Despite rapid company growth, Nations Roof LLC (#4 on Roofing Contractors Top 150) has reduced their claims and continued to build an industry-leading safety program.
Growth and expansion can bring tremendous reward but it also means the addition of new employees who may be at higher risk of injury due to inexperience or unfamiliarity with the work. So how did Nations Roof LLC experience 61 percent revenue growth over the last four years, yet decrease its workers’ compensation claims by 25 percent?
The rapidly growing national company recognized the importance of shifting their focus to safety training, injury prevention and accountability within their 22 locations throughout the country. To manage and implement this change, Nations Roof hired Neftali Ortiz to become the director of risk management for the company.
When Ortiz joined Nations Roof a few years ago, he was given the resources to do what was needed in terms of equipment and procedural changes to reduce risk and ensure employees felt safe on the job. One of his first steps was to work with the risk experts at Roofing Risk Advisors, LLC a division of Frank H. Furman, Inc. to develop a comprehensive risk management plan that included adequate coverages. He then hired two regional risk engineers – one for the east coast and the other for the west coast.
Ortiz implemented daily safety inspections at all the company’s locations and conducts more than 1,000 inspection each year that are carried out by certified safety personnel. The program is so impressive that it was recognized by National Underwriter (NU) Magazine’s Excellence in Workers’ Compensation Risk Management Award.
The company was featured in the August 2017 issue of the magazine where Ortiz explains that one of the areas that Nations Roof worked with leading roofing insurance advisors; Roofing Risk Advisors, LLC was in implementing an employee pre-assessment program before hiring. The program profiles an applicant’s predictive behavior that can contribute to risky behavior. Ortiz explained to NU, “It helps us recognize employees that have different tendencies. It’ll let you know if they are more likely to submit a workers’ comp claim, or don’t listen to instructions.”
In addition to the pre-assessment screening, other parts of the program include intensive and ongoing training. Nations Roof partnered with the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) to train employees on the importance of fall prevention through the NRCA’s eight-hour Fall Protection A-Z Program.
They have also implemented efforts to combat heat illness by developing a plan specific to each job. Each job site has its own hydration station that is stocked with professional-grade sports hydration drinks and a heart monitoring device.
Ortiz says he wouldn’t have had such success without the full support of the company CEO, Rich Nugent and President Jake Hyatt. He explained to NU, “Most guys’ first concern is, ‘How much do I have to spend?’” Ortiz explains. “Our CEO says, ‘I care for our guys and I don’t want anything to happen on my watch.’”
By raising the safety bar, Nations Roof has reaped the benefit of reduced claims and more importantly, safer employees.
Rob Foote, President of Roofing Risk Advisors a Division of Frank H. Furman, Inc. is deeply experienced Insurance and Risk Management Advisor to the roofing industry, 15 year member of National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), and a director of the Florida Roofing & Sheet Metal Contractors Association (FRSA). For more information on proven roofing industry risk management strategies, contact the author, Rob Foote at 954-609-0820 or firstname.lastname@example.org; go to www.roofingriskadvisors.com.