A Commitment to Safety

J. Fletcher Creamer & Son recently held its second annual company-wide Safety Meeting, a three-day event at the Bergen County Police and Fire Academy in Mahwah. This important event highlights Creamer’s unwavering commitment to workplace safety and continuous improvement.

The Safety Committee at Creamer, which has been active for over 20 years, meets monthly to address safety issues and trends. Two years ago, the committee refined its approach, focusing on two core projects at a time to make significant improvements. Reviving the annual safety event was one such initiative, gaining strong support from the executive team, including President Marty Downs and Vice Presidents Rick DeNicola and Dan Fowler.

The event, held on weekdays to ensure full participation without affecting family time, was designed for all field personnel. This approach emphasizes the company’s commitment to comprehensive safety training for everyone, not just foremen. The focus was on practical, engaging sessions to keep participants active and involved. Understanding that a full day of training can be challenging, the event incorporated interactive elements like contests and games, which received positive feedback for keeping participants engaged. These activities helped team members think from a safety professional’s perspective—a key company goal.

Key Training Sessions and Activities

Hazard Identification:

Four mock job sites were created where groups of 12-15 team members identified as many hazards as possible. Each station had ten pre-planted issues, but participants often found more, demonstrating their vigilance and awareness. This activity underscored the importance of hazard recognition in maintaining a safe work environment.

Mobile Elevated Work Platforms:

Participants received hands-on training in operating mobile elevated work platforms. Harnessed and lifted, they learned correct procedures and safety measures. This practical session aimed to ensure safe equipment operation and reduce accident risks.

Temporary Traffic Controls:

Training on setting up temporary traffic controls was provided to ensure clarity and safety for both workers and the public. This session addressed the challenges of pedestrian and vehicle interactions with work zones, teaching team members to create clear and effective traffic control setups.

Utilities Best Practices:

This session focused on best practices for working with underground utilities. Team members learned procedures for safely digging and identifying both marked and unmarked utilities, minimizing the risk of utility strikes. Proper handling of utilities is crucial in preventing accidents and ensuring safety.

Safety professional Rich McElhaney delivered a powerful keynote speech, sharing a serious incident to highlight the importance of planning and safety. His message reinforced the necessity of everyone returning home safely every day.

Creamer President Marty Downs emphasized the importance of feedback during the event to ensure continuous improvement. Team members were encouraged to provide honest feedback, making future safety meetings more relevant and beneficial. The collective effort demonstrated during the event highlights the significance of safety in every aspect of operations.

With nearly 800 team members participating over three days, this year’s safety meeting was a testament to Creamer’s dedication to fostering a safety-conscious culture. By focusing on hands-on, engaging, and practical training, J. Fletcher Creamer & Son continues to prioritize the safety and well-being of all its leaders.

This event would not have been possible without the active engagement from members of the Safety Committee and the tireless work from staff to pull it all together. Thank you!

Safety Committee:

Bryan Schmalz

Patrick Shannon

Ibrahim Janajreh

Paul Corvino

Anthony Izzo

Velid Suljic

Perry Kasturas

Kevan McDowell

Chris Mabie

Alayna Bereziuk

Vincent Erdlen

Jackie Long

Royce Najemian

Mike Valverde

Frank Pietropaolo

Joseph Mazzurco

Ebonee Cochrane

Chris Cavallo

Event Leads

Michelle Scerra

Christina Priore

Tiffany Gaidus

Mike McConnell

Mike Daniels

Erin Smith

Chris Schubert