Dan Johnson, Managing Partner
Construction industry in the U.S. is one among the world’s largest, with annual expenditures of over $1.23 billion. However, this fact doesn’t prevent the industry from being a “highly hazardous” one. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the fatal injury rate for the construction industry is higher than the national average for all industries. Millions of people work in construction sites across the country on any given day—engaging in activities that may expose them to serious hazards such as falling from rooftops, unguarded machinery, electric shocks or heavy construction equipments. In this scenario, companies need to ensure that they have the right safety practices in place, and their workers are adhering to the regulations on the job site. But this task is easier said than done.
“First and foremost, staying up to date with regulations is a challenge,” says Dan Johnson, Managing Partner at SFI Compliance. Authorities such as OSHA and ANSI (American National Standards Institute), periodically update their safety standards that cover every aspect from indoor safety and sanitation to working environment and weather. Companies need to make sure that they follow these regulations and put them into practice. “The only way to achieve a safe site is to create a balance between on-site practices and adherence to regulations,” says Johnson. For more than three decades now, SFI Compliance has made it their habit to help clients achieve this right balance on their job sites.
Founded by safety industry veterans Luann Roberts and her husband Thom Roberts, SFI Compliance’s primary goal is to help companies keep their employees and workers safe on their job sites. With a keen focus on small to mid-size organizations and contractors that do not have resources for a full-time safety department, SFI Compliance designs and builds robust safety programs, along with providing safety inspections, training, consulting, first aid, and personal protective equipment.
Expertise Delivered on Tap
The primary solution from SFI Compliance is safety programs— developed from scratch or revised based on what their clients already possess. With an army of veteran consultants at hand, SFI Compliance makes it a point to stay abreast of the changing regulations across the country and state levels so that their clients’ documents and practices are up to date with both the OSHA regulations and industry standards.
“Our team is constantly researching and investigating the best industry standards, putting the practices and processes in place to make sure that they are fully updated to every possible regulation,” says Johnson.
Along with developing these programs, SFI Compliance also offers safety training—whether it is OSHA 10 or 30-hour classes, CPR, first aid, fall protection or scaffolding—depending on the nature of client’s environment. “Compliance starts with the safety program, and it spans areas, including how policies are developed and how the staffs are trained. There should be continuous conditioning to help the staff understand policies, OSHA rules and regulations, and industry practices,” mentions Johnson. SFI Compliance also conducts field safety inspections in construction sites and manufacturing facilities to make sure that their safety training is hitting its intended mark, and the policies and regulations are being followed. In the event of OSHA or any other regulatory agency sending their representatives on site, SFI Compliance assists customers with the inspection on site. This is important in the case of clients who have received citations from OSHA. SFI Compliance helps them work through OSHA compliance, whether in settling it, or contesting a citation if the client feels that they are falsely cited. The company’s added capacity to respond to events—whether it is an injury, accident or even a near miss—helps clients to conduct accident investigations and find the root cause, followed by putting measures to prevent them in the future.
One problem SFI Compliance has seen in the construction sites over the years is in case of a tragedy, like a fire, many workers on the site have no idea on where to go and how to get there. Clients often conduct orientation for workers on their site to give them a basic level of safety training. But many videos produced for this purpose are often generic that won’t serve the purpose. SFI Compliance has released a new product that can create site-specific safety orientation videos. The system allows clients to create videos, where the big chunk of the content focuses on “what is going on with that particular site.” The curated content will have details on the location of the site, name of the site, location of the nearest hospital, and emergency numbers, along with the sitemap. SFI Compliance has had great feedback from the customers that used this feature over the last year, and the company is planning to expand the features based on the evolution of new processes at the job site.
Exemplary Customer Success Stories
With their long-standing reputation as an elite consultant, SFI Compliance has garnered many clients across the country. One of their clients, a general contractor that had projects across ten states in the country was relying on multiple, individually hired safety consultants across different sites. Without a large safety team or separate risk managers to oversee the crew, the client was struggling to maintain compliance adherence across sites.
The risk manager was in a difficult spot because he was required to oversee the operations by relying on safety consultants at each location. As the regulations varied from state to state, there was no clarity in the written rules or instructions on what each site’s crew has to follow. For instance, some states like California and Oregon have state-run versions of OSHA. Engaging with the client, SFI Compliance put together a safety program that allowed the client to identify variations from the state-run guidelines and stay compliant. Incorporating this new program into their training process, the client was able to carry out safety inspections on all of their projects nationwide. SFI Compliance also helped the client track all the safety reports, incidents, meetings, and training that they perform. Through a user-friendly dashboard, SFI Compliance allowed the risk manager to see the performance of his job sites across the nation from a safety standpoint with insights on the tasks done correctly vs. the tasks that were more cumbersome to complete. These measures helped the client to boost the safety stand as well as reduce their OSHA citations to zero.
Constant Innovation and Review
SFI Compliance is currently working on enhancing its safety data management system (DMS), which will help clients to track and manage their safety compliance efforts on each site through a convenient online application. Soon to be updated, this application will track all safety compliance efforts on the job site, including inspections conducted by SFI consultants or client’s employees, along with safety training, safety meeting, and incident investigations. The company will also have Android and iOS applications for easier access and offline functionality. SFI Compliance is working with its clients to help employees use this as a tool that assists them in their jobs. “We have a great system for safety, that if followed, becomes routine and eventually a habit,” says Johnson.
"Compliance starts with the safety program, and it spans areas, including how policies are developed and how the staffs are trained. There should be continuous conditioning to help the staff understand policies, OSHA rules and regulations, and industry practices"
With offices currently in Colorado and Texas, coupled with staff that can help from the ground in Arizona and Florida, the company is now growing into additional markets as well. Their agents travel to client locations frequently, where they visit the project sites on a bi-monthly basis.
With such a great group of employees who are committed and believe in safety, the message from SFI Compliance is loud and clear: They are here for those in need—to strike the right balance between safety and regulation.