Construction workplace safety is arguably the most critical part of our businesses. By its nature, construction is inherently a dangerous occupation. Day in and day out, our construction workforce is installing the infrastructure of tomorrow. These job sites are fraught with potential risks to the well-being of our workforce. Our industry has transformed immensely since the turn of the 20th century, most notably in 1970 when the Occupational Safety and Health Act was signed into law to ensure safe and healthful working conditions by setting and enforcing standards and providing training. Since the inception of OSHA, workplace fatalities have been reduced by more than 65%. But having OSHA standards isn’t enough to ensure your workforce and trade partners go home safe and healthy at the end of the workday. As leaders in this industry, we must be committed to developing and nurturing a safety culture in our organizations.
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ABC Keystone Members,
Welcome to a New Year, with new goals and a fresh perspective on the clean slate for 2023. As your Chairman for 2023, I want to take a moment to share some of the exciting initiatives that we as a Chapter will be working on throughout the year.
What a year we have had. Not only did we get back to business as usual, but we set new milestones and welcomed new friends from the northern part of our State. We hit 92% retainage for the second year in a row, and we hit membership growth in July for the first time. One of the exciting parts of the year was the merger of Keystone and Central regions. We now cover 33 counties in PA. We were able to welcome new businesses into the Keystone family and show the benefits of membership. It was exciting to go to the Nittany Valley region and get to know many of the members, meet some great people and get to know their businesses. There are several new business partners for all of us to get to know and work with.
As we enter September, we usually think about finally reaching the home stretch for the year. However, here at ABC Keystone we start planning for the start of the new year ahead. Like most businesses, we have to think about the budget, but that is only one component. For our association, September becomes focused on strategic planning and making sure we elect our new Board members for 2023.
(MANHEIM, Pa.) The Keystone Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors announced the 2022 ABC STEP Safety Management System participants on Tuesday, August 16, during ABC Keystone’s Safety Recognition Breakfast presented by Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman PC. During the recognition event, representatives from Keystone Chapter member companies had the opportunity to hear remarks from Kevin Chambers, Area Director, U.S. Department of Labor OSHA – Harrisburg Area Office.
It is hard to believe that over half of 2022 has gone by. With this, ABC Keystone needs to look at how we are doing in terms of the strategic initiatives we set forth at the beginning of the year. The four areas we review are Political Influence, Continuous Growth & Value, Safety & Health, and Being the Leading Force in Workforce Development Education & Training.
Who is tired of hearing “elections have consequences?” I know I am, but after spending several days in Washington D.C. at the ABC National Legislative Conference, I get it. ABC National has been tracking several issues and waiting for some of the rules from the current administration to determine the next course of action. Several of these steps include preparing to file suit. The list of items from this administration that ABC opposes is extensive, and I suggest you visit the ABC website to review the list in detail. There are two items that I would like to highlight as they are of great importance to ABC members.
We hear all the time from those outside our industry that we are not safe, yet we hear our members say they take “Safety First” seriously. Which is it? It’s probably a little bit of both. Statistically, over the last several decades our industry has continued to get safer. However, we can do better to reduce jobsite injuries and fatalities.
ABC and its member companies work daily to build a construction workforce that is diverse, safe, skilled and productive. A foundational pillar of ABC’s very existence is safety. A culture of both physical and mental health and safety cannot exist without leadership taking a stand that includes an unwillingness to compromise safety and modeling this belief in their every action. Challenging and transforming the status quo to create a belief that all incidents are preventable creates a culture where safety is considered a moral obligation not just for leadership, but for all employees.
It’s time to celebrate! How great it is to see individuals work hard, complete their training, and move on to the next stage of their lives. High school students are trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives after school. College grads are looking for their first job and dealing with the student debt they have amassed. And, craft professionals have completed their education and are moving into their careers fully trained.
It’s that time of year again. Almost as exciting as the holidays. It’s STEP season. Okay, I can hear the groans and the eye rolls, and it reminds me of my wife or our girls as they respond to one of my comments. But it truly is an exciting time for ABC with the approaching STEP application deadline of July 1 for recognition at the Safety Recognition Breakfast on August 16. STEP is an extremely important time for us, and the data that is collected helps us to accomplish two of our missions: protecting employee total human health and advocating for your businesses.