We’ve all heard the phrase “culture is cultivated from the top” and everyone enjoys a little whipped cream or froth on their hot beverage of choice. If only there was a way to harness and keep it from the “inevitable dissolve.”

When it comes to establishing a true and living safety culture within your organization, the froth needs to be mixed in throughout the company so everyone believes in it and can benefit from it.

Evans Roofing Company, Inc., with its subsidiaries Charles F. Evans (union) and CFE, Inc. (non-union), is a building envelope contractor licensed in 46 states. Charles F. Evans and CFE, Inc. are the only commercial roofing and wall panel contractors to hold the VPP STAR mobile work force designation.

VPP is a voluntary protection program founded by OSHA to highlight and promote contractors with an outstanding safety program and culture. In the VPP culture, management, labor, and OSHA establish cooperative relationships at workplaces that implement comprehensive safety and health management systems.

Approval into VPP is OSHA’s official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exceptional occupational safety and health in their organizations. OSHA approves qualified companies to one of two levels:                                                                                                      

  • Merit
  • Star

Application acceptance, On-site evaluations, Health & Safety Programs actually work. In 2007, Evans Roofing Company, Inc. Subsidiaries started their journey. In 2008, we became the first VPP Merit – Mobile Workforce contractor in the United States. In 2012, Evans Roofing Company, Inc. subsidiaries achieved “STAR” status under VPP and are still the only commercial roofing and wall panel contractor to achieve this honor to date.

How does VPP benefit us?

Most important, we offer a higher standard of care to our associates and customers.

Fewer injuries and illnesses:

  • Reduction in retraining and replacement of employees.
  • Lower workers’ compensation premiums and first aid claims.

Cost savings allows us to purchase new safety equipment and additional safety staff. It gives us a chance to mentor other companies as well. Entire industries benefit as VPP sites evolve into models of excellence and influence practices industry-wide.

Where it begins at Evans Roofing Company, Inc.:

By utilizing our internal program of Total Quality Management “TQM” we provide our employees and customers with our three main pillars, “Safety, Quality and Uncompromised Customer Satisfaction.” All of our associates participate in these training sessions from top management to field associates. By allowing everyone to have the understanding and commitment of the TQM program, it helps to ensure its success with continuous delivery throughout the company.

Training from the ground up

Evans Roofing Company, Inc. starts every newly hired associate from the beginning regardless of past experience, prior training or skill level. All associates must first complete a two-day new hire orientation, which includes a standardized safety training customized to fall protection and the roofing industry.

This hands-on approach gives the associates a better understanding of the known hazards on any given project. By providing the associates with hands-on demonstrations on the complete personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), including proper anchor points, components, hardware, fall protection equipment and proper inspections to name a few, helps to ensure the proper setup from the beginning. During this training, all associates are put through the OSHA 10 hour class as part of the safety training. We take this extra time to better familiarize our associates with the hazards of the construction industry as a whole, not just roofing.

By encouraging our associates to work safe each day, to take care of themselves and their fellow associates on our roofs just makes sense. Being responsible for safety, practicing it each and every day and being a safety coach for others is an incredible thing to witness. Finally keep in mind when you are reviewing your safety program are you just meeting OSHA’s minimum standards or are you breaking away from that mentality and practicing project safety above and beyond the federal guidelines.