National Safety Month
June of 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of National Safety Month. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, Kensington Glass Arts (KGa) had to re-evaluate how we are keeping our employees safe. In this article, we want to share why KGa employees pledged to work safely, and how KGa keeps our employees safe.
Why KGa Employees Work Safely
In 2018 we encouraged our employees to take a pledge to work safely. In addition, we asked our employees why they will continue to work safely. One common theme amongst our employees is the desire to be safe for their families. One of our Glass Mechanics, Erick Granados, said he pledged to work safely because he wants to “watch my kids grow up because they need me every day.” Similarly, our Vice President of Human Resources, Cindy French, said she pledged to work safely because she wanted to watch her grandchildren grow up. Most of our employees know that their coworkers have families to go home to. For example, our mechanic David Moore said “I plan to make safe choices every day so that my workers can go home to their family safe.”
Some of our employees do not have children but still pledged to work safely for their families. Jeanne Enders, our Senior Project Administrator, said she pledged to work safely for her nieces and nephews. Other employees pledged to help their chosen family. Pam Conner, our Fabrication Accountant, says she pledged to work safely in order to “continue to be there for my friends and continue to make my coworkers smile every day.”
Further, our employees are aware of the consequences of not working safely. Several of our employees expressed that they pledged to work safely to avoid additional work, injury, or death. For example, our Preconstruction and Contract Administrator, Nancy Genies, says she pledges to work safely because “I love me, and I hate doing extra paperwork.” Tyrone Thompson, one of our Lead Mechanics, said that he pledged to work safely to prevent injury to himself and other coworkers. KGa has recognized Tyrone’s safe behavior. Tyrone has been nominated as our Safe Driver of the Month for two months in a row. Meanwhile, another one of our Lead Mechanics, Jordan Welch, understood the ultimate price of not working safely. “I pledge to work safely so I do not die,” Jordan says.
How KGa Employees Work Safely
During their safety pledge, some of our employees said specific ways they pledged to work safely. Many of our employees brought up wearing their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). In addition, our employees know the value of encouraging safe behaviors in their coworkers.
KGa tracks how many days have lost time due to workplace hazards. We send daily announcements to our employees that tell them how many days we have had no lost time, and at least one tip to help keep our workplace safer. Our longest-running record of no lost time incidents is over 365 days.
In addition to what our employees pledged, KGa implements several policies to ensure our employees’ safety. For example, all KGa employees must become OSHA 10 certified during their first few months of employment. During the OSHA 10 course, our employees learn about PPE, OSHA compliance, and the Construction Focus Four. The Construction Focus Four refers to the top four workplace hazards. These hazards include falls, caught in-between hazards, struck-by hazards, and electrocution.
Every Tuesday, KGa employees participate in Toolbox Talks. These Toolbox Talks give employees the opportunity to educate and discuss various safety topics. For example, some of our previous topics include back injuries, preventing falls through holes, and hardhat safety.
Safe Driver of the Month
We reward our employees for working safely. Earlier in the article, we discussed Tyrone Thompson winning the Safe Driver of the Month award twice in a row. This award is selected by our Fleet Adminstrator Specialist, Nikki Watkins. Nikki runs reports on how safely our employees are driving in the company’s vehicles. For example, Nikki reports any instances of speeding or harsh driving. We have driver’s alert stickers on each vehicle which play additional factors. These employees are given recognition on our social media channels and internal company announcements.
Coronavirus pandemic presented new challenges for KGa to keep our employees safe. Some of the general policies KGa enacted during this time to keep employees safe include:
- Mandatory temperature screenings upon entering any KGa building
- All employees must wear masks
- Enforcing socially distant personal space zones
During the worst of the pandemic, all applicable employees were working remotely. For our employees who were not able to work remotely, we enforced social distancing guidelines, masks mandates, and instructed employees using company vehicles to take additional precautions to keep their vehicle clean.
When KGa determined it was safe to bring our employees back in-office, we did so in a very cautious way. We made sure our office was, at maximum, at 50% capacity. Our employees worked on a schedule where they would be in office 2 days a week, and continue to work remotely 3 days a week. In addition, we made sure all applicable employees’ desks had glass dividers installed. These glass dividers helped distance employees and prevent airborne pathogens from spreading. Finally, we also gave each employee with a desk disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer to keep their workspace clean.
In June of 2021, we are upping our office capacity to 100% and encouraging employees to work 3-days a week in the office instead of 2. This is because KGa has supported COVID-19 vaccination efforts through our mass vaccination event, and by providing Paid Time Off for getting the vaccine. In addition, if someone has side effects as a result of the vaccine, they are welcome to use this Paid Time Off reserved for coronavirus issues.
About Kensington Glass Arts
Kensington Glass Arts is a commercial glass fabricator and installer. In addition, KGa has a Commercial Service Division and can assist with Design Consultation. KGa is one of the very few glazing companies certified by the North American Contractor Certification (NACC) program. During this certification process, several aspects of a company are reviewed, including safety. Further, Kensington Glass Arts is a Certified Safety Glazing Manufacturer. This certification shows our clientele that we produce the safest glass possible.
Kensington Glass Arts also tries to keep our employees safe in other ways. We try to make our employees feel stable in their job, health, and community. We offer health, vision, and dental insurance, 401(k) contributions, and more. If you are interested in working at one of the safest glaziers in the Mid-Atlantic region, you can view KGa’s open positions here.
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