When Rocky Geans, a residential concrete contractor in Kishawaka, Ind., first started a safety program for his workers in 1991, it was an uphill battle. Today, the 20 employees of L.L. Geans & Sons Inc. have a different attitude about safety: It results in peace of mind.
Using the services of a local safety consultant to start and maintain his program, Geans requires his employees to attend monthly safety meetings, pass a first-aid class every year, and have weekly safety talks with their foremen during lunch breaks. Geans also keeps a manual of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) in the main office and in each of his six foremen's trucks. As an incentive for employees to practice safety, Geans gives all workers a $25 gift certificate for tools for each calendar quarter having fewer than three minor accidents, no major accidents, and no lost-time accidents.
In addition to reducing employee injuries, the safety program has reduced Geans' insurance costs 30% in the five years since he started the program. "Having a safety prgram also is one of the things that influences people to stay at the company," Geans says.