National Work Zone Awareness Week is dedicated to the safety of our workers, roadways, and drivers. As part of our commitment to safety, I Build America – Ohio is giving safety managers the spotlight to share why safety is so important to our crews and our communities — and how the public can do its part. Check out the profile below for a first-hand look at why safety is important today and every day!
Name: Randy Martin
Company: Beaver Constructors Inc.
Title/Position: Corporate Safety Director
Years Working in Construction: 43 in Heavy Construction
How did you begin your career in construction?
I started as a shop mechanic in the Operating Engineers Local 18 for a civil construction company. I then became a field mechanic, later, in my career getting the destination as the Master Mechanic, where I took over running three repair shops for a union contractor, statewide. There I was ask to become the Safety Director in the 90’s for the same company as my vast certifications with cranes, aerial lifts, forklifts, both in operating them and being an inspector and overall construction knowledge, seemed like a good idea to the owner at the time.
How do you contribute to the overarching safety of your company’s workforce?
My belief is, safety is a profit center, and most companies do not realize it. If I can work to keep the employee working safe, then they made a good weekly paycheck, they can take care of their families, they get money paid into their retirement, they pay into Social Security taking care of them throughout their lives. The company benefits as well, they have a low EMR, their insurance and workers comp premiums are reduced, and customers look at Beavers stats and know they work hard to keep their employees safe. Fortunately, here at Beaver, ownership has always bought into safety, as safety is Beaver number one Core Value!
What does your company do to ensure safety on the job?
Everything here at Beaver starts with Safety, from the first look at bidding a job, to the pre-job meeting to the start of the actual project on site. The Safety Team, with help from the Project managers, builds a site-specific plan for the project that is reviewed at the pre-job and during the start of the job and with the crews onsite. This is a live document that constantly changes if the scope of work changes. Every job starts daily, with a JSA meeting to insure all the hazards are addressed with the crews, prior to commencing work.
What is one thing you wish the general public knew about safety in construction?
My wish would be if they knew how much effort is put into drug and alcohol training and testing and that construction workers are by far one of the best job classifications, free from this powerful distraction. Just think, if we could get every company, such as restaurants, gas stations, factories etc. in the U.S. to have a drug free program, how much we could eliminate chemical dependency in the workforce.
How can the public help keep construction workers and work zones safe?
When I first got into safety, I had a very good friend get killed in a work zone by a driver who was speeding. For the last 20 plus years, I have worked in partnership with ODOT and the Ohio Contractors Association to constantly monitor, what we can do to improve work zones here in Ohio. What we need the traveling public to do, is to put down their phones and slow down. Driving through the work zone at the speed limit posted, or slower, will only add a few seconds to their overall travel time. This alone, would stop countless wrecks, injuries and fatalities that happen in work zones today.