Hayden Electric of Hazleton recently hosted its company-wide Safety Day, coordinated by the human resources and safety departments, for its employees and the employees of The Howard Company of Bloomsburg. The Howard Company, under the ownership of George Hayden and Baldo Trevino, shares resources, training, culture and workflow with Hayden Electric and participated for the first time in Hayden Electric’s safety day. Hayden Electric has undertaken this safety training initiative for more than 25 years to ensure that all employees are up-to-date in the latest industry safety standards.
More than 100 employees from the two companies attended a full day of safety training and certifications, which included sessions on NFPA70E, fire extinguisher training, bloodborne pathogens, rigging procedures, proper body mechanics, ground-fault protection, fall protection and wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) on job sites, proper recognition and labeling of hazardous materials and PA One Call safe digging procedures. Employees worked in a classroom environment in addition to having hands-on training at various locations in the Hayden Electric facilities.
Company President George F. Hayden said, “The most important thing we do everyday at both Hayden Electric and The Howard Company is focus on safety; that is priority number one for us. We have a strong company culture surrounding safety and our goal is to be safe 24 hours a day on our job sites. We have the best electrical construction companies in the region consisting of the best electricians, team members and project managers. Our goal is to continue to operate at a high level of professionalism and safety each time we step foot on a job site, which will allows us to continue to grow as a company.”
Hayden said the Safety Day agenda varies every year and training is based on the company’s identified training needs and jobsite requirements. The employees also review Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updates so that all are informed and comply with the latest OSHA safety standards. The safety training is designed for all employees throughout the company including office management and administrative teams and the field teams – laborers, equipment operators, apprentices, journeymen, leaders and foremen. George J. Hayden Inc. has the distinction of participation in the Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) Eastern Pennsylvania Strategic Partnership with OSHA. The partnership seeks common safety goals by working cooperatively to identify and eliminate worksite hazards and achieve high worker safety by developing appropriate plans and sharing resources to improve worker health and safety.
Hayden said bimonthly safety meetings are held with managers from both companies to discuss job site conditions and employee performance. The companies also emphasize identifying safety risks and start every new project with a meeting to ensure that all employees understand every aspect of the job.
During his presentation to the employees, Hayden also discussed the safety orientation program for new employees. The company’s safety coordinator provides six hours of training to newly hired Hayden and Howard employees on multiple topics. Topics include: aerial lift, fork lift and power industrial truck training, fall protection training, and hard hat and PPE safety training and equipment hand outs.
Hayden Electric’s annual Safety Day program in part has contributed to the company earning approximately 25 Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP) awards from the ABC for the ongoing development of a company safety program. Hayden Electric received a Gold award this year and The Howard Company was the recipient of the Silver award.
A catered lunch was provided for the employees. With a voucher courtesy of Hayden, employees had the opportunity to purchase safety boots or tools from a mobile boot and Carhartt vendor and from various tool and equipment vendors, all of whom were on-site for the day.
With the recent devastating effects of hurricanes in the United States, Hayden challenged employees to help with relief efforts through monetary donations. The company set up a collection box at Safety Day for any employee wishing to make a contribution. First, Hayden began by donating ten dollars for every Hayden and Howard employee. Additionally, Hayden matched the amount for any amount an employee contributed. By the end of the week’s deadline, the Hayden check totaled more than $2,000 from company-matched donations by Hayden and Howard employees. This money will be sent to The American Red Cross for hurricane relief work in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
Hayden said that this annual safety training is an integral part of company culture. The training reinforces and increases the employees’ awareness of safety issues on their jobsites and the Hayden and Howard employees are empowered to be proactive in making safety a workplace priority.