National Ready Mixed Concrete Association launches ThinkFirst safety program

Updated Nov 4, 2019

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The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA)  launched a new safety program called ThinkFirst, dedicated to reinforcing a culture of safety in the ready-mixed concrete industry.

NRMCA’s Safety, Operations, and Environmental staff noted that the Top 10 most frequently-cited safety violations in the construction, general industry, and ready-mixed concrete industry have barely changed in the past 10 years, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Even with declines in incident rates industry wide, the same faults and violations continue to occur year after year.

“This latest NRMCA initiative is the industry’s next great program, which will focus on the true backbone of our industry: the workforce,” said NRMCA President Mike Philipps in a press release.

“ThinkFirst correctly places the industry’s priority of safety at the forefront,” added NRMCA Safety, Environmental and Operations Chairman Dale Kotzea of GCC in the press release.

“Many companies in the industry have, for some time, had their own individual safety focus. ThinkFirst finally creates a unified, industry-wide focus for all companies,” said NRMCA Safety, Environmental and Operations Vice Chairman Mike Brekken of Cemstone Products in the press release.

NRMCA’s Operations, Environmental and Safety Committee was renamed the Safety, Environmental and Operations Committee in mid-2017 bringing more of a focused look at safety within the industry and created a thoughtful, coordinated, uniform, understandable, and relevant industry-wide safety campaign. The phrase ThinkFirst leads immediately to a question, “What is ThinkFirst?,” which leads to a safety discussion; something lacking in many other safety slogans that directly tell you that safety is first.

The goal of ThinkFirst is to make sure that ready-mixed concrete workers end their day the same way they started it, alive and healthy. It is designed to be an industry-wide focus dedicated to creating and enhancing a steadfast culture of safe work practices by emphasizing thoughtful and strategic actions throughout operational tasks. Safe operations require an industry’s workforce to ThinkFirst. The first action should be a safe action. This focus, in turn, decreases injuries, illnesses, and fatalities, while increasing worker retention, positive workplace morale, and an unencumbered manufacturing process.