May 2008

Small mistakes, big consequences | Safe Solutions

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Small mistakes, big consequences

by Peter Greenbaum
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Titan Roofing, a small but prosperous roofing contracting company, had been in business for a few years. Business had been growing steadily, and Bob, Titan Roofing's owner, looked forward to many more years guiding the company and its 15 employees.

However, one day, a pall hung in the late afternoon air. Bob was sitting in a hospital waiting room as a doctor examined Andrew, a worker Titan Roofing had recently hired. Earlier that afternoon, Andrew had suffered a bad fall—not from a roof but from a ladder.

That morning, Steve, Titan Roofing's supervisor, had prepared his crew for the day's job—a tear-off on a small one-story, low-slope commercial building at a local shopping mall.

The workers knew what safety precautions to take, and Steve had made sure appropriate fall protection was in place. Warning lines were set up, and the workers wore appropriate personal protective equipment. Steve also had made certain 911 had been programmed into several workers' cell phones,...

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