Safety - The Proof Is in the Numbers

President's Message

Safety - The Proof Is in the Numbers

If you measure safety, improvement will follow.

How do you know if you’re running a safe business? Is it like art—you know it when you see it? Painting and sculpture can be subjective, but in our line of work, we need safety to be objective, something real that can be measured and proven. Our industry has a powerful tool to gauge and improve safety, as well as protect our business. SBCA’s SCORE program (Structural Component Operations Reaching for Excellence) promotes safety and gives component manufacturers a way to translate a hunch that they’re doing things right into certainty that they’re taking the appropriate steps to protect their employees, their customers, and their company.

My company started participating in SCORE in late 2007 and attained Elite status in our first plant (Mooresville, IN) on January 4, 2008. We rolled out the program to all of our plants in June of 2008, with all plants becoming certified SCORE Elite in less than a year. This program has certainly given us ways to better quantify safety, along with other steps to manage risk.

Here’s an example from just one of our plants. This plant had 16 accidents the year prior to starting SCORE. We fully implemented the Operation Safety component of SCORE, and the following year, that plant only had four accidents with over 143,000 man-hours worked that year. That’s a 75 percent decrease in injuries at that facility! We have seen great results in safety improvement in each of our 31 manufacturing facilities since becoming SCORE Elite company-wide. SCORE doesn’t just put your plant through the motions; the program gives you the metrics so you can track and improve performance in a very real and substantial way. This not only affects your bottom line through a decrease in time lost and workers’ comp claims, it gives you a real number. This number can mean a lot to people, whether it’s your management and staff tracking their progress toward continued improvement, your insurance agent determining your premium, or potential customers considering your company for a job. The proof is in the numbers. Like so many things in business, if you measure safety, improvement will follow.

The same holds true for other parts of the SCORE program like Truss Technician Training (TTT), the industry’s training program that teaches design and engineering fundamentals for metal plate connected wood trusses. You can tell a potential customer that you have good technicians, but that boils down to a situation where either the customer believes you or they don’t. There’s much more credibility to that statement when you can back it up by saying that your facility is a certified member of the SCORE program, and at least 80 percent of your truss technicians have achieved TTT Level I certification, 50 percent have reached Level II and no less than 10 percent of your technicians are certified at Level III. This brings another level of safety as well as risk management to your business, and it’s not a bad selling point either.

In addition to its focus on safety, SCORE also includes critical risk management for component manufacturers. The program requires that a SBCA JOBSITE PACKAGE go out with every job. Now this doesn’t give you a metric like tracking accidents at the plant, but it is something tangible that shows your company’s dedication to safety. Along with providing valuable handling, installing and bracing information to installers, the JOBSITE PACKAGE can be priceless from a risk management standpoint. This packet will give your framer/customer the vital information he needs to do the job right. If a truss job collapses due to inadequate bracing on a project, your company can prove it supplied industry best practice information on temporary and permanent bracing, fulfilling your duty to educate and warn.

Companies that attain SCORE Elite certification are also required to have their key people go through the ORisk program. ORisk teaches your managers and those who process contracts for your company the fundamentals of risk management on important issues like bidding and successfully negotiating a contract. Along with providing essential training to your staff, this program shows your insurance agent that your employees have a good foundation of how to avoid risk.

When it comes to safety at the plant, the jobsite and from a risk management standpoint, SBCA’s SCORE program ties together the key industry best practices to protect your people, your customers and your business. To learn more about the program, visit Think about implementing SCORE at your facility for 2012 and let’s raise the bar on safety in our industry together. SBC

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