Health and Safety

Having an exemplary safety record is no accident at Farallon. Employee health and safety (H&S) is an important consideration for every Farallon project. The firm's comprehensive corporate H&S program demonstrates Farallon's proactive approach to employee protection.

Industry-Leading Safety Program

When Principal Engineer Richard McManus, P.E. assumed responsibility as the Farallon Health and Safety Coordinator, he brought more than two decades of experience in the engineering and construction industries, and an accompanying awareness of the importance of job safety. He immediately began developing an H&S program that elevated safety practices far above the industry norm.

OSHA Requirements

Fulfilling safety requirements is never a token activity for Farallon, even when it comes to meeting basic OSHA Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Training Requirements.  Rather than relying on off-site training companies to provide annual employee training, Farallon develops a new custom curriculum every year to address safety issues most pertinent to Farallon personnel, their specific work tasks, and evolving safety regulations and practices. The customized training classes are presented live in-house, allowing for group discussions, participant questions, and personal follow-up.

Site Safety

Because projects frequently take Farallon personnel to an excavation or construction site, recognizing associated site risks is crucial for safe conduct at the site.  All Farallon field work is preceded by preparation of a site-specific Health and Safety Plan—reviewed and signed by McManus—identifying potential physical and chemical hazards at the job site.  McManus then discusses project work and related risks with the Farallon field staff selected for the job.  At the job site, project personnel meet at the beginning of each workday to review the tasks to be performed, site conditions, equipment in use, concurrent site activities, and the safety protocols to be implemented under the various work scenarios anticipated.  The importance of constant attentiveness to potential dangers and the proper response to them is underscored throughout the project.

Job safety extends to project subcontractors also. Farallon has reduced its pool of subcontracted firms to a select few who take work safety seriously and have a proven track record of successfully managing job risks.

Safety Plans

To address the many matters of safety inherent in project field work, Farallon has compiled a comprehensive Hazardous Waste Operations Plan detailing standard operational practices. Internal safety guidelines and administrative and supervisory responsibilities for implementing H&S activities are defined in the Corporate Health and Safety Plan.

Additional Safety Program Highlights

In-House Seminars

The dynamic nature of site safety necessitates periodic updating of employees' understanding of safety issues.  To supply this need, Farallon regularly presents in-house seminars featuring relevant topics such as excavation, drilling, electrical issues, lockout/tagout, public utility locate, and driving safety to raise employee awareness of day-to-day risks in the field, and prescribe steps to minimize them.

Supplementary Certifications

Several Farallon technical staff have undergone specialized training and earned safety certification qualifying them for work in unique environments such as oil refineries, railyards, and other facilities having industry-specific safety protocols.

Near-Miss Tracking

Farallon regularly records and tracks data on near-miss occurrences for internal educational purposes.  A near miss is defined as an incident in which no personal injury or property damage took place, but where injury and/or property damage could have occurred under slightly different circumstances.  Logging the circumstances of each near-miss event exposes the innate dangers of a particular type of work or site location.  An identified danger and the correct response to it are communicated to field staff to increase their awareness of site risks, and what they can do to minimize risk.  As part of its annual employee safety training, Farallon reviews the near-miss incidents that occurred during the previous year to make sure everyone is aware of the risks involved in their work.

Perfect Safety Record

McManus' leadership and proactive stance on safety has paid off. During the 5 years he has administrated Farallon's H&S program, the firm has enjoyed a perfect safety record of zero lost-time injuries in 60,000 hours of field work annually. Farallon is continuing its commitment to safety by promoting a mindset of risk awareness and mitigation, to the benefit of employees, clients, and project partners alike.