Five steps to learn the easy way, not the hard…
Lee Danley, EDD, MS, BS
McGhee Crane Services; Executive Director

In many high-risk industries, including the crane industry, safety factors have become vital to success. Many contractors are starting to require more general liability insurance coverage for all of the subcontractors they hire. McGhee Crane Services (MCS) is among many who have faced the shift in safety, compliance, and insurance expectations head on, and have remained solvent. MCS operates from a safety-first perspective and assures OSHA compliance in all areas. As required by law, we only utilize operators certified by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) and who are ruled competent through evaluation. Only the best of the best are allowed to operate our frequently inspected and professionally maintained cranes and equipment.

A proactive approach to remain competitive and insurable was taken long ago by McGhee Crane Services (MCS). We had already adopted several applicable policies and practices that may have been taken for granted a decade ago. MCS has a developed a strong safety-minded organizational culture over the course of time, and has realized the value of project planning as it relates to safety. In addition, the importance of inspection and ongoing equipment maintenance has always been essential to MCS success. The areas outlined below can help you maintain safer operations to mitigate risk and avoid elevated insurance costs.

Inspections: Ongoing inspections of equipment above and beyond what is required by OSHA are highly recommended. In addition to and as a result of inspection, scheduled maintenance and repair of equipment can diminish the likelihood of problems on the worksite.

Planning: Short of actually visiting the worksite in advance, crane rental companies can plan a project based on applicable information. Through global satellite imagery, software, and other technologies, a plan of operation can be created that will enhance safety.

Compliance: Remain diligent in your record-keeping and tracking of operator certifications. All major contractors will want to see evidence of an operators qualifications. Allow your workforce to remain current with industry trends and achieve additional certifications or relevant skill-sets. Provide the training necessary or desired by your employees in an effort to combat the increasing demands of the industry, government, and insurance companies.

Empowerment: Make sure your operators understand that they have decision-making authority on the jobsite. Their ability to assess jobsite conditions and determine whether safety concerns exist should be inherent based on their experience. Operators should demand certain conditions be changed if an assessment reveals unsafe conditions.

Encouragement: Make sure to encourage your operators to maintain healthy lifestyle habits. Proper eating habits, adequate sleep, staying hydrated, and physical exercise make for well-rounded employees. Incentivize your operators to remain high-performing through programs that reward good behavior. Implementing and enforcing a random drug-screening program can also help curtail unexpected safety issues as well as increased insurance premiums.

Adhering to these concepts will help you step up your safety game. By enhancing your safety program, a high-risk industry like crane rentals can remain viable and competitive during times of uncertainty. Many different variables can cause increased insurance rates, and can deter business growth. However, with strong safety controls you can stay ahead of the competition, and with the awareness of stakeholder expectations you can survive sudden and unanticipated change.