The construction industry has a new resource for improving job site safety — an AGC Safety Database that provides up-to-date information and guidance on occupational safety, health and compliance.
AGC of Alaska recently launched the new database online as a free benefit to AGC members, populated with safety plans, templates, safety sheets, checklists, inspection sheets and other documents that will help companies improve their safety training programs, recordkeeping and regulatory compliance.
Two members of the AGC Safety Committee — Steve Rowe, owner of Better Safety Record; and Kirk Waggoner, safety coordinator for Davis Constructors & Engineers — said the database grew out of a desire of the Safety Committee to have one place where members can go for safety documents and training information. The Safety Committee realized that contractors and others may need help improving their safety programs, especially subcontractors that might not be able to afford to employ a safety coordinator.
“They often learn through their general contractor,” Waggoner said. “We thought, what if we created a database that was accessible to everybody and that had safety plans and safety sheets in one location?”
“In the safety world, we don’t have a copyright; we share our information,” Waggoner added. “Our goal is to protect people.”
Safety information and regulations are available on the internet, Waggoner said, but the research is time-consuming, and it’s not always obvious where to look.
Rowe and Waggoner have worked for months organizing the database, using Viewpoint construction management software and populating it with information they think contractors and subcontractors need the most.
For example, to be in compliance with OSHA, it is important that everyone knows how to document training and inspections and to keep accurate records, Waggoner said. Such a task can be daunting, especially for smaller companies. “If you are using a forklift on a job, for instance, OSHA requires training and certification for the forklift operator.” The database will provide that information, he said.
“I’ve been in business for a long time, and sometimes I still need things,” he said. “If you can go to one place to find it, that makes it easier for people to be compliant and safe.”
Now, with the database, “you can go to the site, pull it up and format it to your company,” Waggoner said.
The database is available through AGC’s website at www.agcak.org/safety-database.html.
At a recent AGC Lunch & Learn training session, Rowe and Waggoner walked participants through the Safety Database, which has a navigation pane on the left side with a drop-down menu. By clicking on the “AGC Alaska” tab, users will see a pull-down menu of construction categories, with tabs for Construction, Oil & Gas, Marine, MSHA, DOT Highway, Hospital, Demolition, Aviation, Corps of Engineers and Safety Professional.
Within a category, “you will find everything you need to run an effective safety program, from being able to download a template and building your own safety program, instructions on how to continue your program, and if you need help, who to call, if you have issues, how to resolve them,” Rowe told participants.
For example, by clicking on the Construction category and then on “Recordkeeping,” users will find Recordkeeping, Reporting and Inspections Plan; Disciplinary Program; Access to Employee Medical and Exposure Records; Contractor Requirements SOP; Written Notice of Safety Violation, Safety Observation Report; and much more.
Many of the documents are in template form, making it easy for users to insert a company name, logo and date.
Rowe said the sample plans and documents will be especially helpful to contractors and subs that can’t afford full-time safety coordinators. “Now they have somewhere to go to build their plans,” he said.
But he and Waggoner cautioned that these documents are just the starting point. It is up to users to customize the forms for their own purposes and to be alert to updates to documents and requirements.
During the training session, Kimberley Gray, AGC events coordinator, told participants to just provide her with their names and emails to start the process. New users will then receive an email with easy sign-on instructions.
It’s as simple as “hitting the button to our (Safety Database) splash page,” Gray said. The page will also show upcoming safety-related meetings and training as well as safety alerts.
The database’s Construction category has been mostly populated, and Rowe and Waggoner are working to fill the other categories. When completed, each tab will contain a wealth of documents such as inspection sheets, checklists, safety sheets and safety plan templates.
“The feedback we’ve gotten is really good,” Rowe said. “Subs are saying this will be awesome to have resources they understand and can afford and the help they need to protect themselves and their employees.”
Waggoner and Rowe said they appreciate AGC’s commitment to improving job site safety in Alaska.
“If we could make a centralized place with backing, especially with someone as good as AGC as a partner, we could promote safety throughout the state and make a safer workforce all together,” Rowe said.
To get log-in information to access the online database, call Kimberley Gray at 907-561-5354 or email her at Kimberley@agcak.org.
Sharon Stockard is managing editor of The Alaska Contractor.