March is National Ladder Safety Month

2024-03-26T12:49:20-04:00March 26th, 2024|Categories: Safety Spotlight|

Ladder safety is important not only for the construction industry and fencing, our specialty, but also for almost everyone who does home or property projects—changing fire alarm batteries, painting, remodeling, tree trimming, or even fence installation.  Whoever needs a ladder needs ladder safety.  We at Rutkoski Fencing, Inc., use different types of ladders every day, and we strive never to take them for granted.  Safety is our goal—our high-quality workmanship follows safe execution.  Falls are the second-leading cause of death each year, but Best Practices and training decrease these horrible incidents. We hope our dedication to Ladder Safety benefits our customers when dealing with these necessary, often awkward tools we need to reach above our heads. Ladders put us in strange environments—with unfamiliar risks.  Before we climb, we first search for electrical hazards, exposed indoor wires, overhead powerlines.  No one should stand on a metal ladder near any exposed electrical [...]

Safe + Sound Week 2023

2023-09-25T10:13:47-04:00September 25th, 2023|Categories: Safety Spotlight|

During the first week of August, Rutkoski Fencing, Inc. (RFI) participated in OSHA's Safe + Sound Week. Our company has developed a comprehensive safety program for years, always reevaluating, changing, and adding for the well-being of everyone on our staff. So, we use this time of the year to reconnect on why safety matters to each individual employee. Weeks before Safe + Sound Week,  our team began planning activities and challenges.  Due to the nature of our employees being at multiple project sites across different states and offices, the activities have to work for all involved.  In addition to taking the safety pledge and encouraging participation, we take pleasure in offering chances to win prizes to enhance the overall experience! In this blog post, we will share our experience as one of the 134 Pennsylvania participants in the nationwide event. What is Safe + Sound Week? Each August, Safe + [...]

Foreman Training: Managing, Leading, and Safety

2023-02-23T10:52:29-05:00February 23rd, 2023|Categories: Safety Spotlight|

On February 9th, 2023, Rutkoski Fencing, Inc. (RFI) held a full day of Construction Foreman Training for our project foreman and management team. Our company recognizes that one of our greatest strengths is our staff—the humans we trust to get the job done day in and day out. Investing in our employees is essential to our company culture and overall success. So to set the day's tone, our president, Timothy Rutkoski, reminded those in attendance that RFI's goal is to "not just offer our employees a job, but a career." And that the role of a construction foreman is "one of the most important jobs in the company." He continued by reviewing the often time-consuming and behind the scene tasks of managing company structure, accountability, and operations and then took a deep dive into the intricacies of estimating construction projects. After these opening comments and discussion points from the president, [...]

Training Day 2022

2022-08-01T11:53:18-04:00July 29th, 2022|Categories: Safety Spotlight|

On the last Friday of June, we held our annual Training Day. Like most construction companies, our field employees are spread out all over the state. Dedicated training days allow us to bring everyone from all different departments and locations together to meet, sometimes for the first time, and review safety policies, company values, and how to handle specific incidents and potential hazards. There are countless risks and hazards to consider in this line of work. Many types of training methods are applied from new-hire onboarding to being deemed competent for the employee’s specific position.  On this day we focused on several video modules with coordinating quizzes, creativity, teamwork plus onsite equipment training. Opening Remarks Company President, Tim Rutkoski, started the day with a welcome speech that highlighted the company’s mission, purpose, and core values. Various members of management also spoke on important topics regarding their department. Training Highlights The first [...]

4 Tips, Tricks, & Techniques to Ladder Safety

2022-03-24T14:24:25-04:00March 24th, 2022|Categories: Safety Spotlight|

Have you ever felt unsafe when using a ladder? You're not alone.  Ladders easily allow us to reach new heights and achieve tasks quickly. But quick and easy does not mean safe. It is common to get complacent when using a ladder, especially with everyday, on-the-job use. Each year around 500,000 people are injured while using a ladder. Ladders aren't the most lethal tool we have in the workplace, but they can still cause serious injury, especially when used incorrectly for any task. During National Ladder Safety Month (or any month, really), it's important to remember a few ladder basics to avoid injuries to you and those around you. 1. Choosing Your Ladder Ladders are manufactured for specific use. Accidents occur when a ladder designed for one use is used for an unintended purpose. If you are in a conductive environment like an electrical substation, choose a ladder with non-conductive [...]

OSHA, RFI, and Going Beyond The Minimum

2021-08-24T08:58:13-04:00August 23rd, 2021|Categories: Safety Spotlight|

Let’s take a journey back in time.  A time before OSHA. It is March 25th, 1911. One hundred and forty-six men and women went to work at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City.  To the 123 women and girls and 23 men, it was no different than any other day in the garment industry. At 4:40 pm, a fire started in a fabric scrap bin under a table on the 8th floor of the building. The doors to the stairwells and exits were locked to prevent thefts and break-ins.  The foreman who held the stairway door key was nowhere to be found having escaped by another route. Those who could not escape by an exit jumped from the high windows or were overcome with smoke or the fire itself. The build-up of flammable scraps and the locked exits routes lead to the [...]

Environmental Hazards of Summer: Plants and Ticks and Snakes, Oh My!

2021-07-27T09:20:14-04:00July 26th, 2021|Categories: Safety Spotlight|

Our field teams encounter various project sites that range anywhere from solar array fields to alongside busy highways. And not unlike the Land of Oz where lions and tigers and bears (Oh My!) are of consequence, there are potential environmental hazards to be aware of. Our Safety Team ensures our employees are properly prepared, educated, and safe for every season. However, when the weather heats up, summer hazards and their added preventions are essential for outside workers. Poisonous Plants In Pennsylvania, fields and wooded areas have their hazards. Three plants of concern are poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. We provide education and onsite references to recognize the different types of plants and instructions if contact occurs. Site management carries identification references to notice plant characteristics. An exposed worker is to immediately wash the area, change clothes, clean tools, and use an ivy-blocking cream on the skin. Ticks and [...]

Position Competency and The RFI Competent Person

2021-07-01T08:58:50-04:00June 29th, 2021|Categories: Safety Spotlight|

According to an article by the publication Safety+Health, defining a competent person is not an easy as it may seem.  An expert in the field will even admit  "that there is confusion on what exactly the term ‘competent’ means and who qualifies."  So, why all this confusion? Let's see if we can sort it out.  Below, we will take a closer look into what qualifications a competent person needs to meet,  how the term is defined by the U.S. Department of Labor, and how our company deems a worker competent.  What you may think of as an employee being competent at their job may not be the same as the OSHA standard, or the RFI standard for that matter. What Is A Competent Person? Occupational Safety and Health Association, commonly known as OSHA, defines a competent person as “one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the [...]

Jobsite Electrical Safety

2021-05-20T09:43:56-04:00May 19th, 2021|Categories: Safety Spotlight|

The month of May is Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) National Electrical Safety Month,with the 2021 theme of being "Connected to Safety". During the course of month, Rutkoski Fencing increases awareness efforts by highlighting the dangers that workers are exposed to due to electricity. Whether the hazard is a possible life-threatening utility strike or exposed wires on tools, we have prevention methods in place for all levels of danger. Awareness and Training Our electrical hazard mitigation begins with awareness through training. All employees participate in our company specific Electrical Awareness and Safety video upon hire. The training covers electrical terminology, grounding techniques, electrical injuries, overhead power lines, underground utilities, step and touch potential, electrocution prevention methods, and other hazards related to power tools and electricity. To keep the information fresh to the mind, designated Toolbox Talks, or morning jobsite meetings, on the topic of electrical safety is assigned on a [...]

Safe Digging Month: What You Need To Know About Pennsylvania 811

2021-04-26T10:01:43-04:00April 26th, 2021|Categories: Safety Spotlight|

Traditionally, outdoor projects start in the spring with a good chance that it will require digging.  Whether homeowner, excavator, or facility owner, there is shared responsibility in safety that comes with the digging process. Using the PA 811 system communicates the need of locating utility lines before the digging phase begins to help prevent injuries, property damage, and inconvenient utility outages under Pennsylvania law. During the month of April, Pennsylvania 811 Safe Digging Month serves as a reminder to all excavators and homeowners to call 811 at least three business days before you dig.  The call will submit a request so that the approximate location of an underground utility can be identified and marked by facility owners. To prevent injury and utility disturbance (don’t upset the neighbors), let’s take a closer look at what is involved for the DIY homeowner, contracted excavator, and facility owners. Homeowners If you are a [...]

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