Course Textbook APA Citation:
Asfahl, C. R., Hammer, W., & Price, D. (2004/2001). Occupational & industrial safety health management and engineering(2nd Custom ed.). New York, NY: Prentice-Hall.
Chapter 8 comes from an OSHA publication on job hazard analysis.
MOS 5201 uses a custom textbook including only information used in this course, resulting in a more cost-effective textbook than typically available otherwise.
Unit IV Article Critique
The Article Critique for Unit IV is based on the following article:
Mundy, R. D. (2003, December). The Safety man cometh . Professional Safety, 48 (12), 43-46.
The link to this article has been disabled. The article however is listed below. After you have read the assigned article, prepare answers to the following questions. Your response is expected to be 2-3 pages (double spaced), following the APA rules for formatting, quoting, paraphrasing, citing, and listing of sources.
1. The author describes his role as a safety man in the construction industry. Describe the safety conditions that existed before the company was sold to the new owner.
2. Mundy described the period of time after the company’s purchase by a new owner as a new era. Describe the safety initiatives introduced following the change in ownership.
3. Compare and contrast Mundy’s role to that of the safety man described in Chapter 2 (page 26) of the textbook. How are the positions similar? Dissimilar?
To submit your completed Article Critique, follow the submission instructions in Unit IV. Do not e-mail your paper directly to your professor. By uploading into Blackboard, your university record will automatically be updated to indicate you have submitted your paper and it will be provided to your professor for grading.
Professional safety journal December 2003 (Volume 48, No. 12) Safety Home
December 2003 (Volume 48, No. 12)
The Safety Man Cometh
Improving the perception of safety in the roofing industry
By Randall D. Mundy
Do roofers consider the safety man friend or foe? The author shares his experience as a safety manager in the roofing industry and his quest to improve one companys safety performance. He explains how a philosophy that started at the top with a new owner and involved an ongoing series of proactive efforts has had a positive impact .
DO ROOFERS CONSIDER the safety man friend or foe? On most occasions,
when I arrive on a commercial roofing jobsite to conduct a safety inspection, I can
hear the whispers, The safety mans here. On the surface, this has not changed
much in the two years since I became safety manager for a parent company that
owns three commercial roofing companies. I always wonder what quick changes
in procedures are being made for my benefit. Are workers hurrying to find PPE
(such as long-sleeve shirts and gloves if working with hot asphalt), moving
warning lines back to their proper location or tying off the ladder? Do I make
much of a difference?
As someone who worked nearly 30 years as a roofer, both as an employee and
employer, I have a good idea what is probably happening. In some situations, the
foreman may only be checking to make sure workers are complying with safety
procedures that he supports and requires; or, he may be advising them to conform
to the troublemakers (my) expectations for the 20 or 30 minutes that Im on site.
As a result, its difficult to truly know whether safety is receiving its proper
position in the workplace. However, in my opinion, even if workers and site
managers do the right things for the wrong reasons, the worksite is still safer as a
result. Because of political and economic pressure and a more enlightened view of
the workplace by management, it seems that progress is unavoidable, even if the
workforce is divided in its faithfulness to the program.
While businesses are morally bound to provide as safe a workplace as possible,
implementing an effective program can be costly. Businesses are only successful
when they make more money than they spend; therefore, in order to be attractive,
safety must be shown to save money as well as lives. Many within the roofing
industry, like those in many other industries, have had to be dragged kicking and
screaming toward making the workplace safer.
The Impact of OSHA
In 1970, when Congress was developing the OSH Act, politicians considered
that 14,000 American workers were dying because of workplace hazards, 2.5
million workers were being disabled and 300,000 new cases of occupational
diseases were being reported every year ( Goetsch 53 ). Clearly, a comprehensive,
uniform law was needed to help reduce the incidence of work-related injuries,
illnesses and deaths. The OSH Act of 1970 addressed this need ( Goetsch 53 ).
According to Goetsch, OSHAs primary mission and purpose is to 1) encourage
employers and employees to reduce hazards in the workplace; 2) implement new
safety and health programs; 3) research ways to improve workplace safety; 4)
establish training programs; 5) establish mandatory workplace standards; and 6)
monitor job-related illnesses and injuries through reporting and recordkeeping
( 54 ). The agencys presence over the past 33 years has pushed safety to the
forefront of business concerns for many U.S. industries. Its efforts to prove the
economic value of providing safe workplaces, coupled with the threat of major
fines for noncompliance with OSHA standards, have convinced many employers
In addition to its many compliance inspections each year (35,778 in 2001), the
agency also tries a softer approach that encompasses education and consultation.
In 2001, OSHA made more than 27,000 visits to small employers and provided
more than 260,000 workers and employers with safety and health training.
Activities on both fronts are likely to continue for the foreseeable future, as
President Bush proposed a $437 million budget for OSHA in 2003 ( OSHA 1 ).
Beyond compliance, some companies have realized that safe workplaces are
good for businessthat safe working conditions cut the high cost of workplace
accidents and injuries. In a typical year, U.S. industry loses $48 billion as a result
of workplace accidents ( Goetsch 19 ). Related medical expenses reach $24 billion
yearly, and families lose $38 billion in wages ( Goetsch 20 ). National Safety
Council estimates that American workers lose 35 million workhours every year,
which does not include additional time missed for follow-up visits after returning
to work ( Goetsch 22 ).
Wisdom suggests that when faced with fierce business competition, progressive,
forward-looking companies would do well to embrace workplace safety. Goetsch
believes that companies which focus on safety can be more competitive because
they attract and keep the best employees. Safety also allows employees to focus on
their work without distractions related to unsafe conditions. These savings free up
money for reinvestment in technology and help to protect corporate image
( Goetsch 22 ). Such companies often hire staff safety specialists and create site specific
safety programsoften with more stringent requirements than OSHAs
The Roofing Industrys View of Safety
The roofing industry is a hazardous one in which to work. Because of its high
profile in the construction industry and the high potential for fall-related injuries
and deaths, OSHA notices. Although a roofer is most at risk of death or serious
injury due to falls, s/he faces many other hazards, including the potential for being
burned or cut; being struck by objects or equipment; and being electrocuted.
Although the industry has made strides in safety, some within the industry have
viewed OSHA as a thorn in its side. In a 1998 article published in Professional
Roofing, Good wrote:
If there is one agency that causes roofing contractors more anxiety
than any other (with the possible exception of the Internal Revenue
Service), it has to be OSHA. Yet, despite a turbulent 28-year
history, the OSH Act of 1970 only has been amended once, in 1990,
to raise the amount of fines that could be levied against employers.
Although Congress has attempted to change the act, it never put
forth bills that could make it through both congressional houses and
be signed by the president ( Good 1 ).
The National Roofing Contractors Assn. (NRCA) reported this regarding
OSHAs Cooperative Compliance Program: To the relief of various small business
organizations, including NRCA, OSHAs attempt to institute another
safety program has been halted temporarily by a federal appeals court ( Puniani
2 ). Clearly, some companies prefer their safety to be as painless and
uncomplicated as possible.
Almost six years ago, I started working as journeyman/foreman for a roofing
company that paid little attention to safety. Management did only what it
perceived as absolutely necessary to avoid OSHA fines. I had worked for the
same company in the 1970s; when I rejoined the firm in late 1990s, not much had
Although a relatively large business, the company was located in a smaller
midwestern city and conducted most of its work out of the sight of OSHA
inspectors. For more than 30 years, it had avoided OSHA inspections and audits.
The company had been luckynot only because it had avoided fines, but also
because it had not experienced any fatal accidents or serious injuries, which
certainly would have drawn OSHAs attention.
By the late 1990s, the company still had no formal safety plan. New employees
received no safety training. No fall protection was required on most jobs. The
company required no PPE, unless a general contractor for which it was working
required it. No employees were CPR or first-aid trained or certified. The
companys injury recordkeeping consisted of keeping OSHA 200 logs and posting
them as required.
Such inattention to safety put employees and the companys existence in great
peril. For years, the company suffered as a result of worker injuries and the
insurance woes that accompany high injury statistics. Injuries ranged from cuts
and bruises to burns, broken bones and sprains. According to OSHA injury logs,
between 1975 and 2000, the company experienced an average of 14.5 recordable
injuries per year. One year, the company experienced 27 injuries. In another year,
the company had only nine injuries, but three of them tallied a total of 275 lost
days for the year.
A New Era Begins
When a new owner bought the company in 2000, he recognized that safety
issues needed to be addressed. Not only did he want to eliminate injury risks, he
also needed to reduce the companys insurance costs in order to be more
competitive. The companys experience modification rate had consistently been
above 1.0 for many years.
To achieve these goals, the owner believed a full-time safety manager was
needed to oversee safety and health for this company and two other roofing
companies he planned to buy or launch. He wanted to hire someone who had
experience as a roofera person who, if not trained in safety, would be able and
willing to learn, would identify with roofers needs and know best how to
convince them that change was necessary.
I began the job early that year. Within a year, a general manager who shared this
respect for a strong safety plan was hired as well. My job was not easy. I first had
to be converted myself. While I recognized that the company could be much safer,
I carried some of the same prejudices as my fellow workers concerning perceived
hassles of safety precautions. To overcome this, I invested time and effort to learn
about OSHA and its standards, and to read current literature and arguments
supporting workplace safety.
Next, I had to convince workers that change was goodboth for them and the
company. Not only would they be safer, but their jobs would be more secure as
well. Hefty fines and lawsuits could conceivably bankrupt the company, leaving
them to search for work.
Initially, making the jobsite safer was a priority. Pre-employment and random
drug testing was instituted. Several workers left as a result; some tried to test the
system and were penalized. After three years, the workforce has become much
more dependable and productive.
Fall protection was also an immediate focus. The company purchased warning lines,
guardrails and safety vests for monitors, and mandated that they be used as
required by OSHA CFR 1926.500 Subpart M, Fall Protection. Many roofers
scoffed at the new policies, but I tried to help them understand that this was the
direction the company was going. I also acknowledged that while some of the
procedures seemed silly, their adoption would keep the roofers saferand
Safety trainingfor both the employees and myselfwas next. The company purchased training videos covering fall protection, in particular, and proper roofing procedures, in general. Employees were also trained how to use forklifts and cranes, and foremen and leadmen were required to become CPR/first-aid certified. In some cases, such as forklift operation, I became certified to train and certify others. I also received 40-hour OSHA and 30-hour asbestos abatement certification. With assistance from the company, I am now pursuing a masters degree in occupational safety and health.
The companys recordkeeping was also improved. The firm now documents all
training, jobsite inspections, drug-test results and disciplinary action.
To gain worker buy-in to the safety procedures, and to emphasize the fact that
unsafe actions affect not only the worker, but the company as well, I often relate
stories gleaned from trade magazines. This hypothetical situation from a 1998
article in Professional Roofer is quite effective: A young new worker was killed in
a fall. There were no witnesses, but fall protection equipment was available on the
jobsite and visible from the ground. The company owner told OSHA investigators
that the victim had been trained to use protective gear, but recordkeeping did not
support this claim. OSHA fined the company $20,000 for fall-protectionrelated
violations ( Staska ).
An Added Incentive
All of these efforts were still not enough to change attitudes to the desired
degree. Although some workers could be coerced to follow the new safety plan by
threat of reprimands or termination, the owner wanted to motivate people through
As Geller explains, outcome expectancy is an important part of motivation:
. . . people motivate themselves to do or not to do something by
anticipating what positive consequences will be gained and/or what
negative consequences will be avoided. So, a person might believe s/
he can do anything and believe it will have a certain effect, yet will
not take action unless s/he believes the outcome is worth the
effort. . . . The potential gain from following an inconvenient
process might seem too small to justify the amount of effort
required for implementation ( Geller 28 ).
Experience suggested that the typical safety drawing, scratchoff cards or safety
trinkets would not work. I believed that everyone who worked safely needed to
receive something of value: Money. The new owner agreed to give each employee
who remained injury-free for a three-month period and extra 25 cents per hour for
the quarter. This meant that each roofer who worked safely for a full year could
earn, on average, an extra $400much better than a baseball cap, coffee cup or
scratchoff card with a chance to win a $50 gift certificate. The roofers embraced
When developing the program, it was noted that serious injuries might go
unreported as a result of the incentive program. I have closely monitored reported
injuries and am convinced that this is not a problem. The company also strives to
keep injured employees working by providing light-duty tasks (when possible and
with doctors approval).
Since safety became a focus, progress has been made. In 2001, the company had
10 recordable injuries50 percent fewer than the previous year. In 2002, the
number dropped to seven. Only four lost workday injuries have been recorded in
each of the last three years. The firms experience modification rate has also
droppedto 1.0 in 2001, 0.95 in 2002 and 0.75 for 2003.
Earlier, I speculated what roofers might be doing and saying as they see me
approaching a jobsite. Some negative attitudes likely persist, but many positive
attitudes have developed as well. Some roofers have confided that the changes
have been good. Certainly, they like receiving the extra safety checks every three
The company is slowly developing what Molenaar, et al, term a corporate safety
culture. Although many construction companies have comprehensive safety
plans, a plans quality does not necessarily correlate to the companys safety
performance. Written safety plans can be effective, but companies must go beyond
the letter of the plan and create a true ‘safety culture ( 18 ). This culture is based
on the beliefs, values and actions that are consistently shown and expressed by all
involved. Management sets the proper tone by showing that employee safety and
health is as important as profit; giving field employees a share of the process and
profits; and creating the safety manager position and investing in that persons
qualifications and training to achieve corporate goals.
As that safety manager, I can attest that managements sincerity fuels my own
commitment to administer the safety program to the best of my ability in order to
protect lives and the companys financial investments. This enthusiasm is, in turn,
fueling workers commitment to safety. After three years, the company seems to
have turned the corner. As the company president says, Little by little, were
winning. As the safety man, I am perceived as the face of the companys safety
program. More and more, I believe the workers realize that face wears a white hat.
Geller, E.S. Sustaining Participation in a Safety Improvement Process: 10 Relevant Principles from Behavioral
Science. Professional Safety. Sept. 2001: 24-29.
Good, C. A Changing OSHA. Professional Roofing. Sept. 1998. < http://www.professionalroof ing.net/past/
Goetsch, D.L. Occupational Safety and Health. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2002.
Hammer, W. and D. Price. Occupational Safety Management and Engineering. 5th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ:
Prentice Hall, 2001.
Molenaar, K., et al. Corporate Culture. Professional Safety. July 2003: 18-27.
OSHA. OSHA Facts. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Labor, OSHA, 2003.
Puniani, A. OSHAs New Safety Program Put on Hold. Professional Roofing. April 1998. < http://www.
Staska, A. Keeping Training Records Can Reduce Citations. Professional Roofing. Aug. 1998. < http://www.
Randall D. Mundy is safety manager for a company that owns three different roofing companies which work throughout Kansas and Missouri. During his career, he has worked as a roofer in Kansas, Utah, California and Tennessee. Mundy holds an undergraduate degree in history from Washburn University and is pursuing an M.S. in
Occupational Safety and Health from Columbia Southern University.
http://www.electronicipc.com/journalez/mo/detail.cf…=836581&cftoken=B0DC0EC5-9175-49CC-80C64328F33CC663 (7 of 8)10/19/2006 3:58:34 PM
The Safety Man Cometh
Judgments made or opinions expressed in Professional Safety feature articles, news sections, letters to the editor, meeting reports or related journal content do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor, nor should they be considered an expression of official policy by ASSE. They are published for the purpose of stimulating
independent thought on controversial matters or problems of concern to the safety profession. Professional Safety copyright© 2006 by the American Society of Safety Engineers. All rights reserved. Downloaded PDF files are for your individual use and reference only. Permission to reproduce articles must be obtained from the editor.
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