We recently spoke with the Director of Safety for North America at LMS Reinforcing Steel Group, Ben Sleeman. Ben was kind enough to share his experience of evolving LMS’ safety program from paper-based to digital with the SalusPro safety platform as its foundation.
LMS Reinforcing Steel Group is the leading independent fabricator and installer of reinforcing steel in North America – in a high risk sector building super structures, from bridges to stadiums, to commercial buildings and residential buildings.
It can be one of the most dangerous sectors therefore, having meticulous safety procedures and policies are essential to keep the employees safe.
Between 600 employees & 25 subcontractors, LMS sees an average of 250 forms being submitted per day.
Q: First of all, congrats on leading the successful transformation of LMS’ safety program into to the digital space. What were the key drivers that finally led to making the shift?
As safety regulations increased, there was a demand for more forms and the only way to track those forms was to physically go around to all of our sites and collect them.
This created a lag time of upwards of 90 days, which meant if there was an error, you would only discover it much later. This made it impossible to regulate.
With Salus, the information is entered in real-time, so I can see the information from any member of the company – or any member of my team – seconds after it’s inputted.
Its been a game-changer for the business to have real-time visibility into safety across our North American operations.
Having the ability to see any mistakes in real-time allows us to reach out to the employee immediately and coach them through how to properly input the information or to fix it themselves the next time, which we can do right from the office.
“The savings are substantial, for a company our size.”
Q: Does the ability to access real-time reports provide any insurance incentives?
In the States it absolutely does.
They look at your program and management when providing you a rating for your premiums. if I need to bring several binders to prove my safety protocols and make them sift through 365 pages of documentation to prove it, that can be quite frustrating.
With Salus, binders are a thing of the past. I can jump on a video conference and say, “I just sent you a job list – pick one and tell me what you’d like to see”, and I can show them what they need to see within 30 seconds.
Q: What features do you enjoy most within the Salus platform?
The digital signature is easily the best. The fact that you can sign any form on your phone is amazing.
Q: Has implementing the Salus platform helped to strengthen LMS’ safety culture?
Yes. Me and my team have the bandwidth to actually focus on safety now that we’re not constantly bogged down in paperwork.
“The digital signature is easily the best. The fact that you can sign any form on your phone is amazing.”
Q: From a safety operations perspective, how have things changed with access to proper data, reporting, and tools in the cloud?
With Salus, I can sort forms by worker, incident type, job and form type, and it takes me 45 seconds to pinpoint a specific form from a specific day. This would have been impossible with paper.
So, when regulators or Workers Comp call me up and ask me about a specific thing that happened back on a particular day, it literally takes me seconds to find exactly what I need.
Q: Was there initial resistance at first? How did that change after switching to paperless?;
Oh yes. Nobody wanted to do it. There will always be resistance to learning new technology.
The key for us was to have a concise plan for rolling-out the new system. Working with the Salus team to train and enable our people on how to use the program, they were quickly able to see the benefits of going digital.
Q: Any advice to other companies that are still using traditional safety documentation practices?
Yes – do yourself a favour and get with the times. The best defense for your company to show diligence and have a thorough safety program is going digital. There are no two ways about it.
Me and my team have the bandwidth to actually focus on safety now that we’re not constantly bogged down in paperwork.
Q: What kinds of returns are you seeing on the investments made in going digital?
The savings are substantial. For a company our size, we would’ve needed 3 personal assistants to do what we’re doing now with the program digitally – that’s a savings of $180K a year in salaries. That’s not even taking in account what we’re saving on paper, printing, etc.
Q: What was your experience going through a COR audit?
COR audits have an incentive program and if awarded they give you back 5% of your workplace premiums, which for a company of our size, – it’s 100,000’s of dollars.
With paper, just to review the process, they would allot two days for documentation review and you could never guarantee the accuracy. With digital, I did documentation review in 1 hour and 45 minutes and with more accuracy, guaranteeing to get the 5% back which is incredible.
To learn more about LMS Reinforcing Steel Group visit their website: lmsgroup.ca/
Salus is a digital safety solutions provider for the North American construction industry. Founded by the former head of a high-rise window installation company, Salus has incorporated real-world site level safety experience into the design of its flagship platform, SalusPro – a web-based solution for the business level and mobile app for the field.
With workflows that mirror how safety programs operate in the construction industry today and with the ability to manage subcontractors, assets, incidents and compliance, Salus is at the forefront of innovation for cloud-based safety.
Click here to learn more about SalusPro safety software or request a demo below.