequency ofwaters? So a few years when I I first...

...got you, we actually did a live exampleof a suppression system and a sprinkler going off just to show everybody. Whatis the amount of water that could come out of the Suppression System? I give alot of credit to the people who came up with that idea. This is was not my idealike an I'm the type of person as well that likes to give other individualscredit, because that's another key to Mike is when you have people that couldchampion certain aspects in regards to safety initiatives. You really want togive them the ability to take it lead with that and let them let them standon the Mantel and take the credit. So getting back to my story, we did a livesample of a suppression system, so individual to see the amount of waterthat actually is displaced and the amount of damage it could cause. Wealso develop emerge water kits that are available on our project, so in case wedo have a water, and since we have all the appropriate PPE, we have aqua socks,we have squeeges, we got a water vats ready to go. We also then partnered upwith a restoration company that allows that gives us a twenty four hourservice, because sometimes we work in health care facilities or sometimes weare were doing night shift work. So now I have a partnership with a restorationcompany if we need additional help. They're on call they could be on theproject, probably within twenty minutes, to help us respond to the incident and,most importantly, being transparent and actually talking about these types ofincidents to our weekly spts. Our SB QS is similar to tool box talks. What wetry to do our sq to stay compliance. Obviously we do talk about as best asled. We have to talk about PPE and and power tools and hand tools and fallprotection, but we also try to spend those SBU, because we personally writethose on a weekly basis and we try to spin a production of quality componentto it as well, because we want Ed individuals to realize that if instantdoes occur, it could probably impact the production of equality or project.So you stop and think, let's put this in perspective, we talk about this allthe time and we do talk about it through or during our employeeorientation, because we do talk about these trends with our new hires as well.If we have a water incident, it does create a sate to concern, becausepotencies meon could get her slip fall. A pressured waterline hits a person inthe face, knock them off the ladder. You just some examples, I'm giving you,but then what happens to the actual projects now you're actually having aloss of production, because you had a massive water inca and now you have todeal with. Do you have you ablis have to assess the situation? You react tothat. So, what's going to happen to the production of project of itself, it'sgoing to decline right because you're dealing with the with an immersity ofwater, it sitting now you're thinking about the quality of the project. Well,if you have finishes going in what's going to happen now that waterintrusion has impacted the quality of the work now, we potentially could havesome mold issues. We cud Tatho had some air quality issues because of that now,you're hitting the rewin button now you're, actually probably rebuilding aspace or space is and what's going to happen to your bottom dollar. Obviouslywe know what's going to happen there, but now, all of a sudden, theproduction, the quality of the project itself, it's going to become portant todemoralize right. The momentum of the projects going to go down, so I knowthis is a long winded conversation, but it's just amazes. It just amazes me how,when I stop and think of a water intent as far as how it could impact sp mightset on a project, it could really impact, and it could really. Everyone really does honestly it reallydemoralize the project. It really does. So we want to be prepared. We want to talkabout these things. We want to be very transparent with our superintendentsand ar subcontractors about these things. We've also started a campaigncalled don't knock et, that our marketing team came up with and we hadpropaganda posters just telling individual starty Selfcontrol, the costof water is Aina could happen to a project and we're trying to plaster lowthat a lot of that propaganda on our project. So people understand that youknow this is something that is real time it's happening and we need to stayon top of it and faithfully knock o wood. Ever since we started this focusand we talked about posting propaganda, we talked about SB and talking aboutthis and being transparent. Now we probably gone almost nine to ten monthswith our single water and sat in our projects. So a lot of effort went intoit by many people within this organization, as well as our outsidesources, like our restoration company they're, a big part of this as well,but we're seeing that by doing that, there is some value. There is somesuccess with identifying those trends being transparent and focusing andputting all your time and effort. As far as what's important for yourorganization, Nice Okaye with the S Pq,...

I know you're writing your own program.You have a team o writers. Are you writing them up yourself? What's thatprocess? Look like you know what that's a great questionhere. Another long way the story, but if you have the time I got, I got thevoice for you. I got the stories for you, so the sq are actually written bymyself. Every week our SBE are delivered through constant contact. Itactually is a pretty cool mobile service that SB are sent out Mondaymorning at five hundred one a m. They are sent out to all our projectmanagement teams. It's so our superintendence to our field personnel.They read the SB. We have the ability of adding videos, we have the abilityof adding links and then also they have the ability of just clicking upon thatsays that they read it and already and it gets recorded. So it's no moreprinting. It's no more signing! It's all automated and I got all that. Ihave a database that shows the individuals have read it. Who's beenreading, what's our percentage as far as how they're being read are they beopened and it could kind of really give us a forecast as far as how effectiveour SP are in that mind set so as becus are written by myself on the weeklybasis. Again, I try to make those as personal as possible in regards tothese. Things are happening on our project without any of the projects.But we talk about trends. We talk about what we need to focus on. We talk aboutleadership, we talk about management, we talk about having the post of yourjob. We talk about scheduling, we talk about many topics, I do give credit toa super attendant and I'm going to get my shot out right now because hopefullylistens to this podcast. Our Super Ten is name Brian Bach, so early. How? WhenI started when I became say director, I knew my responsibility was to writethese spts. So here I am hammering away sending out these sp pro reading themmyself and I'm not the best of writers. You know I am just not and Brian Bock,you know to his credit called me. One thing says: Hey Man. I think you needsome help with your especes here, and he said I just don't want to youknow. Excuse me for kind of calling you out, but you need some help and I saidyou know what I think I found my proof reader. I said so you're nominating myfriend you're going to be my sq. I come my sq whisper, so so I'm very I'm very lucky that peoplewithin my organization are willing to step in and help so Brian actuallybrings out his red pet and he proved frees my sb over the weekend and he'sbeen doing that for over a year now, for me and like I said, I yeah, Ireally appreciate the help. I got a daughter in college. She helps me outwith that as well proof feeding and if ever I had to send out a email to aclient or to a large group of people have a marketing department that couldhelp me out with that as well, because I'm not perfect at everything andthat's where I'm transparent, I'm not perfect anyway. So always use resourceslike that, because there are individuals that have bigger to havemore strength and certain things that maybe you don't and that's, okay. Sothat's something that was taught to me. Early in my careers use the resourcesyou have available. You know that that's really important and you knowthat's a sign of a good leader, utilizing your resources not trying totake a a full plate. You could have handled that totally different like hey.What are you talking about? You know I can. I can handle this, but utilizingyour resources and you know some of your personnel. So that's definitelysigns of a great leader, so hey shot out to Brian Yeah, shout out to BrianSat out the cried, the SP whisper yeah s is for he's my boy he's my boy, soyou know- and I think that's really important as a being a leader is youhave to you have to take. You have to listen in order to be a leader. Youhave to be a great listener, some of the spts that I've written have comefrom ideas from our superintendency project managers and some of our fieldguys, Hey dad. I think this be a great SB topic. Can you talk about this? Canyou write about this sure? No problem, I mean. I appreciate all the help I canget because when I first stepped into the row as say to Director- and I wastold to speak at at a forum to the company as I was being introduced, Isaid I want everyone to know. This is not my program. This is your program.You know my job is to administrate it. My job is to hopefully help us build it,because we are starting to expand to many markets, because we're now in newconstruction we've been doing health care. We do into our build outs, we doassisted living, so every market is different, so their expertise is reallyimportant when it comes to safety, because, though, that's how we buildour program, it's a collaboration, I...

...believe whole heartedly incollaboration. Sometimes I say to myself: Am I pushing off the work tosomebody else, but I always remind myself that I cannot get blinded by myown ambitions. You know that that's a that's a famous life from Denzil, washit and remember the titans. That's my favorite lion that movie when he tellshis wife. Did I get blinded by my own ambition that I push my team too hardand look what happened? That's something I don't want to do. I want tobe very approachable. I want to be a good listener. I want to be a good teammate because I always tell my staff. I always tell my team here I would telleven our subcontractors, you know you know I work for you, I'm here toprovide a service for you, and I want to do that to the best of my abilityand and if we could do this together, you know you own it we own it and wecould be successful and I think we've done that up to this point. We are agrowing organization. Again, we've been doing that we've been in this industry,you know, skander been doing this type of work for about fifteen years,starting with interior, build doubts, and it's Morfin to health care andassistant living was also there early on, and I were doing new constructionwithin fifteen years we have over two hundred and fifty employees. We arealso have our own self performed team now, which were self performingcarpetry demolition, final clean as well as client services and painting.Now so we're grown, we're very young company and to go from you know. Twentyforty million now were at four hundred million dollars, and fifteen years at Imean, were really growing. So it's really important that we understandthat as an organization that, with growing comes pain right, this growingpains right. So we're going to we're going to we're going to we make troublethrough this and that's going to be okay, and I think that's where my valueis because I've been in these shoes with my previous organization as theywere growing as they are the organization they are now because theywent through those growing pains and many people within this organizationhave come from other organizations that been to those growing pains. So I thinka lot of people do understand the position we're in I mean I'm veryexcited where we're going, but right now our focusing out turn to US selfperforming the work, because now that's our greatest risk, because now we havecarpenters. Labors and painters- and that's probably right now- we reallyneed to start focusing on okay, because we need to make sure that there are,they are working safe. They got the proper tools and the training and theequipment and the resources to ensure that nobody gets hurt, obviously tomake sure we're putting them in the right position to succeed. So yeah alot of things are happening right now here in scendere. That's all I can say, but I'm really excited was a goodreason to be excited. Speaking of skender just in the research that I'vedone a bunch of accolades a lot of categories again top one hundred in alot of different categories. Is there any particular accolades that you'remore proud of than any others? Or is there anything that stands out morethan any other? Well, you know what I think. Overall, I just being one of thebest companies to work, for I think, that's that's something that I'm veryfortunate and proud of to be here. We have great people here I mean we're ina we're, an organization of relationships. You know we're verypersonal people here, personable people here at skender and they're big on thatthey're big, on making sure that our employees from our field staff up toour executives, that that we are in good spirits, that we are all in thesame mind set that we're taking care of each other were taking care of theclient and, like I said they really pride themselves on that, and westruggle a bit with that when coved hit because of the kind of company we are,you know we're a company likes to get together that loves to engage at likesto create partnerships and that's something that was a struggle with Cobihit because we're just such a personable company. You know so we're afun company. You know we like to have a good time and we're hungry. We got somereally hungry people that are looking to really do great things and they'redoing great things, and I'm just very privilege and otter to be part of thisgroup right now. So one of the best companies work for I guarantee they areone of the best companies work for so I'm very proud of that Nice, nice nowspeaking of Colvin, the neat slow down a lot of projects production. How didthat affect the business? So, yes, I mean everyone was impactedby Ovid, so there was a little bit of a down term. There was some reduction andstaff here and scander, unfortunately, but the good thing is that things areopening up or bringing some people back, which is really great to see. We've hadabout nine to ten new hires over the past two weeks, which is reallygreat,we're bringing more resources and help...

...to our project teams, which is whatthey need, which is a very appreciate that are that that ownership hasstepped up and they recognize that but being in Illinois, I mean we weredeemed as essential construction, so construction did not stop. Now someprojects may have been delayed or some projects may have been cancelled due tothe coid pandemic, because just like, when a recession had happened in twothousand and eight but fortunate were dealing with a pandemic, somethingwe've never dealt before. Companies Start Down Sizing right, they startreducing their projects, they start reducing their staff and, if that'sgoing to happen with a potential client, what do you think's going to happen toa potential project chances? Other project will be canceled to put on hold,so you know we stood busy through the pandemic. Thankfully it was definitelya challenge for a field team, because we were dealing with something thatwe've never dealt with before and I would say I give them all the credit. Ireally do. I struggled with it just like everybody else did because, justlike the it was funny, because I would have conversation with some our superintense side of offence, you were out, but construction projects open during apandemic. It was tough for that and we did our best to keep our projects opento keep our project safe. We had a Poviano ce that we put together thatwould assess every coved case that that were sent to us whether it was impactedto our client, whether it was intact or project or through an occupied building.We were working or even internally, with an employee, so we assessed everyCovin case that came in and we assess a hundred eighty seven cove cases withinyeah with within that year span our first coin case. If I'm not mistake, itcame around March Twelfth of two thousand and twenty, so we did our best,but construction didn't stop and and Credos to our teams, who did their bestto keep our project safe and open. But you know it was a strain. It was astrain for our fields, death. It really was so. I am very fortunate thateveryone worked together. We collaborated, we were very, I would say,open to some of the ideas that we were presenting from the client standpointto the task for standpoint, and I really appreciate the fact that thatour field team was very supportive in our efforts and recognize that we'redoing the best we can but yeah Covin did not stop anything in Chicago. Icame to construction yeah, my I have a lot of client safety professionals thatI deal with, and I've had a lot of clients that have to close a businessdown some that were busier than ever. So I guess I was kind of depending onwhat state what part of the country, if you redeemed essential. So it wasdefinitely interesting to get a lot of different viewpoints across the countryfrom people that I've spoken to as far as how they felt about Covin andimplement certain policies and procedures. Are you all at skendermandating any type of the COBE vascilating for any of your employees?So, right now on, unfortunately, the C DC has skein necessarily CD C, but theFA has deemed the vaccination is still under versey use. So because thevaccine is under Mersey use, it cannot be deemed as that we require employeesto get vaccinated. We are encouraging employees to get vaccinated. We haveprovided resources as far as supporting the vaccine, letting them know theefficacy and the safe the safety of the vaccine. I would, I would be happy tosay that right now, we're over fifty percent of our employees are vaccinated,which, which is fantastic but unfortunately, because the vaccine isunder emergency use, it's not necessary being regulated that you need to get.The vaccine is not required that every employer can mandate that employees getvaccinated. So that's where ere at right now, but you know, like I said,I'm very happy to say that that over half of our employees right now arefully vaccinated, if not, some are actually probably on their way to gettheir second dose or thinking about getting vaccinated, so very pet, veryappreciative because of that, so I thank them for that. How you mind measking: Have you had coved? No I'll be honest I'll be on. I have no, no reasonreservation to say. Oh, my God, you can't ask me that kind of question,because, if hit by a I S, I did not have covet and I am fully vaccinated,so I will not be hesitant to say that I'm very thankful, but at the same timeI do know some some people that are very dear to my heart employees,friends, family, that family members at that got covie. My heart goes out tothem. Some of them may be battling through something related to Covinright now, but yeah. It's again, that's the biggest thing. I think that peopledid not understand is because the...

...majority of the people were asymtematic and the majority of the people didn't suffer any severesymptoms. There are people that were hospitalized and there were people thatdid die because of Codman and and that's something we have to be verymindful of and respect when we're talking about people who've beeninfected with Kobe did. We cannot down play, we just can't H so and I only asksaid not to get too personal, but you know I had coved back in July and Itell you I did everything I could to not go to the hospital. I didn't wantto go to the merger. She wont she actually had ives. They came to myhouse a hook me up Tives, but I was down you know for about a month, andyou know I didn't fully recover. As far as getting my smell taste, you knowfour or five six months, coughing lingered, so that was probably theroughest I've ever been mean in. I realized that it affect everybodydifferently. You know I, I know some people that had it you know, didn't getShick at all or you know very little, but it hit me pretty tough. You knowand when I hear people say that, oh I don't believe in Colit and hisconspiracy, you know I could tell your first hand. Experience is definitelyreal nothing to play with. So it really is it, and, and that's one of thethings when, when Covin wit, when we were hitting some spikes here in thearea and even on some of our projects, I mean yes, you had your doubters atthat that downplayed it and we would do some standout on some of our projects.You know we were socially distance. Put our masks on on projects where I feltthat we needed to talk about this, and I would tell everybody flat out. I saidI don't really don't care what side of the fence you are on, but I would tellyou this the minute it happens to you. That's when it's going to becomeimportant. That's when, when you're going to want your employer or myselfto do what we have to do to disinfect to make sure we get off the rightreporting out to make sure we you know, are you shutting the job down andsafety first safety first iety first, but in the meantime you're beingirresponsible, you're not taking it seriously, but again the minute ithappens to you. That's when everything stops at that.That's when you become a believer, so why do we have to get to that point?You know why do we have to get to that point and the same thing with safety,whether you want to wear safety, glasses or not, or you want to wear aface shield or not not until you're, an Eversey room or not until you had a ermiss that's going to make you think twice. So why do we have to get to thatpoint? And then that's the biggest frustrating part- and I know I'mechoing what say to professions always say, and that's the frustrating partthat we have to deal with. Is We put ourselves in this position more than fifty percent of the time? Wereally don't. Do I believe every accident an incident is preventable. No,I don't that's why they call access, that's what they call incidence, that'swhat they call your misses and things of that nature, but we could prevent alot. We definitely can't and we got to keep. We just got to follow the ABC ofsafety. You know protect yourselves at all times. I always tell everybody:it's not so much what you're doing that will hurt you, but what's not goingwhat you don't know what's going around you that could kill you because nowyou're, depending on what other people are doing now as well in constructionright, so you got to take a series. You really do if you weren't the safety,Google, that you are, what would you be doing if it wasn'tsafety wow? You know what I feel you were going to ask me this question andyou know what for individuals who I know who are going to listen to thispodcast, who you know who really want to listen. This podcast will know thattwo things either. I would be a superintendent because, like I say, I'ma construction junkie, I've dabbed with that quite a bit in my career and, likeI said I have so much respect for what these guys do, and even because of thetitle superintended, you know you are a super person. You are aspecial person. I call special attendance. You know that's what I C,because they are special people, but yeah being a construction grew. Idefinitely would have loved or potentially I would probably been asuperintendent at this point in my career. The other thing is: I'm a foodjunkie. I love to cook, I love to cook, so I dabbed I dabble a lot with withmaking food. I love to cook for people, you know so I say I probably be in theculinary industry. Maybe you know so so you know what when I, when I head downto New Mexico, you know I'll make you some Carnesada or something like that.You know basic. What's a commonly hill belief of safetythat you passionately disagree with it! Well, you know that. That's that's atough question, but you know I did think about that question. The otherday and I'll share a little story. That really made me disagree where we'regoing sometimes with safety. So I got...

...invited by an associate caused me upand says you know he dan. I really want you to to come out and be a guestspeaker at our thirty hour ocean. I want you to come here and train theseyoung individuals and do a couple portions of the thirty hour ocean, myyeah, okay, Sernil PROB. What do you want me to talk about you know, so I'mtalking about health and safety programs and talking about safety,culture and things of that. A all right, grow, cool, I'll, start working onsomething I'll do in a few weeks and we'll get this gone. So I thought aboutI'm like wait a minute. I mean when you're doing a training who's, youraudience that that, when you're doing any type of training, this is anothergood topic that you could talk about Mike with somebody else. Who are you,training? Are you talking to executives? Are you talking to project managers?Are you talking to superintendents? Are you talking to tradesmen or are youtalking to apprentices? Has Your experience in construction right, soyou have to understand who your audience is when you're doing some typeof training. So I take training very personal because again it's all aboutproviding a service, the quality might work. I want to make sure that I'mdelivering what I'm being asked to deliver to the appropriate audience. SoI go back to my socii like hey. I just have a question for you. You know whoam I going to be training and he said well. These are individuals that I havenot been out on job site set their premises. You know they're gettingready to go out in the field I'm like, so it got me thinking a little bit, I'mlike and you're giving them a thirty hour ocean. I said no, with all due respect, I said: had theyeven had a ten hour ocean? A thirty hour ocean I mean personally, issomeone that should someone should have in a supervisory role. You knowsomebody who has extensive knowledge and experience. You know so so you knowI said with all do respect. I said I kind of disagree with that. I mean I'm,not it's not like. You cannot train it. I said we'll train it, and now I got tofigure out how to talk about safety, culture and developing a safety programto individuals who really don't know about Osea, who really don't know aboutconstruction for that matter, who don't know about culture, company culture, sothat became a little bit of a elite bit of a irk in my brain, because I wasthinking I'm like so who's mandating that theseindividuals get a thirty or Osia. I started going a little deeper. Is itpart of your program? Is it at what is goes well we're finding out, then thata lot of general contractors in our sector requiring every person, nomatter if you're an apprentice or a superintendent, to have a thirty hourocean? And I said I completely disagree with that. I just completely disagreewith that. So as much as as much as maybe this may bother some people thatare making that comment, but it's because why are you going to trainsomebody in a thirty hour ocean that has never been on a construction site?The most importantly you're, going to give them that type of comprehensivetraining? And what are they going to do with it? I'm sorry, so I think in oursafety realms and you know in our organizations, we have to be verymindful of what we're asking people to do. We are very, we have mindful whatour programs are and how we're managing our projects, because that's somethingthat unfortunate. I really disagree with that you're mandating every personthat steps on that project has a thirty hour ocean. It doesn't guarantee goingto work safe. It doesn't guarantee they're going to be confident whatthey're doing, because I think you're putting individuals possibly at riskbecause you're giving them the assumption that, because they have thattraining now they know everything. Now now they have all the answers. I'vebeen in construction or for thirty years, and I know probably only tenpercent of what's going on out there, I'm learning something new every singleday, so you have to be very mindful of whatis it that you're trading? Who are you training, and why are you training them?I think that's really important. That's more of a compliance, so you want to becompliant or you really looking out for. I understand you're looking out for theWELP of your employees and what the expectation is of the type of tradesmenyou want on your project, but but unfortunately, you're right. It justchecks the compliance box, it doesn't check anything else and I would imaginewith you know how you feel about safety and taking it. It has to be a level offront frustration when being more concerned about compliance and actuallymaking sure that these people are safe on the job side. No, I mean Icompletely agree. I tell everybody, you know what I always go by this mind. Setput the book aside. Okay, if it feels wrong, it is wrong if it doesn't seemright it ain't right. If it all look good chances, it's bad. I said so. Youknow we're all creatures of habit. Unfortunately, you know I was taughtearly on in my in my career, how to do things probably the dumb way, and Ialways thought you know what I'm just doing. What this individual is showingme how to do this? You know I'm just following what this person is tellingme to do, and unfortunately, things have happened through out people'scareers or we've been on projects when...

...things have happened, that that's whenthe clicks the light ball and and trust your instincts, I always say, trustyour instincts. It's not that hard. It really isn't. I think sometimes we tendto make it too difficult and hopefully personally, I've never make it. I'venever made it complicated, but you know sometimes I can. I know that, but I tryto simplify it as much as I can, but again I always go by by instincts if itdoesn't feel right, see right or look right chances are that, and I agreewith that whole orderly speaking of things going on the job side withcompliance of safety, was one of the worst situations or instances you'vebeen through as far as on the workplace on the job side. Okay, so I mean Iunfortunately in safety, we have a lot but I'll, probably I'm going to go alittle bit on the extreme here like if you don't mind so back in two thousandand ten I'll paint a little picture here. I was actually doing a thirtyhour osia and at the time and our coordinator, a department, Cornaton capcomes into the room, and so I need to pull you out of the room for a fewminutes and I'm all right excuse myself from the class we're talking for biddento she tells me you know Dan there's been a serious accident on the job siteand you need to get over there. I'm like okay, so dismiss the class brokeeverything down. I'm over here thinking, you know broken leg, you know backinjury, you know, maybe a vehicle crashed into you know to a window oryou know that's what I'm thinking, because those are the kinds of incenseI dealt with early at my career now this is two thousand and ten. I gotinto safety in twenty and two and two set twenty seven right. Two Thousandand seven excuse me, and that was I was three years into the safety profession.So ironically, our safety director, who was out of town, thankfully, was inroute from Saint Louis Missouri, visiting another project. So before Iget on the phone before I get on the road I talked to our safety office wereon the project and night, and I asked him- and I said, hey how's it going. Hesaid Dan, it doesn't look good. We had a structural. Steel cannot be collapsedlike okay. So again, I'm thinking, maybe it's just a structural canopyfell. Maybe nobody got hurt, not thinking the real worse. So I got in myvehicle like headed out to the project, the minute I stepped foot on theproject I found out that we had a fatality. It was a a tradesman waskilled when this canopy collapsed and a forty foot to the steel crushed themand killed them instantly yeah. So it was. It was a very traumatic event andI do I want to share a little bit more because it just it's just veryimportant to me that I talk about this. If you don't mind so being a safety professional right here,you are the scene of Effacat, the most important thing making sure the site is isolated, makesure the project gets locked out. Everyone's been sent home here comes anews. Media Bad news makes good news. You know here is all the news video iscoming out here: Try and takes footage. My phones blowing up, because peopleare saying: Hey Dan. I see you walking what's going on, what's going on whathappened? What happened? What happened at that point? Unfortunately, youremotions, you got to put those aside, you know your job is a safetyprofessional anoice. You have to manage the scene, you have to stay composed,you have to stay professional, you have to act professional, you have to justbe very leveled at it. First thing I got to do. I know I got a notify ocean.You know cal, Osha, a this is Dan Torres. We just had a fatality. I needyou to come out to the site. This is where we're at. In the meantime, youknow we're taking photos. I mean unfortunately, you're taking photosyou're starting to gather information. A site is contained, we're contactingthe owner of the Orazai, were contenting selfcontrol flock in to thejob and you have to stay composed. You are the coordinator. You are theindividual that it's managing this crisis. Now, that's something that Ireally want people to understand and I believe I got there, maybe around oneo'clock or twelve o'clock in the afternoon. I was there at one o'clockin the morning. As far as talking to self contractors we're doing interviewswith some of the individuals that witnessed the incident talking to theowner of our organization talking to the owners of the r the organition atbefore you suffer the fatality. You had union representatives that got involvedso during this whole time you you have to be composed, you just have to becomposed and surely when I got home Aron, you know two, two n two three inthe morning you know I just broke down, I lost it. I lost it because someonedied on the job not necessary during my watch, but in my tenure I have that inmy tenure now and and it's not about a...

...fatality, it's about a person that justgot killed and and that's something that's going to resignated me for therest of my life and the rest of my career and and that's probably thetoughest part, and I'm going to I'm like. I said, I'm a very transparentperson when you have something like that happen on a project. What is yourplaying assistance program? Because there is an after effect with somethinglike that happens on the job, very traumatic, so employee, assistenteprogram for the individuals within our organization. Even for myself, you knowI had to go through some assistance for a while, just because of the traumaticevent that we went through now. What happens to the sea? The scene becomes aseat of an investigation, so that scene unfortunately stood in place for threeto six months, because you had engineers you had lawyers, you hadinvestigators, you have third party companies come out because they wereputting together their investigation. Unfortunately- and that was probablythe most demoralizing thing for a project that, when back up and runningafter a few days and had a walk and see that walk to that not walk with the seabut walk past it every single day until the scene was cleaned until we wereable to dismal everything and close the investigation, it was so tough forevery person that walked that job every single day to walk past that canopy andjust to remember what happened that day. So that's the worst of the worst,unfortunately, and like I said you want to get into safety, it's very important.You have to be prepared for the worst. Unfortunately, unfortunately, you haveto early on an me attaining this role. I say to director during the form whenI was introduced as safety director. That was one of the things we talkedabout. We talked about an event of a crisis. What are we going to do? Thisis the action plan and we talk about that on a yearly basis to our spts,because it's going to happen when you least expected like it's going tohappen, you can't predict these things and you just have to be prepared, sothat was probably the most unfortunate event in my career that I was everinvolved with being in safety, Yeah Yeah I can imagine, especially withonly having a few years under your bill as the safety guy. I can imagine justthe impact and dealing with that. I would imagine a lot of lessons learnfrom that: a lot of growth from that situation. Speaking of work placeinjuries. We have a lot of clients that are smaller business owners, don't haveaccess to different safety programs or some of the analytics that that thatyou may have access to. But what kind of advice could you give them indealing with the injury on the job and how to handle Ocia and just some basicthings that they can use and cover themselves? Oh, absolutely Mike, I meannumber one. Ocean cop is a Abe resource. I mean that is a valuable resource herein Chicago and I'm assuming some states may have safety trading centers. Herewe have the Chicago Land Safety Center, where there are some awesome trainersthat trade you from record keeping up to fall protection has come whateveryou need, so there are a lot of available resources out there. I wouldalso say that you know jumping into social media. There are some greattraining videos that are offered for free going to save the expose. I meanfor a hundred dollars. You go in for a two three day XPO and you hear someawesome speakers you find some available resources and, like I saidearlier on, scander were big on partnerships here, parter up with yourvendors partner up with those professionals partner up with your selfcontractors, Pardner with your general contract, if you're a small selfcontrol,that's something that I'm starting to do here at skender is I'm bringing inour subcontractors and we're doing small round tables we're walking thejob together. We're talking about what are some resources that we haveavailable. We share information with each other. I mean I'm big on sharing.Is Caring, a h t that that's a big thing in the safety world? Nothingreally changes. We have to be compliant, so you could dig into even Google asilica plan or silica program and it's almost all the same many universities.You know your state universities. They have actually safety programs wherethey do research C. VW is another resource as well again going to Nyahagain, all those resources are free, they're, free and- and if you look meup on link that you ever have a question for me I'll have time for youas well. That's that's my job. I want to beavailable resource and I tell anyone I ever talk to her meet. I don't carewhat company you are vendor small ten employees, a hundred place, here's mycard. If there's empty ever ever, I could do the help. Question concerned.Call me I mean safety is a very small...

...world actually and me's turned into avery big industry thing, but the safety world is a very small tight fit world.You know there's another podcast. I listen to the Safety Justice Leaguewith Jason Meldonado Jas Lucas Abby Ferry. I mean they do some greatpodcast as well a Ain. They bring some awesome guest speakers d resources. Imean we're here we're in this together right, so we I think it's veryimportant that you use those resources that are available out there for youand your network. People networking is huge. It's huge! It's hell need trout.My career, I give credit to many super tendent and sate professionalsthroughout my career that I have learned from you know so shot out tothem they're big part of my career, where I'm at today, I couldn't havedone it without them and to this day and yeah. I thank you for that. I knowa lot of our lition will appreciate that bit of advice and men dealing withocoon the on the job site. I had some curall questions for you and it justbeing caught up in our conversation being interested in what you're saying,but I do have a curve ball way left field, I'm going to catch you off guardwith this one Lebranos, Jordan, man. You already got my answer for that. You know what's funny because Kobe wasinto Jordan era. You know he started off in the I I really didn't get intoKobe. You know rest o piece. You know you know great man. You know it wastragic. What happened to the guy and his daughter and me how sad? But youknow I never got into coke, because Jordan was still in the scene. So so Iwould say Labra. I know you're happy because of that white, but I would sayLabrador because you know he got so much height coming out of high school.I was watching his games and ESP and all that stuff great player. You know Ilost a little bit when he was doing the Miami thing and Joe growing all overthe place doing this stuff, but I really respect what he's doing for theOhio community. I believe he opened the High School of a charter school he's,starting to be more of an advocate of the future and because he didn't have afather and being that big brother or that father for all these kids in theseuther Polish communities. I really heads off to time. Hats off to the manhe's doing good things with his platform. That's what I want to see soand he's a good player. I never seen a L V, a guy with a bonny but lineback ormove like that so and his age as well. Listen then it was a pleasure speakingto you getting to know you. I look forward to corresponding with you inthe future, and you know I feel, like I've gained a safety contact myself andI appreciate it. You know we can spend hours talking about this stuff. Isthere anything you want to leave us with before you go and he quotes wordsof wisdom. You know I texted my wife, I'm like I'm nervous, I'm jumping onthis podcast, my first one ever doing and shot out to my wife. She said justbe you just be you and and and that's the advice I could give to everybody:safety, Professional Superintendent Project Man. Whatever be you beambitious? If you love this, you will succeed no matter what in need of ablue print for workplace safety and Compliance Safety Services Company isNorth America's leading provider of safety, training and compliantsolutions. We supply custom safety, manuels and policies and on sight andonline training solutions that will enhance the safety of your workplaceand our compliance services will save you time and resources guaranteeingpeace of mind with eighteen years in the industry we have a proven trackrecord of helping customers achieved better safety outcomes by providingcustomize solutions that fit the unique needs of each business to learn morehad the safety services companyon thanks for listening to the safetymanagement, Shell, to hear more stories from safety leaders subscribe to theshow in your favorite podcast player. If you enjoyed the show, leave us arating until next time stay safe, T.

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