14 of 18 Framing Subcontractors Join NFC After Meeting
by Kevin Kutschenreuter
On February 23, National Framers Council (NFC) director Scott Stevens visited Southernwood Framing LLC in La Plata, Maryland, to give a presentation with Ace Carpentry’s safety director Jamie Guerro on the benefits of NFC membership and the FrameSAFE program. Southernwood COO Frank Mudd invited Scott to give the presentation during the company’s annual seminar, which offers professional development opportunities to Southernwood subcontractors.
Scott and Jamie’s visit was part of a recent NFC effort to see greater numbers of smaller framing companies become members and take advantage of NFC benefits like FrameSAFE. Those who attended Scott and Jamie’s presentation were offered free NFC membership, and Frank, as an added bonus, offered to purchase a FrameSAFE subscription for those who joined, allowing them to pay him back over time in small deductions to their paychecks.
Scott said, “What we did is try to make it absolutely painless…to join the NFC and to get more subscriptions to FrameSAFE.” Scott explained that though larger framing companies “understand the importance…of becoming a member and having a safety program,” they also employ a large number of smaller subcontractors who are not NFC members and who do not have a standard, consistent safety protocol.
Frank explained the difficulties that can arise with this inconsistency: “It’s kind of a hard thing to go out and talk to them about [safety] when they don’t really understand what the push is for and how it all works – we need to get buy-in from them if we’re going to try to have an across-the-board safety protocol.” He added that “part of the problem is that they all have a hodge-podge of [information]” and that there are sometimes questions about how up-to-date their information is. “We’re trying to get them all to use more of a standardized safety program,” Frank said.
During the meeting, Scott and Jamie presented to 160 framing professionals from 18 framing companies. The presentation, which was also translated into Spanish, covered the purpose and benefits of NFC membership as well as the FrameSAFE program and materials.
Scott and Jamie’s presentation was strikingly successful, as 14 of the 18 subcontracting companies in attendance joined NFC. Scott and Frank were delighted with the results, and Frank looks forward to the consistency that FrameSAFE should bring to his subcontracted labor. Jamie translated the entire presentation into Spanish, which was critical to its success.
Frank added that “the great thing about FrameSAFE is that it’s…bilingual. To be able to have superintendents have a meeting with [Spanish] speaking gentlemen and have both English and Spanish [material]…it helps meetings go so much better.” He also added that Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) appreciates the program for the same reason. “When their inspector comes on site, he now knows that these guys are seeing the safety manual in their native language.”
Both Scott and Frank look forward to monitoring the success of the initiative and hope to provide NFC membership with an update on its longer-term effects in the future.
For more information about the benefits of using FrameSAFE, NFC’s bilingual safety program based on OSHA 1926, or to get your subcontractors involved, visit framerscouncil.org.