The pros at Norris have always been devoted to safety (we even have our own safety mascot, Safe-T-Rex), and these unprecedented times of global pandemic and increased social distancing have allowed the company to focus on developing new safety programs and protocols and bust out an impressive safety record so far.
As of mid-May, the company’s impressive record was over 1100 days without lost time due to an on-the-job accident.
Norris Safety Coordinator Alan Jochem said the whole team worked hard to be safe and had developed and adhered to a set of processes to ensure the utmost safety.
“We have several processes in place to ensure the team is up to date with current situations,” Jochem said. “We always focus on high-risk accidents but never forget about the little stuff.”
Jochem also noted that the company started a “Safety Stand-Down” in 2019 that consisted of all their usual annual safety programs:
Fire Extinguisher Training
- Lock Out Tag Out Training
- Annual Fire Drill and Evacuation Drill (used for training, one is announced, but another is an unannounced drill to gauge training success.
- Inspection on all ladders to ensure safety and proper labeling.
- PPE check: PPE on all trucks and in good condition.
- Lift training for all techs and any employee that may use the lift during a weekend.
Norris has also used these unique COVID-19 times to start a new online safety program called Safety Skills that all techs must leverage to improve their safety acumen.
“They have over 500 safety topics available. We assign one to three topics that last from 10-25 minutes per month,” Jochem said. “This program allows them to document the training. We can add our own specific related policies to the training they provide so they get the general training and then company-specific training.”
Jochem said that all that training is then followed up with live, in-the-field observation sessions on a monthly basis.
“We go to a specific site to observe the techs working,” Jochem said but was quick to add that the visit and observation session “is not an inspection. We don’t stop production for more than a minute or two to let them know what I am going to be doing for the next 45+ minutes.”
A typical Norris technician is very detail-oriented and focused on quality over quantity so the team has performed well and has adapted to COVID-19-specific safety requirements.
“During this current pandemic, we provide the techs with masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer,” Jochem said. “We also send out updates to make them more aware of what is going on,”
Jochem noted that while the pandemic overall, is not something anyone wants to go through, there could be positive side-effects, so to speak, including everyone being more aware of hygiene and best practices for social distancing.
Norris Chief Operations Manager Craig Elkanich said that another change during the Pandemic is that Norris is willing to sacrifice new business in the form of new installs in places where the occupants are at increased risk for infection in order to put safety first.
“For the safety of those we are trying to protect, we are currently not doing any new installs at locations where the occupants are at high risk unless it is an emergency or urgent need,” Elkanich said. “For any locations that have had positive cases, we ask for volunteers to perform the work and are using proper precautions to keep our teams safe.”
If you’re looking for a highly-trained, safety-conscious team to handle your life-safety and security needs, drop Norris a line today and find out what top-notch service means.
What is Norris all about?
Norris, Inc.—a Saco, Maine-based life-safety and security systems integrator with satellite offices in Bangor, Maine; Lee, New Hampshire; and Burlington, Vermont—was founded nearly 40 years ago by two brothers, Brad and Harty Norris.
On February 28, 2020 Norris Inc was acquired by Minuteman Security Technologies Inc. Minuteman Security Technologies Inc. (Minuteman), headquartered in Andover, Massachusetts and founded in 1998, is a leading provider of enterprise security technology solutions. Minuteman security systems are used by a wide range of organizations throughout the United States. Customers include law enforcement, energy companies, mass transit, large retail chains, academic institutions, public safety agencies, and community hospitals with regional offices from Maine to Illinois.