Safety First

I have been in business for over 15 years. I am also the past president of my local building association, and I helped develop and start the education program for the Olympia Master Builders ( I have devoted myself to raising the level of professionalism within our industry, in particular working to erase the stereotypical perception of the remodeler working out of his broken-down truck.

I almost had to laugh when I looked at the front cover on the November 2008 issue of Professional Deck Builder, showing a guy with a great cut station set up, while squinting as he is making a cut. NO SAFETY GLASSES! Later in the issue, there is the guy simply using a screw gun and setting a planter box with his glasses on.

The reason I mention this is I have 12 carpenters out in the field working for me, and we have safety/staff meetings every Thursday morning. I encourage all my guys to read your magazines and share any of the good information they find in them. I have harped on my guys for years to put their glasses on and I encourage them to be wearing them at all times — then, of course, they see the cover of a national magazine showing a guy not wearing them. I know rules are different around the country; however, I have never heard of any state that didn’t require safety glasses to be worn while using a saw!

I have noticed these things in the past, but never took the time to comment. I felt compelled on this one. It was on the front cover, and the first word in the magazine’s name is “professional.”

I would hope that whoever is in charge of editing the photographs would take the time to make sure that with the action shots, the people conform to at least the most basic safety rules. I know that will help me and other professionals reinforce the fact that we want all of our employees to work safely, and with some of the great information and tips, efficiently!

John Erwin, CGR, CAPS

John Erwin Remodeling, Olympia, Wash.

For the editor’s response, see Editor’s Letter.