Safety Week 2022 and our Foundational Philosophy of Hazard Prevention
From the ground up, Miller Valentine Construction’s tight-knit corporate culture is safety conscious.
We continually educate and train our employees on new safety practices, and take advantage of new technologies and equipment. That’s why we continue to maintain our OSHA Voluntary Protection Program partner “Star” designation, an honor that less than 2% of U.S. contractors ever achieve.
At Miller Valentine, we never stop seeking opportunities for growth. For proof, look no further than our Safety Director, Perry Gerome.
Perry is a trained paramedic, a certified fire marshal, and a former safety manager at Turner Construction. He spent 32 years working his way up to Chief Fire Officer and has experience in building plan review, inspections, and forensic fire investigations.
Perry’s safety philosophy goes beyond identifying and resolving safety hazards. He believes management must be participatory and inclusive. He encourages onsite communication from everyone so that attentive prevention is top of mind.
“I don’t believe in managing by fear,” said Perry. “I don’t want to be the safety cop. I tell our tradespeople, ‘step forward if there are any issues or topics or potential risks, and we’ll work together to resolve them.’ Having those conversations in advance makes them more comfortable approaching us about any type of potential safety issues.”
Construction Safety Week is an annual event where members of the industry, from managers to trades, assemble to observe best safety practices. Perry will bring his experience to the table, and share our foundational philosophy of year-round safety initiatives and acumen.
“This year’s theme, ‘Connected. Supported. Safe,’ is more meaningful due to the challenges we’ve overcome during the pandemic,” said Perry. “Now that we’re establishing our normal routines, it’s essential for all of our Associates and trades to know their project site and team are creating a safe and supportive environment while staying connected through consistent communication.”
As part of Safety Week, Perry and the safety team focused on fall prevention, because falls are one of the annual leading causes of construction-related injuries. They can come from elevated height or uneven ground — that’s why we require 100% tie-off on any lift or leading-edge, why we only allow fiberglass ladders, and why any holes greater than 2-inches must be marked and covered.
Miller Valentine’s core is our consistency. At any given worksite, the message of safety depends on the phase of any given project, but routine conversations and communication are always important to keep our workers and communities safe.
Every day at 7 a.m., everyone meets with the project team for a daily huddle in front of each trade partner’s Job Safety Analysis board. Each trade is then required to do a separate 5-10 minute huddle with their crew to talk over daily tasks and associated risks.
“The board is designed to keep the team mindful about what they’re doing because a lot of the day-to-day work can feel redundant. So sometimes I’ll sit in on those huddles, maybe ask them, ‘what’s your most dangerous task today? What’s the biggest hazard you face? And what are we going to do about it?'” said Perry.
“No two days are the same.”