Training is in Session!

By: Taylor Schechter, Safety & Compliance Manager

This month, RFI and Merut held a company wide training to refresh our workers on how to safely perform many job duties that they experience every day. Last month we posted all the different ways training can benefit the employees and the company (

One of the best ways to ensure safety is to ensure that the employees have all the knowledge they need to be able to do their job the right way. During this training we covered many topics.

Risk Management

First, we reviewed Risk Management – how to assess the risk in the tasks that they do. We held an open discussion about the tasks on our JSEA and discussed the “hierarchy of controls” for eliminating and reducing hazards. We reminded workers of their Stop Work Authority; everyone has the right to stop work if they feel the environment is unsafe.


Next, we took some time to discuss communication. Communication is vital, and if it is unclear it can lead to incidents. So, along with discussing all the factors that can cause communication to fail, we did an activity to demonstrated how different perspectives can influence results. Each person was given the same piece of white paper. They were told to close their eyes while I read the same instructions to everyone, telling them to rip off certain corners, and then fold the paper. When the activity was done and they opened their eyes, each person had a different pattern in their papers. While they all had the same piece of paper, they were all given the same instructions, they ended up with a different looking product. This proved that each person interprets things differently, so when giving instructions, you need to be 100% clear with your expectations.

Safety Training

After the activity, we got into the safety training. We started off with Excavation and Trenching safety, this is one of the most frequent and hazardous tasks our employees do. After that we touched on Confined Space and Lockout Tagout, while our employees don’t typically perform these tasks, we covered some very important points. For confined space, we discussed the multitude of hazards that are possible, such as a hazardous atmosphere. It is important to know that you can not simply hold your breath long enough to go into a space to get something or someone quickly. You must be properly trained and must wear the necessary PPE to enter a confined space. After that, we took our Foremen and Construction Managers through their own training to work on improving their leadership skills and knowledge on company procedures and incident investigation.

The second day of the training we jumped right into Fall Protection, Ladder Safety, and Electrical Safety, another set of critical skills for our employees to know. After that we finished the day with Spotter training and a Safe Driver course.

After this company wide training, we are confident that our workers can go out into the field and know how to safely perform their tasks, assess the hazards, and go home as safe and healthy as they were when they came to work that day!