Safety and Your Geoprofessional Practice: New GBA Publication Tells Practitioners about the Whys and How-tos of Establishing a Safety Program

 Safety and Your Geoprofessional Practice

Safety has become a top priority for many design and environmental firms, and not just because they are concerned for the welfare of their employees. As explained in Safety and Your Geoprofessional Practice, the most recent entry in the Geoprofessional Business Association’s (GBA’s) series of GBA Best Practices monographs, “For many major clients, safety performance is a key criterion when it comes to the procurement of professional services, directly or by subcontract. They are committed to avoiding on their property work-related injuries or illnesses caused by any outside entity that fails to follow established safety regulations or best industry practices.” Many of these major clients “use comprehensive prequalification questionnaires that inquire about a firm’s safety program and request electronic copies of documents that support the answers,” the new publication explains.

The new monograph provides important information essential to the development of an effective safety program. Part of this information focuses on the direct and indirect costs of an inadequate safety program, ranging from higher insurance premiums and legal exposures to lost business and lower productivity. Also covered: Some of the key safety metrics being used, known by acronyms such as EMR, TRIR, DART, LCWR, and IPMMD; benchmarks firms can use as targeted objectives; and an array of techniques for developing a “robust, proactive safety program that seeks to eliminate hazards and prevent injuries.”

According to the GBA Safety Committee, which is responsible for the new GBA Best Practices monograph, “The effectiveness of any safety program is tied directly to the demonstrated commitment of top management. For that reason, the CEOs of safety-conscious firms demonstrate their commitment to safety by making it part of their organization’s pre-employment screening, including motor-vehicle reports (MVRs). Also recommended: A drug- and alcohol-testing program that includes pre-hire/post-offer, random, and post-accident testing.”

GBA Best Practices monographs are available only to GBA members, without charge. Members can order Safety and Your Geoprofessional Practice from the GBA website.

Established in 1969, the Geoprofessional Business Association is widely regarded as geoprofessionals’ best source of comprehensive business guidance. GBA serves geotechnical engineers, environmental professionals, civil engineers engaged in a variety of specialties, and construction-materials engineering and testing professionals, among other geoprofessionals. GBA is well known for creating innovative programs, services, and materials to help its member firms thrive by confronting risk and optimizing performance.

All GBA Member Firms’ technical activities are under the full-time control of an individual who is legally and/or ethically bound to hold paramount public health, safety, and welfare. GBA’s associate membership comprises geoprofessional constructors; geoprofessional educators; geoprofessionals employed by government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, and industry; and attorneys and other consultants to GBA Member Firms.

Obtain more information about GBA at its website ( or by contacting the organization at or 301-565-2733.