The Safety and Health Arkansas Associated General Contractors Partnership for
Excellence (SHAAPE) Partnership was formed by the Associated General Contractors of Arkansas (AGC)
and OSHA's Area Office in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Partnership formed in August 2006 with the goal
of providing a safe and healthy workplace for all employees in the construction industry in
Arkansas, and to help prevent serious injuries and illnesses through increased training, and
implementing and monitoring effective safety and health management systems (SHMS).
One of the Partnership participants is Harness Roofing, Inc. (HRI) based in Harrison, Arkansas.
Before joining the Partnership, Roger Harness, the owner of HRI, always believed that he operated a
safe-minded company. However, after an evaluation of his SHMS, Mr. Harness recognized the threat for
many serious injuries and fatalities at his worksites. What began simply as fall protection
training, soon evolved into employing a full time safety director and furthering a company-wide
commitment to operating under a new, stricter safety and health policy – all from participating in
the SHAAPE Partnership.
Safety and Health Program Installed at HRI – Safety Pays,
Returning employees home safely everyday is HRI's and OSHA's main goal as they work together in the SHAAPE Partnership, but much can also be said for how improved SHMS can affect an organization's
bottom line. For Mr. Harness, part of what drove him towards a commitment to improved safety and
health was related to reducing Workmen's Compensation costs, which is costly for roofing
contractors. As HRI committed itself to safety and began participating in the Partnership, the
company began seeing a savings of over 33% in these costs. How did they do it?
HRI developed a SHMS that targets each and every employee who works for the company. From their very
first day on the job, all employees must pass the fall protection test and all are issued a Fall
Protection Harness and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Due to the large Hispanic population
that works in the field, HRI provided weekly safety and health meetings in both English and Spanish
to keep employees involved. Also, each morning begins with a jobsite inspection (by assigned team
members) to identify potential hazards. Depending on the size of the job, the Safety Director (or
Project Manager or Foreman) is present on all start-up jobs. Surprise visits by HRI management are
conducted several times a week.
In the roofing industry, falls have the greatest potential for injury. Since joining the
Partnership, HRI has become committed to making sure all employees are wearing a harness/PPE at all
times when on the job. As a part of the employer’s disciplinary policy, if an employee is observed without the proper equipment, suspension with pay
occurs. Mr. Harness believes that by suspending an employee with pay, it reinforces that the company
truly cares about the safety and health of each and every employee. Upon suspension, the employee is
required to review the fall protection test and retest the next day.
These initiatives and best practices have resulted in HRI saving thousands of dollars in worker
compensation costs. Partnering in the SHAAPE Partnership was a win-win situation for all involved.
The SHAAPE Partnership's common objective is to provide a safe and healthful workplace for all
employees engaged in construction activities in Arkansas, and to help prevent serious injuries and
illnesses within the industry through increased training and implementation and monitoring of
enhanced safety and health management systems.
Origin: Region VI, Little Rock Area Office
Partners: Associated General Contractors, Arkansas Chapter
Partnership Signed: August 2006
Industry: Construction / SIC 1542, 1611, 1623; NAICS 236220
Source and Date: Christine Webb, Region VI, Little Rock Area Office / May 2008