May 03 2024 0Comment

Driving Safety Excellence: An Inside Look at Oliver Fire Protection and Security’s Safety Committee

Article by Dale Grant – Marketing Coordinator and Matt Heiser, CFI, CFPE – Safety Committee Chair

At Oliver Fire Protection and Security, Safety is at the forefront of everything we do. Oliver’s Culture of Safety Excellence is driven by a focus on proactive risk management, continuous improvement and a commitment to the health and wellbeing of our team members and clients.

Driving this commitment is the Oliver Safety Committee. We took a moment to speak with Matt Heiser, Safety Committee Chair for some insight into the work they do.

Oliver FPS: So, what exactly is the Oliver Safety Committee? When/why was it founded?

Matt Heiser: The Oliver Safety Committee stands as a cornerstone within Oliver Fire Protection & Security, epitomizing our unwavering commitment to safety excellence. Established with the purpose of implementing structured safety management, the committee plays a pivotal role in upholding and advancing safety standards across our organization. At its core lies our mission statement: “Oliver Fire Protection strives to foster teamwork and mutual respect where challenge, friendship, personal support, and pride make us a unique force in the fire protection industry.” This mission statement underscores our belief that safety is not just a priority, but a fundamental value woven into the fabric of our organizational culture.  One of the defining aspects of the Safety Committee is its composition, which reflects equal representation from both the field and management. This balanced representation ensures that perspectives from all levels of the organization are considered in safety-related decisions and initiatives. By integrating insights and experiences from both field technicians and management, the committee fosters a collaborative approach to safety management that is inclusive and comprehensive. Overall, the Oliver Safety Committee serves as a driving force behind our collective efforts to create a workplace environment where safety is paramount and ingrained in every aspect of our operations. Through proactive measures, ongoing evaluations, and adherence to our mission statement, the committee plays a vital role in promoting a culture of safety excellence within our organization.

Oliver FPS: What is your role within the safety committee and what exactly does it entail?

Matt Heiser: As the Safety Committee Chair, my primary responsibility is to research and disseminate industry best practices and new technologies relevant to our operations. Additionally, I set the monthly agendas for our meetings and ensure that decisions and achievements made by both field and management are effectively communicated to the entire enterprise. This includes providing updates on requirements from OSHA and our valued customers, ensuring that our safety protocols remain compliant and aligned with industry standards. Additionally, I ensure that communication from management regarding safety protocols, initiatives, and changes is effectively conveyed to the field team. This also helps to facilitate feedback loops, allowing field technicians to express their perspectives and concerns back to management through the Safety Committee. This ensures that decisions made by the committee are informed by the insights and experiences of those working in the field.

Oliver FPS: Who else makes up the Oliver Safety Committee?

Matt Heiser: The Oliver Safety Committee comprises dedicated individuals from various departments within our organization, including representatives from management, field operations, administration, and other relevant areas.

Oliver FPS: What, in your opinion, has been the safety committee’s biggest achievement thus far?

In my view, the safety committee’s ongoing significant achievement lies in establishing a responsible framework for conducting open and honest assessments of our current safety practices. This framework allows for continuous evolution as the construction safety industry discovers new methods to ensure workplace safety. We are committed to fostering an environment where safety practices are not static but adapt to emerging industry standards and innovations, ensuring a safe workplace for all.

Oliver FPS: Are there any initiatives that the Safety Committee is currently working on in both the long and short term?

Matt Heiser: Currently, the Safety Committee is fully immersed in a range of short-term and long-term initiatives aimed at elevating safety standards and protocols throughout our organization. In the short term, we are focusing on conducting comprehensive safety audits across all departments to identify any areas for improvement and ensure compliance with established safety guidelines. These audits involve meticulous inspections of our facilities, equipment, and work practices to pinpoint any potential hazards and address them promptly. In the long term, our initiatives are geared towards implementing sustainable safety measures that evolve alongside the dynamic landscape of the construction industry. We are proactively researching and integrating cutting-edge technologies and best practices to enhance our safety protocols continually. This includes exploring advancements in fall protection equipment, such as state-of-the-art harnesses, lifelines, and anchorage systems, to bolster our defenses against fall-related incidents. Moreover, we are investing in ongoing training and education programs to empower our workforce with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate safety challenges effectively. By fostering a culture of safety awareness and accountability, we aim to instill a proactive mindset where every team member actively contributes to maintaining a safe working environment. Ultimately, our overarching goal is to cultivate a safety culture that permeates every aspect of our organization, from the field to the office. Through collaborative efforts and unwavering dedication, we are committed to achieving safety excellence and ensuring the well-being of all of our team members.

Oliver FPS: How has the safety committee evolved since its inception?

Matt Heiser: Since its formal inception 310 months ago, the Safety Committee has undergone significant evolution, adapting to meet the changing needs and challenges within our organization. Initially established to address the critical need for structured safety management, the committee has evolved into a dynamic entity that serves as the backbone of our safety culture. Over time, we have expanded our focus beyond mere compliance to embrace a proactive approach to safety, constantly seeking new ways to enhance and innovate safety protocols. Safety has been the top priority at Oliver Fire Protection & Security since its founding, and the Safety Committee has played a pivotal role in upholding this commitment. Additionally, the composition of the committee has evolved to reflect a diverse range of perspectives and expertise, ensuring that we have a comprehensive understanding of safety issues from all angles. Furthermore, our methods of communication and collaboration have evolved, leveraging technology and best practices to facilitate more efficient and effective safety initiatives. Overall, the Safety Committee’s evolution over the past 310 months since its formal beginning is a testament to our unwavering commitment to safety excellence and continuous improvement.

Oliver FPS: How does Oliver promote the Culture of Safety within the company? Both in the office and in the field?

Matt Heiser: Expanding on our commitment to safety, Oliver Fire Protection & Security has achieved remarkable milestones, including receiving the prestigious One Year No Lost Time Award, a testament to our unwavering dedication to ensuring the well-being of our workforce. Additionally, our innovative ‘Caught You Doing it Right’ reward initiative recognizes and celebrates employees who demonstrate exemplary safety practices, reinforcing a culture of proactive risk management and hazard prevention. Ensuring safety is ingrained in every aspect of our operations, we prioritize safety discussions from day one by making it the first topic during new hire orientation sessions. This proactive approach sets the tone for our new teammates, emphasizing the paramount importance of safety in all their endeavors at Oliver Fire Protection & Security. Furthermore, we go above and beyond by hosting multiple in-person training sessions throughout the year, covering a diverse range of topics such as Safe Driver training, Fall Protection protocols, CPR/AED/First Aid certification, Hazard Identification, and more. These training sessions feature guest experts from leading organizations within the industry, providing our team members with invaluable insights and practical knowledge to enhance their safety practices. By investing in comprehensive training programs and fostering a culture of recognition and continuous improvement, we strive to create an environment where safety is not just a priority but an integral part of our organizational DNA. Our collective efforts are aimed at ensuring that every member of our team returns home safely at the end of each day, reflecting our unwavering commitment to safety excellence.

Oliver FPS: Share with us your best piece of safety advice you could give off the top of your head?

Matt Heiser: The best piece of safety advice I could offer is to adhere to the “FOUR SECONDS TO SAFETY RULE”: Take four seconds to assess your surroundings before proceeding with any task. Prioritizing safety above all else is paramount. Stay vigilant, follow safety protocols and procedures diligently, and most importantly, speak up if you observe any unsafe conditions or behaviors. Remember, safety is everyone’s responsibility, and by collaborating and remaining proactive, we can collectively create a safer work environment for all.

Dale Grant