DWM
© 2018 Copyright Key Media and Research All rights reserved. 
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.

Labor and Safety Work
Together Closely
BY TARA TAFFERA
W
hen this issue arrived in
your mailbox, you were like
-
ly in the midst of the holi-
day excitement, and maybe planning
personal New Year’s resolutions and
fine-tuning your company’s 2018
goals. As I look to the new year and
think about our industry and its
future, there are two major issues I
believe we must collectively address.
Neither are short-term goals; they are
those difficult, long-term ones that
you think will always be there for you
to tackle tomorrow. Yet if we dont
think strategically to address these at
our own companies, the industry as a
whole could be in trouble.
Training the Future Worker
The first is the recruitment and
training of our future employees. My
view on the subject was succinctly
summarized by Steve Dillon, market
-
ing director at Veka, when he talked
about students from a local vocational
school who attended a recent training
program hosted by his company.
“Theres too much focus on four-
year schools,” said Dillon. “But the
tide may have flipped. We just had
50 kids here from a local vocational
school, and they said their numbers
are way up.
That’s the first time I heard a positive
element to this problem: the fact that
few high school students are interested
in anything but a four-year college.
Full disclosure: I have three kids,
one of whom will enter college in two
years, and another to follow her in
another two. Do I want them to enter
four-year colleges? Sure. Would I think
less of them if they wanted to enter a
vocational school instead? I wouldnt.
But I wont have to face that, as there
arent any in our area anyway.
If the counties and government
wont provide it and the door and win
-
dow industry needs employees to run
its plants, then you all have to step in
and fill the void. And if you cant, you
add automation.
Safety: A Failing Grade
Therein lies the second problem.
No, it’s not automation, but safety.
What? Isnt that counterintuitive,
you ask? If machines became more
automated, wouldnt safety statistics
improve? Maybe.
Until we get to that sophisticated
point of automation in all our plants,
let’s remember all the accidents that
happen. If you still think these are
isolated incidents, then study the data
detailing industry injuries in the news
story on page 14. The number of non
-
fatal occupational injuries and illness-
es reported by industries that do work
related to doors and windows in 2016
was higher than the national rate for
all industries
1
. In 2016, private indus-
try employers reported approximately
2.9 million nonfatal workplace inju
-
ries and illnesses for a national rate of
2.9 cases per 100 full-time equivalent
workers.
The rates for metal window and
door manufacturing rise to 5.2 cases.
For wood window and door manufac
-
turing, it’s 4.8 cases. Why is our indus-
try so much higher than average?
My challenge to you is to take a hard
look at those numbers and how your
plant would fare. This is not something
you can do in a day or even a week. It
will take a concerted, continued effort
to bring those numbers down—and
most importantly, keep our employees,
and our future ones, safe.
y
4
F R O M T H E P U B L I S H E R
ttaffera@glass.com
DOOR & WINDOW MARKET MAGAZINE
Incorporating
SHELTER
®
Magazine
Door & Window Market
Publisher/ Tara Taffera
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DWM
© 2018 Copyright Key Media and Research All rights reserved. 
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.