We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Knowledge, experience and a commitment to safety matter. Regardless of the fencing project you’re facing, it is of utmost importance to partner with professionals who prioritize the safety and success of their operations. That means employing a well-prepared, dedicated and highly safety-oriented team—one that adheres to rigorous training standards, possesses critical certifications and meets a high bar of qualifications specific to the fencing industry.
From high-level access control to perimeter security, sound barriers and other commercial fencing and gate solutions, there are fundamental aspects of designing and installing fencing systems that are both safe and effective. This process requires much more than meets the eye, and it warrants the expertise of a qualified fencing contractor who understands the intricacies involved. So when it comes to choosing a professional fencing partner with the certifications, training and qualifications to do the job right, here’s what you need to know.
Safety First, Last & Always
Unfortunately, safety is not always top-of-mind for those seeking professional fencing solutions. Often, the elements of time and cost supersede the importance of finding a contractor who invests heavily in their safety program. But while budget and timeline are critical considerations, there’s simply no greater priority than safety—a focus that actually supports overall budget and efficiency goals.
At the very minimum, a fencing contractor must adhere to the regulatory standards set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA rules outline the methods that employers must use to protect their employees from a wide range of hazards. Fencing contractors are required to follow OSHA’s Construction Regulation 29 CFR 1926 and the General Industry Regulation 29 CFR 1910, which set standards regarding training, personal protective equipment (PPE), housekeeping, emergency procedures, and other general safety and health provisions.
Of course, these are the minimum standards for a contractor’s safety program and approach. Top-notch fencing contractors like Rutkoski Fencing, Inc. go beyond this minimum to cultivate a true culture of safety among their ranks. And we do so in some very specific and significant ways (which you can read more about here).
Counting On Certifications
It’s also critical to work with a fencing contractor that has a solid grasp of how high-quality, durable materials and application choices enable your fencing solution to meet individual specifications, address environmental factors and stand the test of time—and how to implement those selections safely and effectively. One of the best ways to assess these factors is to get a clear picture of the professional certifications your fencing contractor possesses.
In addition to valuable memberships with industry organizations such as the American Fence Association (AFA), National Safety Council (NSC), ASIS International and ISNetworld, Rutkoski Fencing, Inc. holds the following professional certifications:
- Certified Operations Manager (COM), which recognizes individuals with an exceptional level of expertise in managing all facets of fence contracting company operations, including team management, sales, project management and installation.
- Certified Gate Automation Designer (CGAD), the most comprehensive gate designer certification available to the industry.
- American Fence Association (AFA) Certified Fence Contractor (CFC), which recognizes a gold standard for the fencing industry through examination, references and the fulfillment of prescribed standards of performance and conduct.
- Ameristar Perimeter Security training and certification on sales, Impasse II, Matrix and Stalwart best practices.
- American Fence Association (AFA) Blue Ribbon Company, for those who demonstrate the highest ethical and professional standards in the industry and are actively engaged for the advancement of the profession.
- American Fence Association (AFA) Certified Fence Professional (CFP), which recognizes a high level of competency in the fencing industry through examination as well as the fulfillment of prescribed standards of performance and conduct.
- Amico Amiguard Installer and Trainer, earned through Amico’s Amiguard fence installation training.
- Guardiar/BetaFence Installer, earned through proper training.
- Tymetal Certified Installer, which certifies us to install pedestrian and vehicular gate and gate systems per Tymetal’s specifications and performance tolerances.
- Miller Edge Safety Patrol (MESP), earned through the completion of safety certification and membership on commitment to safer installations of motorized doors and gates.
A Foundation of Training & Qualifications
The most qualified fencing partner for the job is one who not only exemplifies a strong base of expertise through professional certifications, but also rigorously manages comprehensive training efforts to ensure each and every team member has the knowledge and skills to do the work safely, carefully and successfully. They should believe that training is compassion and proactive care, thinking of safety management plans and procedures as keys to higher levels of individual and collective success.
Over the tenure of our company, Rutkoski Fencing, Inc. has come to realize that in an industry as unique as fencing, third-party training options have been falling short of being specific enough to our tasks and ways of performing. So in 2020, we initiated our own Company-Specific Training Program.
Members of our Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Department, in combination with other leaders in management, decided to create custom training videos that pulled from the decades of knowledge and experience we had from members of our employ. Our dedicated team researched, wrote, produced and implemented many pieces of training and courses, identifying more than 20 target areas to include in our educational map. The training is rooted in the fencing industry and regulatory standards, the invaluable experience of our team and the needs of our company for the crucial role we have in our industry.
Our customized training platform is now a vital tool for our staff, management and field teams—tailored to their everyday experiences and needs. Examples of this training curriculum include:
- New Hire Orientation
- Fencing Installation Overview
- Electrical Awareness
- Emergency Preparedness (for both facility and field employees)
- Environmental Awareness
- Excavation and Trenching (with elaborate One-Call procedures)
- Spotter Training
- Safe Driver
- Cargo, Hauling and Materials Handling
- Heavy Equipment
- Small Equipment
- Risk Assessment
- Foreman Training
Among other training and qualification standards, we ensure that all employees have passed a DOT physical as well as a drug and alcohol screening as part of our pre-employment procedures; been trained in all company policies and procedures, including fence installation, PPE, equipment and incident/accident/near-miss reporting; received appropriate safety training and applicable certifications related to the work being performed; and have innovative technology at their fingertips to easily report project progress and communicate efficiently.
At the end of the day, knowing how seriously your fencing contractor takes these areas of training, certification and qualification is fundamental to feeling confident they can handle the job at hand—in the safest, most effective way.
There’s no better decision than to partner with a company that cultivates a culture of safety, all rooted in a high level of dedication and commitment that starts with the CEO and branches all the way out to the field. From maximized awareness and reduced complacency to accident and injury reduction, regulatory compliance and far better output, there are unequivocal advantages related to choosing a contractor who invests in these standards.
For even more information about The Benefits Of Partnering With A Contractor Who Invests In Safety, be sure to check out our free, informative whitepaper.