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How Can Flannery Safety Consulting Help You?

Flannery Safety Consulting offers clients safety consulting, training and management. Whether it be for building or improving your safety program, group training, or monitoring your safety activities, we can assist you in achieving your safety goals.

So much of the safety world seems to be wrapped up in the negative, focussing on what can go wrong, how many injuries or incidents a company has had, etc. We strive to make your experience a positive one, looking at what is being done right and building on that.

Flannery Safety Consulting has a number of different ways to help you:

  • Consultant Auditing through the ACSA
  • Assessment of your company’s unique safety needs and requirements
  • Assisting in the creation and/or improvement of your safety program
  • Assisting in development of safe work practices and safe job procedures
  • Assisting in developing custom forms to fit your company and advice on whether a paper format or an electronic one is best for you
  • Help with registering in the Partnerships in Injury Reduction (PIR) program through Alberta’s WCB and selecting a certifying partner to best suit your needs
  • Pre-audit evaluation of your program to ensure it meets Certificate of Recognition (COR) or Small Employer Certificate of Recognition (SECOR) standards
  • Assisting in rolling out the safety program to your company
  • Help and advice on managing your WCB account
  • Ongoing monitoring and support for your safety program
  • Assistance in incident investigation, injury claims management
  • Training in generic and company-specific WHMIS

Jim Flannery is an NCSO and has worked in the construction safety field since 2000. He has worked for companies with as few as six workers as well as multi-national corporations, giving him a broad-based understanding of construction safety in a variety of scales and scopes. He has completed the University of Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety certificate program, is a Gold Seal-certified Safety Coordinator and is a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP). Jim has a BA in English, has a quarter-century of construction experience under his belt both on the tools and off, and is a part-time freelance writer.

If you have any questions or inquiries, please don’t hesitate to contact Jim Flannery at jim@flannerysafetyconsulting.com or (403) 715-4162.

You can also follow us on Facebook and on Twitter.

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Flannery Safety can now provide Consultant Auditor Services

Flannery Safety Has Added a New Service: Consultant Auditing for the ACSA

As of November, 2018, Flannery Safety Consulting has added a new service that we can provide to clients: we can now provide Consultant Auditing services through the Alberta Construction Safety Association (ACSA).

Consultant Auditing adds to the current list of services we can provide you with, which already includes safety program monitoring and maintenance, and safety program building.

Many construction companies have or are trying to obtain their Certificate of Recognition through the ACSA. While most companies participate in the Peer Auditing process, some need a Consultant Auditor to get their COR audit done. As noted on the ACSA website:

For some companies, participating in the Peer Program is not a viable option, this is where a Consultant Audit is next best suited. For this, your ACSA is proud to maintain a comprehensive directory of ACSA-certified consultant auditors to choose from. Access to this directory is offered to our member companies and is intended to serve as a reliable source for selecting consultants to conduct COR audits. Each auditor within the directory has been screened through our application process and then deemed to be in full adherence with ACSA consultant auditor standards.

The consultant auditors are professionals who have met the requirements of the ACSA and passed the exam. They are held to a higher standard and as such, they charge companies for their time. Arrangements with consultant auditors are the responsibility of the company and dates / cost are negotiated between the two parties.

Flannery Safety Consulting has now met the rigorous new Consultant Auditor standards that were set in 2017, demonstrating a high standard of knowledge, professionalism, and ethical behaviour.

We look forward to the opportunity to provide this new service to clients throughout southern Alberta!

For inquiries, please contact Jim at 403-715-4162 or via email at jim@flannerysafetyconsulting.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Google+,  and on Twitter.

Flannery Safety Consulting Turns 3!

July 6 marks the third anniversary for Flannery Safety Consulting and it seems like things started just yesterday!

Time has flown by over the last three years and a ton of things have happened.

We have gone from a single client in the first few weeks to 16 active clients here in the summer of 2018. With the help of our association with BNI Key Connections, business has grown by leaps and bounds in a fairly short period of time and we’re so thankful for the opportunities presented to us!

We have also invested heavily in training and constant improvement.

During the first six months in business, we went through execuserv plus‘ Self-Employment program to make sure we have the tools needed to effectively service our clients. Following that training, Flannery Safety entered the 2016 Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge and finished as a runner-up in the competition.

We have attended the ACSA’s annual safety conference four years in a row to stay current on key issues in the health and safety industry. And we’ve added two new designations in the last three years—owner Jim Flannery became the first person in Lethbridge to write and pass the Gold Seal Certified safety professional exam in July 2015 and earned his Canadian Registered Safety Professional designation in the spring of 2018.

It hasn’t been a perfect journey. There have been bumps along the road and hopefully we’ve learned valuable lessons on how to do our work better long the way. But the trajectory has continued to go in the right direction. And we have more plans to grow the business in the next few months!

Flannery Safety Consulting remains committed to providing excellent service to our clients now and into the future.

For inquiries, please contact Jim at 403-715-4162 or via email at jim@flannerysafetyconsulting.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Google+,  and on Twitter.

Flannery Safety Consulting Now Has a CRSP


Jim Flannery, owner of Flannery Safety Consulting, is now certified as a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP). As noted above, CRSPs “offer in-depth knowledge of OHS principles and practices and apply this knowledge to develop systems in order to achieve optimum control over hazards in your workplace.”

CRSPs are held to a high standard of ethical behaviour and are expected to commit to lifelong learning, to stay current with developments in the Occupational Health and Safety field. We’re honoured to have earned this new designation and hope it will continue to provide credibility to our company.

For inquiries, please contact Jim at 403-715-4162 or via email at jim@flannerysafetyconsulting.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Google+,  and on Twitter.

Flannery Safety Consulting Turns 2 Years Old!

Flannery Safety Consulting turned two years old this week!

It has been an interesting and challenging two years in business. Growing a client base came fairly slowly at first, but things are now quite busy, the bills are getting paid, and there are some interesting prospects on the horizon as the company’s business model continues to be refined.

What We’ve Been Up To

There have been a number of exciting developments since the start of Flannery Safety Consulting. Founder Jim Flannery earned his Safety Coordinator Gold Seal. He was the first person in Lethbridge, AB to get that designation. The company was runner up in the Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge in 2016. Jim spent a six-month term as the chapter president for BNI Key Connections, the marketing group where more than 80% of the company’s client base has come from. Jim has also been a member of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce’s Regional Direction and Policy Committee for more than a year.

Along the way, Flannery Safety has given back. We helped out with a Habitat for Humanity project and took part in the Steps for Life event in support of families that have lost loved ones through occupational incident or disease.

How We Can Help

Flannery Safety Consulting helps companies ensure that they are taking care of their staff in several ways:

  • through compliance with Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety laws
  • by upgrading a safety program to COR or SECOR standards
  • by assisting with the monitoring and management of active safety programs

Through positive and proactive changes to a business’ methods, we can show you that protecting your people actually increases productivity and leads to greater profitability, which is good news for everyone!

Lifelong training remains one of the company’s guiding principles. To that end, Jim is currently pursuing his Canadian Registered Safety Professional certification. He eventually plans to become a consultant auditor through the Alberta Construction Safety Association, adding another service to our list.

For inquiries, please contact Jim at 403-715-4162 or via email at jim@flannerysafetyconsulting.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Google+,  and on Twitter.

Steps For Life

The Steps For Life walk in Lethbridge took place on the morning of May 6 this year and Flannery Safety Consulting took part. More than 1,500 people walked a route along Henderson Lake to support the cause.

As per the Steps for Life website, “Steps for Life brings together families and co-workers affected by workplace tragedy with friends, neighbours, community members and health and safety professionals who are all passionate about workplace safety.” This is the primary fundraiser for The Association for Workplace Tragedy Family Support (known as Threads of Life), which “is a registered Canadian charity dedicated to supporting families along their journey of healing who have suffered from a workplace fatality, life-altering injury or occupational disease.”

Lethbridge has traditionally been one of the biggest supporters of this fundraiser and 2017 was no different. The city’s walk featured 1,532 walkers—the most of any city in Canada—and has raised more than $40,000 as of May 8. That makes eight years in a row that Lethbridge has had the most participation in the country.

Overall, the national Steps for Life campaign has brought in $654,157 as of May 29, which exceeds the campaign’s target for 2017, thanks to generous donations from communities all over Canada. Flannery Safety Consulting is proud to have contributed to the effort this year and looks forward to the fundraising effort—and the walk—again in 2018. Thanks to the generous donors who contributed to Flannery Safety’s fundraising effort!

Jim Flannery, owner of Flannery Safety Consulting, getting ready to participate in the annual Steps for Life walk in Lethbridge, AB.

Protecting Your People Also Protects Your Profits

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Don’t attempt a crane dismantle without a plan.

Flannery Safety Consulting sets itself apart from the competition by emphasizing that in addition to worker safety, there is also abundant evidence that health and safety programs typically are quite profitable in a number of ways—a large Return On Investment in safety, decreased cost of projects, increased reputation, an increased ability for your company to bid on jobs, and many other benefits. By educating owners on the positives of a safety program—protecting your people protects your profits—better buy-in is obtained and better results are achieved.

“OSHA’s [Occupational Health and Safety Administration, United States] Office of Regulatory Analysis has stated: …our evidence suggests that companies that implement effective safety and health can expect reductions of 20% or greater in their injury and illness rates and a return of $4 to $6 for every $1 invested…”

Companies have begun to realize that having safety programs and safe records is a selling feature for their clients; some clients refuse to use sub-contractors who don’t have safety programs and safe working records. From Dodge Data and Analytics:

  • 51% report increases in project ROI; with a fifth of those reporting increases of greater than 5%
  • 43% report faster project schedules, with half reporting schedule improvements of a week or more
  • 39% report a decrease in project budget from a safety program, with a quarter reporting decreases of 5% or more. Only 15% reported that safety programs cost firms more—debunking the myth that safety has to negatively affect a firm’s bottom line.
  • 82% report an improved reputation
  • 71% report lower injury rates
  • 66% report they have a greater ability to contract new work
  • 66% report better project quality

The bottom line is that assessing and controlling hazards can only be done effectively when a company plans its work. Companies with a good plan are more productive and make fewer mistakes; better productivity and fewer mistakes boosts profitability. Likewise, healthy workers are more productive than injured workers and, again, this boosts profitability.

Flannery Safety Consulting provides services in the Lethbridge area and can be reached at jim@flannerysafetyconsulting.com

You can also follow us on Facebook and on Twitter.

Debunking Safety Myths Part 1: Loud Pipes Save Lives

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An important part of my profession is identifying, assessing, and mitigating risk. When I’m working with businesses to help them develop or improve their safety programs, this is where much of the teaching time is invested as risk seems to be one of the most poorly understood concepts out there.

The reasons for this are many but there seem to be a few recurring issues: we don’t necessarily recognize the risks until it’s too late, we frequently underestimate the level of risk for key hazards, we overestimate the risk for other hazards, and we assume that if we hear a saying enough times, it must be true.

In this series of posts about common safety myths, I intend to talk about what the myth is, where it comes from, and why it is wrong. The first topic isn’t necessarily an occupational issue, but it is a myth that I hear frequently: Loud Pipes Save Lives.

You’ll hear this saying spoken by owners of motorcycles, in particular from people who have specifically modified their bikes to be louder than the factory spec. The reasoning is that if other motor vehicles can hear you coming, they are less likely to run into you. This reasoning is the rationale behind setting your bike up such that it can be heard from blocks away, startling neighbours in their houses who are not the people you’re intending to protect yourself from.

Not only is this myth 100 percent wrong, it actually puts bikers at risk by dramatically increasing their risk of permanent hearing loss (as the link notes, if your vehicle runs louder than 100 decibels, exposures longer than 15 minutes could result in hearing damage).

From a pure physics standpoint, the notion that loud pipes save lives is unlikely. As noted in this article, because a motorcycle’s pipes are directed backward, the sound from those pipes is also directed backward; 77 percent of all bike hazards (ie. other vehicles) are in front of them, but vehicles in front of the bike won’t hear it until it’s either next to or in front of the other vehicle. If you’ve ever been startled by a loud bike coming alongside your car when you didn’t see it approaching from behind you, you know this to be true.

But that’s just the beginning.

The gold standard when it comes to analysis of motorcycle accidents and causes is the Hurt Report, published in 1981 and written by Professor Harry Hurt, along with J.V. Ouellet and D.R. Thom. The five-year study examined the police reports of more than 900 motorcycle crashes and summarized 55 key points with regards to the outcomes of the incidents.

The word “noise” does not appear in any of the 55 points. The word “loud” does not appear, nor does the word “pipes.” In a study of over 900 bike crashes, not a single mention of noise being a factor is noted, not as a cause of incidents or as a preventative measure to prevent them.

What it does point out is this:

7. The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the predominating cause of motorcycle accidents. The driver of the other vehicle involved in collision with the motorcycle did not see the motorcycle before the collision, or did not see the motorcycle until too late to avoid the collision.

14. Conspicuity of the motorcycle is a critical factor in the multiple vehicle accidents, and accident involvement is significantly reduced by the use of motorcycle headlamps (on in daylight) and the wearing of high visibility yellow, orange or bright red jackets.

18. Conspicuity of the motorcycle is most critical for the frontal surfaces of the motorcycle and rider.

24. The motorcycle riders involved in accidents are essentially without training; 92% were self-taught or learned from family or friends. Motorcycle rider training experience reduces accident involvement and is related to reduced injuries in the event of accidents.

34. Motorcycles equipped with fairings and windshields are underrepresented in accidents, most likely because of the contribution to conspicuity and the association with more experienced and trained riders.

To sum up, if you, as a motorcycle rider, want to maximize your chances of survival, get yourself some driver training and make yourself as visible as possible. I recognize that going to school and wearing colours other than black aren’t the sorts of things “cool” people might do, but education and hi-vis saves lives.

 

Flannery Safety Consulting provides services in the Lethbridge area and can be reached at jim@flannerysafetyconsulting.com

You can also follow us on Facebook and on Twitter.