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With recent events in the industry in mind, AAMA leaders convened a new AAMA Manufacturing Safety Forum at our Summer Conference in Seattle. This forum is intended to facilitate discussion of how AAMA can add value to your plant safety program by creating a membership forum where safety ideas and best practices are shared. The goal is to help prevent injuries within our industry by learning from each other’s experiences, and the focus will be on common manufacturing activities that occur at our plants such as managing f heavy loads, glass handling, ergonomics, and visitor policies.

Workplace SafetyOf course, AAMA will not attempt to write safety standards, influence OSHA nor endorse one idea over another. Our role with the safety forum will be to facilitate the sharing of ideas for practices and program ideas that members could adapt to their work environment and product designs.

With this forum comes a renewed emphasis on safety, both at our member facilities and during the installation of window, door and skylight products. It also dovetails with some of the things AAMA has already been doing, such as creating the AAAMA Skylight Council Fall Protection position paper and sharing in the leadership of the Window Safety Task Force with other industry partners.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in five worker deaths last year were in construction. The leading causes of worker deaths on construction sites were falls, followed by struck by object, electrocution, and caught-in/between. Not that government is the answer, but OSHA is underfunded and its laws are woefully out of date. “Unequal Risk,” a new series of reports on workplace safety from the Center for Public Integrity, things are clearly going in the other direction. Not only are many of the laws already on the books to protect workers desperately in need of updating, but the government resources devoted to protecting workers are woefully insufficient.

The result? Some tens of thousands of human beings, every year, suffer due to health hazards that could be addressed with relative ease.