In the safety meetings I present to the guys at work – I talk about all kinds of stuff from proper ways of doing things to watch out for these common practices that are dangerous. I’ve also thrown in look what is coming down the line in new safety laws and see this group over here – they did something stupid and all got fired because it wasn’t safe and they put their company in a precarious position.

One of the areas discussed in the last few months was the importance of proper trenching and shoring techniques and knowing which ones to use for the type of job you are doing. Our company safety manual even has diagrams showing the proper techniques for the various soils and needs. The guys listened, half heartedly, but they listened. The boss asked for those diagrams to be kept in an accessible place on the main work truck. Done.

At the big safety conference I went to this week, I saw a presentation by one of the regional directors for OSHA. He showed an inspector who just happened to go by a trenching job and didn’t like the looks of it. He wasn’t sent there, he just saw it on his way down the road. He told the guys to get out because he didn’t think it was safe. They listened. Five minutes later the trench caved in. He saved lives that day. I saw pictures of the trench before and after the cave in. Impactful. I also saw a picture of a man covered in mud being pulled out of a caved in trench. I think he was still alive, but not by much. Again, impactful.

It reminded me that there is a reason I do these safety meetings on a regular basis and a reason why we have these practices in place – to make sure workers can go home to their families at night. I’m glad to be a part of Bulldog Contractors LLC in Jefferson, Texas, that takes the safety of their workers seriously enough to have these regular safety meetings. I think I can go to bed at night with a clear conscience.

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