Home » NEWS » Architects & Engineering » Safety first for state’s construction firms
James Moore Brown, right, safety director for JESCO in Tupelo, is the Associated Builders and Contractors Mississippi Chapter’s 2016 Safety Professional of the Year. He and nearly 50 Mississippi-based construction companies were recognized during the ABC’s annual Safety Awards Luncheon. Presenting the award is Jeff Peoples of Peoples Constructon and the ABC Mississippi Safety Committee Chairman.

Safety first for state’s construction firms

By NASH NUNNERY 

From commercial to small-scale residential, construction sites can be dangerous.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, roughly 150,000 job-site injuries occur nationwide each year. With 130 million construction workers on the job at any given time, this number is likely to rise. Of the construction site injuries that take place each year, nearly 5,000 are fatal.

For James Moore Brown, construction site safety is job one. The Associated Builders and Contractors Mississippi Chapter’s 2016 Safety Professional of the Year, Brown says the key is training, education and more training.

The ABC recently honored Brown and nearly 50 Mississippi-based construction companies during the organization’s annual Safety Awards Luncheon. Six Mississippi companies garnered 2016 ABC National Diamond Awards.

“Safety is the No. 1 value in the construction industry,” said Brown, safety director for JESCO, Inc. in Tupelo. “There is certainly a lot of emphasis on training. Lots and lots of training. Taking a proactive approach to safety on the job site will keep your workers safe.”

A former middle school principal and history teacher, Brown is often asked if he misses being an educator.

“I tell them that I never got out of it, really,” he said. “Construction safety is all about teaching and educating our work force on preventing accidents and situations before they happen. And that’s what I enjoy – teaching.”

The ABC Mississippi Chapter launched the organization’s awards program six years ago, according to safety director Herb Ward. Participation in the program has doubled since 2011.

The process for a construction company to be honored with a Diamond or Platinum recognition is stringent.

“We require each company to provide lots of documentation to meet the standards,” said Ward. “The prospective winners don’t just fill out an application and fill in the blanks. Each application goes before the 18-member ABC Safety Committee and the best of the best are selected.”

In addition to keeping workers safe on the job site, Mississippi construction companies also must protect the general public. Openings and holes, falling objects and unauthorized people at work sites can be a corporate safety director’s nightmare.

“It’s huge on the dollar side, when you figure safety into a bid for a project,” said Ward. “We try to instill a collaborative approach with our member companies that helps reinforce safety. One person does not ‘make safety happen’. Every worker at every level needs to be a part of the safety effort.”

Safety on the job site not only saves lives and prevents injury, but also affects the bottom line in the construction industry.

“There is a constant struggle between safety and production,” Ward said. “But if you have a great safety program, you’ll probably get a great insurance rating. The savings can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Safety pays.”

BEFORE YOU GO…

… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About Nash Nunnery

One comment

  1. Please check these Numbers

    With 130 million construction workers on the job at any given time,

    Of the construction site injuries that take place each year, nearly 5,000 are fatal.

    130 million Construction Workers out of what, 350 Million

    I thought the total US deaths were around 5000.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*