Mark Your Calendars (and Register): CERTA Training – October 18, 2019

Brauner Safety Services will be offering the NRCA Certified Roofing Torch Applicator Training Program in just a few short weeks (October 18, 2019) in Pompano Beach, Florida.  Open to roofing contractors and their crew members, CERTA Training for roofers lowers risk and liability for roofing contractors, assures compliance with insurance underwriting guidelines and reduces exposure of personal and corporate assets.

The training that is being held in partnership with SOPREMA on October 18, 2019 will include NRCA Certification, training support, as well as breakfast and lunch.  The training session will be held at SOPREMA Pompano Beach Building (2900 Center Point Circle, Pompano Beach, FL) and will run from 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM.

CERTA Training is a vital part of the educational programming and certifications that roofers need to be successful on the job site.   The full-day program trains experienced roof system installers on the safe use of roofing torches used to apply polymer-modified bitumen roofing products. CERTA training demonstrates and teaches how proper roof system configuration design and application techniques can result in fire-safe installations.

From a liability perspective, the reduction in severity and frequency of torch claims is significant.  A severe torch claim can negatively impact and even put a roofing professional out of business for a wide range of reasons including but not limited to:
1.  Inadequate insurance limits to protect the roofing contractor’s balance sheet.
2.  Potential exposure for future garnished earnings if the roofing contractor’s insurance is not adequate to make the building owner whole.
3.  A severe torch claim that has significant property damage for a key building owner/client could cause the reoccurring revenue for the client to discontinue due to poor public relations and loss of income caused by the inability to occupy the building.
4.  If there is an insurance company policy limit for torch claims suffered by a roofing contractor, there will typically be severe budget increases for the roofing contractor’s insurance for the next five years.

By making safety and training a priority, you are providing security to your crews and your business on every job.  To take part in the October CERTA Training program, visit the program link for more information.  Registration is limited, so it is important that you book and reserve your spot in advance.  For additional information and questions, please contact Brauner Safety Services.

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Hurricane Preparation for Roofing Professionals

If you are a Florida roofer, chances are that your phone is already ringing about Hurricane Dorian.  The hurricane is more than four days from impact, and panic has already begun.  From empty shelves where water and bread once sat in the grocery store to long lines at the gas pumps, Floridians have started to prepare (as of 08/29/19), and so should you and your business.

As of the latest forecast (source: Weather Channel 11:00am, 08/29/19), Hurricane Dorian is expected to strengthen to a Category 4 before hitting land (somewhere in Florida) on Labor Day (Monday 09/02/19).  As most hurricane veterans are aware, this forecast is likely to change quite a bit over the next few days, but as a roofer, you should be watching it closely and preparing as if it were coming right at you and your open jobs.  After all, roofers serve somewhat of a first responder role when it comes to property damage, and once the storm passes, phones will be ringing.  Will you and your crews be ready to respond?  Here are a few steps you can take to prepare you and your business for the upcoming hurricane and post-hurricane demand:

  1. Gas Up – By now, your trucks and fleet should have fuel topped off. Additionally, any reserve canisters/tanks should be filled.  In order to get out to your job sites and calls, you will need your trucks to be ready, and with the chance of gas stations being depleted at that time, you don’t want to take any risks.  From a safety perspective, all gasoline should be safely stored.  Check out the safety guidelines from Exxon on gasoline storage, and use only approved metal or plastic gasoline containers.
  2. Prepare Job Sites – This one goes without saying, but it is still something that every roofer and construction professional should be reminded of prior to severe weather conditions entering the area. Beyond closing open roofs, any equipment, tools, materials and machinery should be removed from all job sites.  Loose objects and materials become major hazards with heavy wind, and in order to keep your clients safe (and lower your liability), your property should be removed from your clients’ properties.
  3. Prepare Crews – From your employees to your subcontractors, now is the time to confirm their availability and readiness post-hurricane. First and foremost, you should have a system for everyone checking in and reporting their safety status.  Down power lines and trees may prevent them from getting to where they need to be in a timely manner.  This system should factor in potential power outages, satellite/internet interruption, as well as the distance between locations; it can be as simple as a call-in system, phone/call tree, and/or a form that everyone fills out in advance.
  4. Prepare Clients – With all clients, active and inactive, you are well positioned to provide storm safety resources and tips for ensuring that their homes and properties are properly prepared for high winds and heavy rain.  Use this time as an opportunity to engage your customers and provide tools to guide them through what can be a daunting, and sometimes panic-filled, process.  OSHA, FEMA, CDC and other government agencies offer checklists and hurricane preparedness advice that can benefit you and your clients, including but not limited to:

Checklist for disaster and emergency supplies kit

A worksheet and tools for building your emergency response plan

Tips for Preparing an Emergency Food and Water Supplies

Clean Up Safety Guidelines

More resources can be found online, including helpful tools for getting safety on the radar of your crews and customers.  The bottom line:  Prepare for the worst and stay hopeful for a positive outcome.  There really is no such thing as being too safe or preparing too much, so take your time getting all of your clients, crews, properties and documents in order.  With the storm following a weekend, there will be a little extra time to take the appropriate steps and be ready for meeting the upcoming demand both professionally and safely.

To learn more about how Brauner Safety Services can prepare your crews with proper safety training, including CPR and First Aid and the latest OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 now offered in English and Spanish, contact Brauner Safety Services.

Brauner Safety Services Welcomes New Team Member

For those of you who follow Brauner Safety Services on social media, you are probably already aware of the expansion of services in recent months.  Beyond offering OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 in English and Spanish, new consulting service, CPR and First Aid and other safety programs have been added to the growing list of Brauner Safety’s educational offerings.

Along with the expansion in services, Brauner Safety is pleased to be expanding its team and welcoming Christopher Paulin as a team leader and educator.

Christopher Paulin has over 35 years of experience in the construction industry and possesses a Bachelor’s Degrees in Construction Management and English Literature from Connecticut State University.  He has direct, hands-on experience with medium to large scale Masonry, Light Gauge Steel Framing and Commercial Roofing projects, making him a perfect fit for Brauner’s industry-specific safety training program.

Chris possesses vast knowledge of the roofing industry – Having worked primarily within the commercial sector of roofing, Chris has served a multitude of roles ranging from Roof Repair Technician to Manufacturer’s Roof System Inspector.  Other industry positions he has held include Architectural Sales Representative for a major roof system manufacturer and National Accounts Sales Manager for a nationally recognized roofing (Top 100) company.  Chris is a National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) Certified Roofing Torch Applicator (CERTA) Authorized Trainer, an OSHA Authorized Trainer for Construction and an NRCA PROCertification Assessor, all of which programs are offered nationwide by Brauner Safety Services.

Chris currently resides in Stratford, Connecticut with his wife Mary Ellen, and while he has a core focus in the northeast, he will be leading training sessions throughout all of Brauner Safety’s service areas.  His current focus is on safety training and quality improvement, and his experience has allowed him to teach roofing installation and safety in a variety of regions including the United States, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.  With his fluency in Spanish, Chris will be the lead trainer for many of the bilingual training sessions now available through Brauner Safety Services.

For more information on how you can reserve a customized and comprehensive safety training for your crews and employees, contact us.

Keeping Crews Cool This Summer

Keeping your crews safe goes beyond safety training and harnesses.  With the summer temperatures rising and high heat conditions upon us, it is vital that safety precautions are in place to protect your workers.  In addition to high heat conditions leading to injury, and even fatalities, failing to protect employees working in extreme heat is an OSHA violation.

According to OSHA, every year dozens of workers die and thousands more become ill while working in extreme heat or humid conditions. Moreover, 40%+ of heat-related worker deaths occur in the construction industry, and conditions are not just limited to dehydration; there are a variety of heat illnesses that can affect anyone, regardless of age or physical condition.

Under OSHA law, employers are responsible for providing workplaces free of known safety hazards, and extreme heat is considered a significant hazard.   In order to educate employers and the public, OSHA runs a campaign (Water.Rest.Shade) with the intention of keeping more workers safe under high heat conditions.  An employer should establish a complete heat illness prevention program that includes but is not limited to:

  1. Water, Rest and Shade – While it may appear obvious, water, rest and shade are three concepts that should be integrated into your daily routine and safety practices. It’s quite simple… As an employer, it is crucial that you provide your crews with plenty of water, appropriate breaks and rest as well as shaded areas on the jobsite.
  2. Make a Plan – Having a plan for new or returning workers to gradually increase workloads and take more frequent breaks as they adjust or build their tolerance for working in high heat conditions.
  3. Training and Prepare – Plan ahead for heat related illnesses, injuries and emergencies; make sure all team members are equally and properly trained to handle potential scenarios.
  4. Monitor for Symptoms – Have the site supervisor monitor workers (and workers monitor each other) for signs of heat related issues or illnesses.

To monitor the most common of symptoms for serious heat related illnesses, OSHA offers a simple go-to reference guide covering symptoms and first aid measures that should be taken if a worker shows signs of a heat-related illness.  The full chart can be found by visiting their list of symptoms here.

While recognizing symptoms can be lifesaving in certain situations, prevention is the best way to stay ahead of heat stroke and other illnesses.  The most direct way to do this is simple: Keep the work environment cooler.  OSHA lists a variety of engineering controls that can reduce workers’ exposure to heat, and they are as follows:

  • Air conditioning (such as air-conditioned crane or construction equipment cabs, air-conditioned break rooms)
  • Increased general ventilation
  • Cooling fans
  • Local exhaust ventilation at points of high heat production or moisture
  • Reflective shields to redirect radiant heat
  • Insulation of hot surfaces (such as furnace walls)
  • Elimination of steam leaks.

In addition to keeping the environment and conditions as cool as possible, employers should have a clear emergency plan in place, as well as ensure that drinking water is always replenished and close to the work area.   As with any safety plan, first aid practices should be clearly understood and demonstrated by your team, and all personal protective equipment (coolmax clothing, wide brim hats, sunblock, etc.) should be required and provided by the employer.  Make sure your crews are current on the latest CPR and First Aid practices through appropriate training such as the program offered through Brauner Safety Services.

With proper preparation and training, your crews can and should stay safe and hydrated on the job.  By putting your teams’ health and safety first, you are not simply fulfilling a legal obligation – You are showing them that you care about their well-being and are actively working to provide them with a safe and secure workplace.

To learn more about how Brauner Safety Services can prepare your crews with proper safety training, including CPR and First Aid and the latest OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 now offered in English and Spanish, contact Brauner Safety Services.

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