J.F. Ahern Co., a mechanical and fire protection contractor and member of the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association Wisconsin Chapter, has been selected to receive SMACNA’s annual Safety Innovation Award. The award recognizes the company that demonstrates an innovative safety idea, concept or best practice that improves its safety programming or culture.
J.F. Ahern Co. received the award for implementing an interactive safety training, delivering a virtual training series to nearly 1,200 volunteer participants in the midst of the pandemic – making it the company’s most-attended safety training event. The initiative underscored the company’s commitment to staying connected to all essential crews, while diversifying programming to ensure engagement and participation in understanding incidents with high potential to result in a serious injury and/or fatality. This led to the development of a training program called Hidden Hazards to address situations or incidents that are easy to look past, miss or simply accept without consideration for safety.
Acknowledging that normal training pathways, such as in-person groups, would not be possible, J. F. Ahern Co. coordinated a digital delivery method for the training via Zoom. The training was created with trailer videos made to introduce each episode on a specific safety topic. Live polling and chat functionalities were employed for participants to ask questions and encourage engagement. J.F. Ahern Co. also featured employee videos, micro-learning videos and voice clips from the field operations team and leadership throughout the training series.
Training and pre-planning are key to reducing occupational injuries and illnesses. The annual award celebrates those who continue to put safety first. SMACNA members who completed the 2021 Safety Excellence Survey were eligible to apply for the Safety Innovation Award.
Sponsors Milwaukee Tool and Federated Insurance will each donate $2,500 to J.F. Ahern Co.’s charity of choice, the Froedtert Hospital Foundation. The foundation develops and grows philanthropic resources to optimize the initiatives of Froedtert Hospital to improve patient outcomes and offers specific support for clinical research, clinical centers of excellence, patient care and related capital, health and community health education programs.