Who’s Working for You?

The years 2011 to 2013 saw a rash of injuries and lawsuits related to industrial elevators.  Headlines such as “Worker falls 70+ feet…” and “$8.3 million verdict when worker falls…” appeared on the internet.  Trying to discover the root cause of these incidents in order to prevent them from occurring again can be a challenge for any company or industry.

One key item to consider when researching incidents, and one which is clearly related to overall safety on a jobsite, is a complete understanding of the company who is actually performing the work.  How often have you been shocked to learn that the company that you hired to perform a task isn’t actually the company that is supplying the labor?  It is an interesting sleight of hand technique that allows one company to promote itself with a good safety record, while subcontracting the labor and the associated OSHA ratings.  Who’s actually working for you can sometimes be difficult to determine.

As an industrial elevator company, McDonough Elevators has over 30 years of installing and servicing rack and pinion elevators.  We take pride in our safety record knowing it is earned on a daily basis by following safe working procedures, employing full-time safety personnel,  and insuring that our installation and maintenance technicians are well trained and fully qualified.  All of McDonough’s field employees have extensive training and experience working in industrial sites.

At McDonough Elevators, we self-perform all our work.  We have a full time in-house loss prevention manager that actively oversees all our installation and maintenance crews.  This is backed up by a comprehensive safety program and employee manual which governs the policies and procedures for the unique requirements of an industrial elevator company.  We believe in two fundamental principles of safety:  all accidents, injuries, and occupational illnesses are preventable; and if an operation cannot be done safely, we will not do it.  To reinforce our commitment to safety we developed a safety slogan “Goal – Quad Naught” which emphasizes to our employees our current safety record and the fact that we want to maintain a record of “zeros” across four key categories:  Recordables, Incidents, Lost Time and Fatalities.     This slogan is yet another tool we utilize as a constant reminder to our employees that working safely is the only way to work.  McDonough Elevators has not had a single OSHA recordable incident or worker’s compensation claim in the last 3 years and boasts an EMR rating which consistently remains below 1.0.  We are very proud of our safety track record and our employees’ total commitment to following safe work practices each and every day.  As a long time provider of equipment and labor services in the industrial marketplace, we know the practice of working safe has a truly positive impact on our employees and their families as well as our clients.

So how do you figure out who’s really on your jobsite?  After completing numerous prequalification packages and bid forms, we noticed that some companies ask very detailed questions about how a company operates and the source of its workforce.  This practice is a good place to start.  From there, some simple questions can help you complete your analysis.  Ask your suppliers directly if the workers are hired by the supplier and are on the company’s payroll.  Perhaps by going back to the very beginning, future incidents can be prevented.