Safety is discussed frequently in the world of industrial construction because it’s a concern that’s top of mind. Due to the nature of construction work with heavy machinery, power tools, pressurized equipment, high and low temperatures, hazardous chemicals, and heavy, unsecured building materials, it’s an industry with one of the highest rates of workplace injury and death. Industrial construction companies owe it to their workers, as well as their clients and shareholders, to take safety seriously.
Top 4 Safety Guidelines for Industrial Construction Companies
Here are four safety guidelines that industrial construction companies should absolutely follow to ensure a safe, healthy, and productive work environment.
1. Know the Law
This is less a guideline and more an absolute mandate: you must know the laws that apply to the work your company does. Workplace safety is regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); the construction industry is regulated by OSHA Standard 1926. All aspects of the industry are regulated under this act — from more general rules on housekeeping and injury reporting to industry-specific rules on concrete construction and steel erection.
Keeping up to date on new regulatory requirements is crucial, and it’s not only the responsibility of an EHS Manager but all of company leadership.
2. Foster a Safety Culture
“Safety culture” is a bit of a buzzword in the industry, but it’s not initially a clear-cut concept. Every workplace has a culture, comprised of the ways in which people do their work and interact with one another and the values that guide those actions. Culture can seem to just arise out of day-to-day work and the way things get done (or don’t), but it’s important to make safety one of the values that guide the actions of your entire team.
In a safety culture, neither management nor employees consider taking risky shortcuts or violating inconvenient regulations, because that’s just not how they do business. No one resists or even just absently forgets to wear the necessary PPE. Why? Because the importance of performing work safely is emphasized not just in infrequent training sessions but every day on the job site, and not just by top leadership but by crew members at every level.
3. Get Everyone Involved
As mentioned previously, having buy-in from everyone in your organization — from the newest hire to the CEO — is essential to promoting a safety culture. In addition to comprehensive safety training and top-down commitment to safety, getting other team members involved is necessary not only to encourage safe work habits but to accurately evaluate and mitigate hazards and risks.
Even the best managers and supervisors can only see and do so much. Workers who are working with hazards on a daily basis will have valuable insights on how to address those hazards and any obstacles they face in safely performing their duties.
4. Evaluate and Improve
Beyond the reporting obligations determined by OSHA, it’s crucial that industrial construction companies keep detailed records of their safety program’s performance. This includes not just injuries and incidents, but near misses and potential hazards that are caught before they could result in an incident and when changes to protocols are implemented. Tracking this information will allow you to review it and make necessary changes, including seeing patterns that might not otherwise be obvious.
Health and safety systems are never perfected, and there will be incidents and mistakes, so continuous improvement is possible. This is especially the case as regulations will evolve over time, and your company will need to implement and adapt to the new requirements.
Our Commitment to Safety at PALA Interstate
PALA Interstate ensures a safe project all around by adhering to the regulations and guidelines listed above alongside our own safety protocols. In the planning phase of our projects, we perform both a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) and Pre-task Safety Analysis (PTSA).
We’re also dedicated to fostering a safety culture, involving management and site staff. We perform industry, site, and PALA-specific safety training and orientation. Regular observations are performed on the worksite to ensure that safe work practices are being used, and we use the PII™ system for incident measurement, analysis, and feedback — because if you don’t measure it, you can’t improve on it.
Safety is at the heart of every project we take on; safety for people, facilities, and environments. For industrial construction and aboveground storage tank fabrication, installation, and repair, you can trust us to perform high-quality work with a safety mindset. Get in touch to learn more about how our work practices promote a safer worksite and results that will exceed your expectations.
BATON ROUGE, Feb. 2023 — This year, PALA Group is celebrating its 50th anniversary of delivering turnkey industrial construction solutions. While based in the Gulf Coast region, PALA has served clients across the United States with the highest level of service, safety, and quality — now for over five decades.
PALA was founded in 1973 by Rick Tarajano, an industrial contractor working for the Louisiana sugar industry. His focus on mechanical piping and equipment installations made it a natural fit to move into other industries like pulp and paper, refining, and petrochemicals throughout the 1970s.
In 1987, PALA formed its aboveground storage tank and ASME vessel operations. This division continued growing throughout the 1990s, securing contracts for small capital projects and tank farm maintenance with some of the Gulf Coast’s largest facilities.
In 2008, PALA became an employee-owned company (ESOP) via acquisition from the original founding Tarajano family. Since then, the business has further expanded and diversified its service offerings, including:
US FUSION & Specialty Construction (2017): A subsidiary providing services complementary to PALA’s, including installing plastic pipe, concrete embed liners, and various erosion control systems.
ARCCO Power Systems (2021): A subsidiary specializing in the sale, service, and rental of new and used generators ranging from 10kW to 3.5MW — offerings that are particularly useful in emergency response and disaster recovery situations.
SMART Safety Group (2012): A company founded by PALA to help contractors and manufacturers in their quest to protect their most valued asset — their employees.
Elite Helical Solutions (2021): A subsidiary providing specialized helical piles as a deep foundation solution for industrial, mid-stream, and commercial building markets across the Gulf Coast.
“PALA has evolved into a group of growing companies that relentlessly focuses on delivering the best possible service to our customers and creating value for our group of employee-owners,” said Scott Barringer, PALA CEO. “I’m proud to look back at our humble beginnings in the sugar mills of Louisiana and see how far we’ve come in 50 years.”
“Industrial construction” is a broad term, and not everyone knows what it means. If you’re looking for an expert construction partner, it’s important to know that you’re looking at qualified candidates, especially if your industry has to meet certain regulations or your application has unique needs that present complex construction situations.
Here’s what you need to know about what an industrial construction company does, from the services they provide to the industries they serve.
What is industrial construction?
Industrial construction is a kind of commercial construction (construction for a money-making business, as opposed to residential construction of homes or infrastructure construction of roadways and other such public-use structures).
It refers specifically to construction for manufacturing and heavy industrial applications—think factories, mills, oil refineries, pipelines, or applications using heavy equipment.
These industrial applications have different challenges and complexities than other forms of commercial construction, such as building retail stores or restaurants, due to the heavy equipment in use, as well as legal and environmental safety requirements. Additionally, manufacturing and production facilities have unique needs in terms of piping, pressurized containers, bulk storage of chemicals, and more that require specialized solutions.
Industrial construction may also require offshore construction, particularly for energy installations like oil platforms or wind turbines. Offshore construction has particular safety and ecological concerns, as well as engineering challenges due to the need to create structures that can withstand the water and weather.
What services do industrial construction companies provide?
Additionally, due to the heavy load industrial sites bear from their equipment and machinery, the construction of buildings like factories and warehouses can require additional services, like helical pile installation (which strengthens and deepens building or equipment foundations) or specialized erosion control.
The use of potentially hazardous chemicals and substances in industrial applications means that solutions are required to contain these substances, both in terms of primary containment (e.g., in an aboveground storage tank) and secondary containment, which protects the environment in case of a failure of the primary containment method.
Not all industrial construction companies provide all of these services, however. Many industrial construction companies specialize, either in specific services offered or in the needs of a specific industry. Some industrial construction companies may focus on the oil and gas industry, for example, while others may focus on providing just helical pile solutions or plastic pipe systems.
Some industrial construction companies may offer additional, related services. PALA Interstate, for example, not only fabricates and installs aboveground storage tanks, but we also offer maintenance and repair services, along with 3D laser scanning services for tank inspection.
What industries do industrial construction companies serve?
Industrial construction companies work with clients in a variety of industries, depending on their location and specialties.
Some examples of industries that use industrial construction services include
Bulk liquid terminals
Government and municipalities
Food and beverage
This list is certainly not exhaustive. There are many applications that require the specialized knowledge and expertise of industrial construction companies.
What does an industrial construction company do?
To wrap it all up, an industrial construction company provides construction services for manufacturing, energy, and other heavy industrial applications. These services can include erecting factories and other buildings and more specialized services like installing mechanical piping systems or fabricating aboveground storage tanks. If your application requires the use of heavy equipment or you have other industry-specific requirements for your construction project, you’ll need to work with an industrial construction company.
As an industrial construction company, we on the PALA team understand that it can be tough to find the construction professionals you need to complete a complex job properly. Here, you’ll find we offer the very best in technology, service, and safety. For more information, or to get help with your upcoming industrial construction project, get in touch with our team.