Boykin Brothers / LA Concrete Products
It may be a family-owned business, but everyone employed by Boykin Brothers Inc. (BBI) feels like family. Every day, they go the extra mile to ensure their employees leave work in the same condition as when they arrived Although that may sound simple, the company’s chief operations support officer Brandon Lassere, also a relative of the Boykins, understands that simple tasks done incorrectly can lead to serious accidents.
BBI was founded by brothers Thomas and Michael Boykin in 1997. That same year, they purchased Louisiana Concrete Products (LCP), a designer and manufacturer of quality precast concrete for almost 50 years. Since the acquisition, the brothers have grown the companies and expanded their services to include a concrete production division, tech research and development division, and a trucking and transportation division. Today, BBI/LCP has over 300 years of combined professional experience as a structural and architectural concrete production and transportation company in Louisiana and employs 110 people.
According to OSHA, there are a great deal of hazards within the concrete production industry. Most have to do with the actual process of production, but transportation and handling can be a great threat as well and in 2015 it was the handling of product that resulted in an on-the-job accident. “One of our guys was carrying something off our 18-wheeler trailer and fell backwards off of the trailer and tore his ankle,” said Lassere. It was something that Lassere took seriously and a hazard LUBA Loss Control helped address. Lassere worked with loss control consultant, Kyle Parker, at LUBA Workers’ Comp, to come up with a safer solution regarding stepping on or off the trailers. “We knew efficiency was important and that we needed to come up with a creative solution that wouldn’t slow down their process,” said Parker. “Our goal is to improve productivity with safety measures, not slow them down.”
“We knew efficiency was important and that we needed to come up with a creative solution that wouldn’t slow down their process,” said Kyle Parker, with LUBA Loss Control. “Our goal is to improve productivity with safety measures, not slow them down.”
After research and collaboration between Lassere and LUBA a solution was identified. Portable safety ladders were installed on the company trailers to provide a safe way to step on or off when loading or unloading product. “It only takes about two minutes to put on the trailers, but has made a world of a difference for our guys,” said Lassere. “BBI/LCP has not had a major claim since 2015 when that accident occurred.”
In addition to ladders, Lassere talks about other small initiatives they have made that have nearly eliminated accidents in those specific areas. For example, they installed Bluetooth headsets in all of their trucks a few years ago and drivers have not had any accidents related to phone usage since. “Large safety initiatives can seem difficult to business owners, but it’s really the little improvements made over time that can make the biggest impact.”
If the safety of your employees is a priority at your company, Lassere believes that establishing a good relationship with your workers’ comp team is critical. “LUBA visits us regularly and we reevaluate and improve our safety initiatives,” said Lassere. “Most—if not all—of their recommendations are made, and the owners are very receptive of new ideas to keep our guys safe.” When asked what sort of advice Lassere would give to other LUBA policyholders, he said “Talk to your agent and your LUBA loss control team about your safety challenges and goals. That’s what they are there for.”
“Talk to your agent and your LUBA loss control team about your safety challenges and goals. That’s what they are there for.”