Monthly Archives: February 2021

Employee Spotlight: Mike Landrum

Meet Mike Landrum – Product Support Sales Representative – Baton Rouge, LA

Where is your hometown? Baton Rouge, LA (laissez le bon temps rouler) *let the good times roll*

Do you have family? Kids? My wife, Kelli of 29 years and sons Chandler and Parker.

What does your typical day at work look like? Our territory consists of 10 Louisiana parishes (counties) that I travel covering customers and prospects. I normally like to start work early in the mornings when there is less traffic on the roads and usually will have at least one customer calling needing help before 7:00 A.M. I accept customer calls anytime of the day either very early in the mornings or late in the evenings. Depending on the area within the territory I am covering that day, I will normally start by visiting existing customers early and then cold calling later in the morning and after lunch. In the late afternoons, I am calling on customers and following up on outstanding quotes and preparing new quotes.

Daily job duties? Developing new customers, growing business with existing customers, service and parts quoting, helping customers make sound financial decisions and teaching equipment operator training.

How long have you been with the company? I came over from the transition with Scott Equipment, so total time of 7 years.

What is your favorite thing about your job? Meeting new people and developing new business opportunities. I really enjoy listening to customers and prospects to identify their problems and needs so Hugg & Hall can provide a successful solution building a mutually beneficial long-term relationship. Solving customer’s problems is very gratifying to me and at the same time, helping someone else clear their obstacles.

Do you have a favorite memory while working at Hugg & Hall? Learning that our branch was moving to a new location soon.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Traveling with family and friends to interesting places across the country.

What are your passions? Saltwater fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, hunting and cooking.

What is something that the people you work with might be surprised to know about you? I participated in competition water skiing and began barefoot skiing when I was just 13.

“When someone asks me where I work, I’m very proud to say that I work for Hugg & Hall Equipment!”

Mike Landrum is an essential part in keeping daily operations moving smoothly! We are proud to have him on our team! To start your own Hugg & Hall Story, visit our hiring website.

Modernizing the Construction Industry: Client Engagement

When improving client engagement, businesses often consider performance, service, and support. Nonetheless, client retention goes far beyond high-quality products and service; supporting customers and encouraging spending is not always enough. This kind of interaction may in fact cause clients to feel more like a transaction rather than a meaningful customer.

In the construction industry, owners and administration often plan for the year and evaluate prospects for new and recurring business. It is also important to judge internal aspects, like client engagement, to create a more dynamic and productive environment for clients and employees to thrive. Taking actions to generate client engagement can be a crucial step to increasing capital & resources for your construction business.

Getting Started

Critical to client engagement is making it clear to your customers that there is value in their relationship that is not solely based upon profitability. That is why consistent engagement with customers is important in every relationship. Construction companies can address this relationship by optimizing how customers communicate with their company. Allowing multiple channels, that are up to date and serviced regularly will magnify customer relations.

For industry leaders, this process starts from the first interaction and expands over the course of time and business. Throughout this process, companies should interact through social media, email campaigns, personal emails, online dashboards, phone calls & any other channel that makes sense for the business.

Participating in these additional interactions will emphasize that there is value beyond traditional products and service. Although it is likely that customers chose your company based upon a variety of reasons, including reviews, quality, and pricing, content that keeps them engaged will develop continued business and allow customers to better remember your company when completing further industry transactions.

The client engagement strategy should deliver relevant, personalized messages in a timely manner to customers. Personalization of content to match the customer base, is what ultimately sets client engagement marketing apart from other strategies. This being said, customers should be targeted based upon their prior interactions.

For example, a customer interested in plumbing a school, likely will not be the same customer laying the foundation, each of these clients should be categorized to receive different content. This does not mean each category deserves a different social media page, but it is important when sponsoring content or sending a promotional email to recognize different customer bases.

The Performance

Every business has the potential to engage clients in a beneficial way that encourages interactions from current and future customers. It is not always a ‘typical’ marketing campaign; a highly prioritized campaign will cause more engagement from the customers you want. While client engagement style campaigns can often be successful, if can be difficult to predict whether it is the right campaign for your company.

Investing in your campaigns, by participating and promoting, will consistently be profitable for your business. For small teams, a customer engagement platform may be necessary to help manage ads and interactions, track customer engagement, and assist in responding to inquiries or reviews. (Some of our favorites hootsuite.com & hubspot.com)

With the presented information, it is clear that proper client engagement will have a positive impact on your business, while strengthening your customer base. It may not always seem so easy, so when building your audience, focus on your brand, your company’s voice & personalized customer experiences.

Winter Weather Safety

When winter weather strikes, it can damage your equipment and cause harm to your employees. Keep your employees safe in winter weather with these tips. 

Want more information? Download our complete guide to winter construction site prep!

Personal Safety in Winter Conditions

Prevent slips, trips, and falls.

A boom lift with Hugg & Hall stickers in winter weather. The tires and top of the machinery are dusted with snow.

As temperatures approach the freezing point, it’s necessary for your company to help prevent slips, trips & falls. Thin patches of ice begin to occur when air temperatures reach the 30s and become dangerous quickly.

Proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) plays a significant role in keeping employees safe. Winter PPE includes non-slip footwear, gloves, jackets/coats, and hard-hat liners. This article from Construct Connect has additional information about winter PPE. 

Even when your team has the appropriate PPE, equipment and ladders create additional jobsite hazards in winter. Conduct routine inspections for surface ice on your equipment. If you detect any snow or ice, clear the surface immediately and make sure your team’s footwear is free of snow and ice. As always, make sure your team is in their fall-protection gear for additional safety. 

 

Recognize cold-related illness and act quickly.

Know the signs of hypothermia, frostbite, and trench foot and be prepared to administer first aid while you wait for emergency services. Your quick action can save a life.

Hypothermia

Early signs of hypothermia include shivering, loss of coordination, confusion, and fatigue. Prolonged hypothermia leads to blue skin, dilation of the pupils, lowered pulse rate, and a possible loss of consciousness.

If an individual on your team is experiencing the symptoms of hypothermia, alert the job supervisor and request medical assistance. Move the victim into a warm area. Remove any wet clothing and cover the victim with additional clothing or blankets. Warm beverages may help increase their body temperature. Once their body temperature has increased, keep them warm and dry.

Frostbite

Frostbite begins with a loss of feeling and color in affected areas, and can cause permanent damage to body tissue. It can even lead to limb amputation. Frostbite symptoms include reduced blood flow, numbness, tingling, stinging, and pale, waxy skin. The nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, and toes are most commonly affected by frostbite. 

If an employee is suffering from frostbite, take them to a warm area. The victim should avoid using the affected appendage and immerse it in warm—never hot—water. If no warm water is available, keep the affected area warm with body heat. Never rub the frostbitten area and do not expose it to direct heat. 

Trench Foot

Trench foot is an injury caused by exposure to wet and cold conditions over a prolonged time. If the temperature is below 60°F and the worker’s feet are constantly wet, trench foot is a legitimate concern. Symptoms include discoloration, numbness, lower-body cramps, swelling, blisters, and subdermal bleeding. 

To care for trench foot, remove the victim’s shoes and socks and dry their feet. Request medical attention. The victim should not try to walk, because walking can cause additional damage.

 

Provide heated break-spaces.

Taking breaks in heated areas and breaks for proper hydration are essential to winter safety. Encourage your employees to take time away from the elements. Breaks are also a convenient time to check for signs of cold-related illness.

To provide Your employees with a heated break area, check out these heaters. Make sure to properly vent the area and monitor for carbon monoxide exposure. Read our blog for more information on using heaters safely

 

Put emergency kits in work vehicles.

Make sure each of your work trucks and vehicles have winter weather kits. Kits should include water, nutritious snacks, blankets, a flashlight, an ice scraper/snow brush, and more. 

Now that you know the dangers of winter conditions & how to prepare for them, you will be better able to stay active and productive in the winter months. For further preparation we recommend keeping an updated calendar and having a set breaking system to keep your employees safe.

Interested in learning more about keeping your team safe and your equipment in tip-top shape? Download our complete Winter Prep Guide

Want more winter weather tips and tricks? Check out our resources section

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2021. We updated it for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness in January 2023. 

Tag: how to keep employees safe in winter weather

Is A Harness Required?

When are you required to use a harness? The short answer to this question is: it’s complicated. There are many variables that contribute to when a worker is required to wear a harness such as working heights, the type of equipment, job site conditions and company policies. However, a good starting point is to refer to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s requirements that state: 

General Industry requires fall protection for any worker over 4’. 1910.28(b)(1)(i)

Construction requires fall protection for any worker over 6’. 1926.501(b)(1)

Instances where the general height rules do not apply include when job sites are in/around certain safety hazards like dangerous equipment, machinery or hazardous materials into which workers could fall. In these situations, fall protection or authorized guarding is required regardless of the working height. 

James Lennartz, Training Manager at Hugg & Hall, recently spoke on the many considerations related to fall protection and when harnesses are and aren’t necessary. 

“When it comes to the requirements of wearing fall protection it depends on both the equipment and/or the local/state/employer requirements,” said Lennartz. “According to the ANSI Standard (ANSI/SAIA A92.22); the guardrail system of the Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP) is the primary fall protection for occupants.”

“When required to use personal fall protection, either fall restraint or fall arrest, operators and occupants shall comply with the instructions provided by the manufacture regarding anchorage(s),” said Lennartz. “Basically, if the person is using a scissor lift (Group A) they are not required to wear a safety harness as the guardrail system is adequate enough to provide fall protection. Now, local/state or employer can require an operator to wear a safety harness. If the MEWP is a boom lift (Group B), then here it is. All group B MEWP operators and occupants shall use personal fall arrest or fall restraint systems at all times.” 

Specific rules may vary based on the companies and organizations involved as well as federal/state/local laws. Lennartz spoke on Hugg & Hall’s own policy regarding fall protection. 

“Our drivers are required to wear a harness when loading and unloading booms only. We also require the same of customers and other drivers when on our yards,” said Lennartz.

Exceptions

There are a few exceptions to the basic rules and workers/managers always need to be trained on and understand the organizational rules and federal/state/local laws governing their job site. Safety should always be the first priority and fall protection is an important and essential part of work site safety.