Safety Is Priority 1
It's been said by a marketer or two that "safety sells." Well, I hope that's the case, because safety isn't cheap. The code-mandated rules and regulations that govern safety in the construction industry are extensive and create real financial consequences to every business in the industry that adheres to those rules and regulations. But the ramifications of safety implementation do not stop there.
If you're a property owner or assist in the decisions governing the care and maintenance of that property, there are real financial consequences to you as well. That may surprise many. After all, should you have to 'pay extra' for a contractor to abide by the law? Why should you concern yourself with another's job and related responsibilities? Those are good questions. But consider two important responses:
At RTN Roofing Systems, safety is a major concern. In fact, it is priority #1. We believe that life is sacred and having a team member – or anyone else – hurt or killed on the job because of improper safety standards is just not acceptable; it is not an option! We will terminate any employee for flagrantly disregarding our safety policies. We simply will not tolerate an individual putting themselves or their fellow workers in harm's way.
The work may be done by others, but it is being done on your property. It's probably not surprising, especially in the state of Colorado where roofing licenses are not required, that there are dishonest and fly-by-night companies out there, most of which seldom carry state-mandated Workers' Compensation or general liability insurances. This can be a real legal nightmare and financial loss to you if their work is done improperly or if an accident of some sort took place while they were on your property. And make no mistake, accidents do happen.
Here are just a few excerpts provided by the United State Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) in their Weekly Summary (Federal and State data tabulated week ending July 14, 2012):
- "Worker pulling a roller on a flat roof died after falling through a skylight."
- "Worker fell off an extension ladder, suffering fatal head trauma."
- "Worker installing a cattle spraying apparatus was struck by a cattle gate carriage, pinning worker between the carriage and a post."
- "Worker making roofing repairs was electrocuted after touching a power line."
- "Worker operating a riding lawn mower was found in a canal pinned underneath the mower."
Due to such tragic consequences from accidents, with the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to "assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance." (Italics ours)
While some may consider this an oppressive and burdensome government entity, no one concerned with health and safety would dismiss the need for a common sense approach to limit hazardous and unsafe working conditions. And like it or not, OSHA does have control over this area of safety in the workplace. A law-abiding contractor will work in harmony with the requirements mandated by OSHA, not just because it's the law, but because they take safety seriously.
What Is an Accident?
An accident is defined by one dictionary as "an unfortunate event resulting from carelessness, unawareness, ignorance, or a combination of causes."
Going with the cheapest contractor may only ensure the promotion of less than adequate safety standards. It may only ensure putting more workers into dangerous situations.
To illustrate: Suppose you frequent a restaurant because, while you do like the food, you absolutely love the price. You feel by going to this restaurant you really get your money's worth. Then you find out that the reason those prices are so low is because they implement little to no care in making sure that their food preparation meets the FDA guidelines for cleanliness.
As a result they save money on competent help because they don't need any. They save on food storage containers because they don't use them. They save on janitorial efforts because they only clean up after themselves periodically. They save money on trash disposal because they just take the trash home with them once a week or so to dispose with their "homemade" trash. If you allow it, your mind will wander into many areas on which a restaurant can save money, thus providing you with a scrumptious lunch or dinner at a fraction of the cost of a "quality" restaurant. Yummy!
If people continued to go to such a restaurant, would there ever be a reason for that restaurant to change? Granted, the FDA or the local arm of that agency could intervene, and they sometimes have to, which ultimately protects the consumer. But how much better to avoid that restaurant in the first place and let them know that you are not going to spend your money – even if the price is right – on food that is not properly prepared, fraught with parasites, or is generally unclean or rotten.
By frequenting such an establishment, you would be helping to ensure the promotion of less than adequate cleanliness standards, putting you and fellow customers in more danger to food poisoning and other, more significant health hazards.
With a roof, it is often out of sight, out of mind. This means it is much more difficult for the government agencies to "police" contractors to make sure they are following safety requirements. Not putting forth due-diligence and inadvertently supporting those contractors that cut safety corners just to save money and lower their costs, may provide you with a less expensive roof. But it's not a scenario that exists in a vacuum, as if there are no far-reaching ramifications for supporting such contractors.
Safety Is RTN Roofing's #1 Priority
At RTN Roofing Systems, safety is a major concern. In fact, it is priority #1. We believe that life is sacred and having a team member – or anyone else – hurt or killed on the job because of improper safety standards is just not acceptable; it is not an option! While it is impossible to force compliance, we will terminate any employee for flagrantly disregarding our safety policies. This ensures that only safety-conscious individuals remain in our workforce. We will simply not tolerate an individual putting themselves or their fellow workers in harm's way.
We conduct safety meetings every week and before each new job is started. We are OSHA-compliant and maintain a high regard for the health and well-being of our employees. But it is also important to understand the logistics of being a "safety first" company. Providing a safe working environment can slow down a project's completion schedule. Taking longer to complete a project than another company which has little to no regard for safety is inevitable. We cannot compete financially with contractors that just don't care enough about themselves, their employees, or their customers to establish and maintain adequate, OSHA-compliant safety standards.
Then there is the additional equipment that must be purchased and the personnel required to use and maintain that equipment. Among some of the equipment used are harnesses and tie-off anchors, warning line, fall arrest and fall restraint systems. Furthermore, we employ the use of safety monitors, whose sole responsibility is not roofing at all, but to ensure that those employees that must work outside the warning line system are following proper safety procedures.
Think about that; RTN pays these monitors to do nothing but monitor and enforce safety standards. All of these things increase the cost of doing business. As a property owner, it is important to keep these things in mind when deciding on who to use for your next roofing contractor.
Getting the Best Price without Compromising Safety
But with all the aforementioned being said, the differences in cost between us, a safety-conscious roofing contractor, and another, not-so-safety-conscious contractor may be less than you think. There are often other factors that even more significantly govern price; i.e., the quality of the product, the quality of the workmanship, the value of the warranty, and not to be forgotten, the quality, credibility, and integrity of the contractor itself. All of these things go into the mix when it comes to comparing prices.
By supporting RTN Roofing Systems you would be supporting a contractor that respects life, the personal well-being of its employees, and who is looking out for their customers' best interests. By choosing RTN Roofing Systems for your next roofing project you would be making a wise choice indeed.