Safe Solutions

Crisis management

Bellamy Roofing Co. had been in business for more than four decades and served a wide variety of customers. Steve, owner of Bellamy Roofing, took great care to ensure his employees worked safely and participated in required regular safety training. Steve was proud of his company's safety record; since he had become president, there had been no serious injuries among his employees. He intended to keep it that way.

One day, a Bellamy Roofing crew was reroofing a school. It was late summer, and the building was empty. Several members of the crew were operating torches during roof system application. As they had been taught, they did not expose combustible surfaces to torch flames. When the work was completed, the foreman conducted a fire watch and patrolled the roof for two hours to ensure there was no fire. At the end of his watch, satisfied that conditions on the roof were safe, the foreman left the job site.

An hour later, a fire started on a corner of the roof. A passerby on the sidewalk noticed smoke on the roof and dialed 911 on his cell phone. The fire department arrived shortly after and was able to extinguish the fire before it spread out of control.

Meanwhile, at the Bellamy Roofing yard, Steve climbed into his sport utility vehicle (SUV) and headed home. As he drove, he turned on the radio. There was a breaking news story about a fire at a school, and as Steve listened, he recognized the job site as one of his. He raced to the job site and arrived just as television news crews were climbing out of their vans. As soon as the reporters saw the Bellamy Roofing logo on the side of Steve's SUV, they surrounded him, shouting questions.