Because of numerous changes in the association and the industry it serves, we periodically reevaluate out mission and long-range planning. One aspect that stays the same is SC&RA's commitment to safety.

At its core, the SC&RA-endorsed property/casualty insurance coverage has a very strong risk management component. These ever-improving risk management services have been successful in curtailing accidents, resulting in better insurance products at better prices.

Last year, SC&RA greatly expanded its safety product line by offering 11 new technical and reference materials through a partnership with J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc., the nation's leading supplier of safety and regulatory compliance solutions for transportation, manufacturing, construction, human resources, security and general industry. SC&RA members receive significant discounts.

SC&RA also continued to offer its own new safety tools in 2005, including:

• a video, produced in cooperation with the Construction Safety Council, that covers ladder safety, personal protective equipment and personal fall arrest systems

• a comprehensive pilot car best practices training program, produced in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance

• steel cargo securement and protection guidelines that strive to minimize deaths, injuries and property damage that can result from substandard loading practices and securing devices

• a video that stresses safe procedures for using telescopic hydraulic gantry systems

The association constantly emphasizes safety through articles in American Cranes & Transport, including an update in this month's issue on relevant regulatory developments within the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. You'll also find articles on safety in ACT's sister magazine, International Cranes & Specialized Transport; the weekly SC&RA Newsletter; and the quarterly Safety & Management Newsletter.

As always, SC&RA will focus further on safety at its major meetings in 2006: the Specialized Transportation Symposium, March 9-11, in St. Louis, MO.; the Annual Conference, April 25-29, in Hilton Head, S.C.; and the Crane & Rigging Workshop, September 21-23, in Atlanta, GA. Speaking at each of these meetings will be some of the nation's most respected safety experts. Additionally, exhibits at the meetings will help suppliers of new and improved safety products and services interact with their customers.

Still another way SC&RA encourages safety is through its extensive awards program. The majority of these awards recognize achievements in safety by individuals and companies. The most obvious reason for safety programs remains compassion for the industry's workforce, but the financial impact on employers loom large. Recent surveys conducted by Liberty Mutual, one of nation's most respected insurance groups, revealed that each $1 invested in injury prevention returns $2 or more.

The stakes are growing more significant. Despite a decline in the rate of growth in the number of the most serious workplace injuries, the sheer financial impact of workplace injuries grew almost $1 billion per year between 1998 and 2003 when adjusted for inflation, according to Liberty Mutual.

SC&RA will continue to work with you to provide valuable safety tools, but it's up to you to use them properly. Ultimately, every member company needs to implement effective safety procedures, backed by policies to ensure they are enforced, evaluated and modified as necessary.

The result should be enhanced health for both your workforce and your bottom line.

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