Tag Archive for Education

How to Improve Safety Performance and TRIR

How to Improve Safety Performance and TRIRKeeping people injury free at work and at the job site is always the top priority. With that said, Total Recordable Injury Rate, commonly known as TRIR, is a number that can help your company assess your safety performance and how other companies assess you.

TRIR is determined using the following calculation:

Total OSHA recordable injuries x 200,000 / total hours worked = TRIR

With this in mind, here are a few tips on how to improve your TRIR with a Safety Performance Plan.

Safety Performance

Some suggest that awareness alone is sufficient for a safe workplace. But it’s important to make the distinction between awareness and performance. Awareness is needed to identify hazards; however’ a person must perform the act of reporting or correcting the unsafe condition to truly keep people safe and reach the ultimate safety performance goal of zero work related injuries.

Risk Tolerance

Hazard recognition and awareness do not equal risk tolerance. One may be aware and recognize a hazard but disregard the risk. Risk tolerance can be simply defined as unsafe work behaviors, or how much risk will a worker will take before an incident is certain. Workers should have high hazard recognition and a low risk tolerance to ensure they are working safely. It’s a good practice to have workers consider the worst possible outcome before performing a task.


Safety training should be an ongoing part of your Safety Performance Plan to ensure workers are “competent” as defined by OSHA. OSHA defines a “competent person” as: By way of training and/or experience, one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in their surroundings or working conditions that are unsanitary, hazardous or dangerous to employees and has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.

New workers should be taught the full spectrum of safety protocols before entering any job site. Experienced workers should receive regular refresher training. Subject matter and frequency is the key to success with training.


Effective safety communication and management must be ongoing with safety being equally important as all other aspects of one’s job. Workers should be encouraged to communicate safety concerns with their supervisors. Conduct regular safety meetings to discuss and correct safety concerns and hazards. Ensure effective communication between workers by 2-way radio, the buddy system, signals, signs, barricades or other means.


Make sure you have all training documentation, certifications, licenses and any other paperwork in place and available before the job starts to ensure all workers are properly trained and competent in performing their job task.

As prospective clients consider your business for new lucrative projects, TRIR is often a deciding factor in awarding the business. By following these simple procedures, you can reduce your TRIR over time, or better yet, keep it low from the start. Either way, the result is safe workers and the ability to win more projects.

Learn more about improving your TRIR here.

2 Commonly Overlooked Job Site Hazards and How to Avoid Them

Construction Site SafetyJune is National Safety Month, so we’ll be posting a series of safety tips, policy updates and other useful information to help you and your team stay safe on the job site, in the factory or wherever hazards may be.

Here are two hazards that tend to fly under many project managers’ radars. Both pose serious threats to individuals and are entirely avoidable.

Working Alone

Limited perception and limited number of hands can result in workers overlooking or missing hazards altogether. To minimize the risks associated with working alone, a Hazard Read more

10 Tips for Preventing Falling Object Injuries

10 Tips for Preventing Falling Object InjuriesEarlier this month a man was killed at a construction site New Jersey when a 1-pound tape measure fell 50 stories and struck him in the head. This tragedy is a stark reminder that falling object injuries can and do occur. It could also be considered a call for an industry-wide effort to prevent these incidents in the future.

Falling Object Statistics

  • A solid object dropped from 64 feet will hit the ground in 2 seconds at a speed of 43.8 miles per hour.
  • The same object dropped at 106 feet will hit the ground in 3 seconds at a speed of 65.8 miles per hour.
  • A 2-ounce pen dropped from 230 feet has the potential to penetrate a hardhat.

Tips for Preventing Falling Object Injuries

Read more

Fall Protection and OSHA Compliance: What You Need to Know

Fall ProtectionWe recently published an article about the 46% jump in OSHA violations from 2012 to 2013. Not surprisingly, fall protection topped the list, again, with more than 8,000 violations, or 33 percent more than the second most common violation, Hazard Communication. The article sparked some good conversation around the industry about fall protection compliance and best practices.

With this in mind, here are some OSHA codes and general information that every project manager and worker should fully understand before stepping onto a jobsite. Because regulations can change, it is important that you consult the appropriate professionals when considering code compliance

Meet or exceed these codes:

Infographic: How Will We Rebuild America’s School Buildings?

America’s schools are in disrepair. Meanwhile, student populations are rising as budgets are slashed. How will America stay competitive in the future without sufficient school buildings today? Click on the infographic below to learn about two solutions that can help schools add new quality buildings quickly.

modular school buildings

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Creative Containers: Architects Transform Portable Storage Units into Sustainable Structures

Portable storage containers are commonly used by construction firms and retail stores to keep materials, equipment and inventory safe from the elements and theft. But around the world, architects, community planners and entrepreneurs are finding new, inventive ways to use portable storage units to create visually stunning places for people to work, eat and live.

Here are some great examples of how storage containers have been reinvented around the world.

Container Cities

Portable storage container city

Photo: CMGLee

Portable storage container city interior

Photo: CMGLee








In 2001, Container City I was built in London’s Trinity Buoy Wharf by Urban Space Management. The project transformed 40’ storage containers into affordable housing and office space in just four days.

The following year, the firm expanded the development with the creatively named Container City II, adding more offices and several colorful bridges that connect it to Container City I.

Ice Cream Parlor in a Can

In San Francisco’s Hayes Valley, Smitten Ice Cream put a new spin on the traditional ice cream parlor using a 40’ storage container. Builders sliced the container in half and Read more

Modular Classrooms Welcome Students Back to School

5 Reasons Why Schools Should Consider Permanent Modular ConstructionA new school year’s underway, and here’s what we know about the state of education:

  • The generation now heading back to class is the largest since the Baby Boomers.
  • School populations are projected to grow steadily through 2019.
  • At $10 billion, U.S. spending on school construction is half of what is was prior to the recession.
  • The American Society of Civil Engineers report on infrastructure gave our schools a D+.

Clearly, there’s a gap between the need for learning space and the resources invested in building it. Is modular an effective solution? We think so, and here’s why: Read more

The Next Generation of Architects Find Innovation in Modular

Some of the most innovative young minds in architecture are finding inspiration in modular construction. That’s one lesson learned from U.S. and China Solar Decathalons, where the winners used the power of modular to bring their projects to life.

Two Competitions, One Solution

Modular building innovation in China Solar Decathalon

In China’s first-ever Solar Decathlon, Asia-Pacific teams placed first and second over 19 competitors by applying modular construction to solar applications. The first-place team (from Australia’s University of Wollongong) used off-the-shelf solutions for the exterior of their solar-powered home. The second-place students (from South China University of Technology) used native materials like sugar cane and bamboo to create insulated wall panels. Read more

The Changing Face of Construction

Construction JobsThe traditional construction worker is here to stay. Hands on experience and practical know-how make these workers invaluable to the industry. At the same time, the construction industry is evolving and its workforce along with it. A new type of construction pro is emerging from reputable national programs focused on the latest in project management and technology.

Construction College

Columbia University provides proof of construction’s development. The Ivy League Read more

Modular Obstacles in Small Town America

Modular Taco Bell Franchise, Grundy, VA

Modular Taco Bell Franchise, Grundy, VA

Critics of modular often confuse exterior aesthetics with structural design. The truth behind this myth of modular construction is that, like traditional buildings, there are no limitations on the exterior aesthetics of modular buildings. They can be designed and built using the most elegant exterior finishes, or made cheaply with no-frills, low-cost cladding. Exterior appeal is determined by the architect and his client, not by the construction process.

Small Town Debates Modular Codes

Similar confusion has led residents of Kilgore, TX to lodge complaints about the design of Meadowbrook Preschool, a small expansion project still in progress. The uproar has town leaders considering new codes for future modular construction projects.

While some may scoff at such an issue in small town America given modular’s widespread adoption for large-scale projects, the Kilgore case confirms continued misconceptions about modular construction.

In the Eye of the Beholder

Muhlenburg College Modular Residence Hall

Muhlenburg College Modular Residence Hall, Allentown, PA

The concerns expressed about Meadowbrook Preschool are little more than critiques on its physical appearance with no comment about the new classroom’s functionality or benefit to the existing structure.

The Meadowbrook expansion was properly planned and approved. It meets existing city codes, zoning requirements, and other regulations. Yet, the proposed ordinance (which would not affect Meadowbrook) includes a pair of regulations that could set an interesting precedent if approved. Future modular buildings in Kilgore would need to: 1) be comparable in value to surrounding homes/buildings within a 500’ radius; and; 2) have external facades that look similar to others in the vicinity.

The proposed regulations fail to consider that options for design aesthetics for both traditional and modular buildings are virtually unlimited and are the direct result of the architects vision. That vision is subject to the client’s final approval. They can be elaborate, polished or elegant. Or, they can be plain, unfinished or downright ugly. The fact that the building is modular is irrelevant.

The Right Resolution

We hope that the Kilgore City Council realizes the debate is about exterior aesthetics and not structural design. Given the advantages of modular construction, cities like Kilgore could benefit greatly from going modular more often.