Portrait of Jerry Sturgill

Sloan Security Group Adds Two New Board Advisors

Towards building expanding Sloan’s role as a security industry leader in performance perimeter security systems, Sloan Security Group is pleased to announce that it has added two new advisers: Jerry Sturgill and Ed Zimmer.

Below are their biographies.

 Ed Zimmer retired as CEO of ECCO Group in October of 2009 after 24 years with the company. Under the leadership of Ed and his partner, Jim Thompson, Boise based ECCO grew from 20 employees into the world’s largest manufacturer of warning lights and reversing alarms for commercial vehicles, with manufacturing plants in Boise, England and Australia with over 500 employees and customers in over 100 countries.

ECCO’s growth story is featured in the books Small Giants and Finish Big, both by Bo Burlingham. Ed led ECCO through 9 corporate acquisitions between 1992 and 2008.

Prior to joining ECCO, Ed was the Olympic Coordinator for the USA Gymnastics team, and Head Gymnastics coach at University of Washington and Boise State University. Ed has degrees from University of Illinois, Chicago and Miami-Dade Community College (Miami, FL). With Dr. Kevin Learned, he helped found the Boise State Univ Venture College program in 2013, and is currently a director there. He is Board Chairman and CEO of Blac-Rac Manufacturing Company, an early stage Boise based manufacturer.

Prior to his investment banking career, Mr. Sturgill was a Corporate Law Partner at Latham & Watkins and Stoel Rives LLP focused on private equity, leveraged finance, infrastructure finance and other transactions. He has also served as the Chairman of the Matterhorn Group, an independent manufacturer of private label ice cream and water ice novelty products in the

 Western US, and as the Chief Executive Officer of Respond, Inc., a regional armored transit and ATM servicing company sold to Loomis in a transaction managed by Mr. Sturgill.

Mr. Sturgill has closed over $10 billion of transactions as both a lawyer and as an investment banker.

Plastic covers placed on free-standing rebar to prevent impailment

Rebar/Impalement Protection

Rebar/Impalement Protection

Steel reinforcing bars, or rebar, are a common hazard on construction sites. The thin steel bars can stick out from construction projects and pose a hazard to workers who can cut or scratch themselves on the sharp ends. Workers that stumble or fall onto the exposed steel bars can be pierced or impaled on them, resulting in serious internal injuries and death.

To protect workers from this hazard, it is required that rebar and other projections on the worksite “be guarded to eliminate the hazard of impalement.” Guarding from rebar impalement hazards must be done when workers will be working around or at any height above exposed rebar. This also includes work situations where rebar is below grade or in a basement.

Fall prevention methods such as guardrails and personal fall protection systems are the first level of protection for workers. These should be used any time workers are exposed to potential falls of ten feet or greater; a fall from any height can seriously injure a worker.

The next level of impalement protection is to use protective guard systems to cover the protruding ends. Steel reinforced rebar caps provide the strongest and best impalement protection for workers. Proper protective rebar caps should be at least 4” square or, if they are round, they should have a 4.5 inch diameter.

Some rebar caps are too narrow or not steel-reinforced. If a worker falls on a standard plastic cap, the impact pressure can push the rebar through the cap and impale the worker, or impale the worker cap and all. Standard mushroom rebar caps and/or covers are only appropriate to prevent cuts, abrasions or other minor injuries when workers are working at grade with rebar and when there is no impalement hazard.

Long 2 x 4 wood caps or other manufactured troughs can be used to effectively protect exposed rebar. Protective rebar caps and troughs must have passed a drop test of 250 pounds from 10 feet above to prove that they can protect against impalement. If you construct protective wood troughs on the job site, they should be built according to a registered engineer’s drawings (keep the plans on site).

Workers should be vigilant around exposed rebar ends. Fall prevention is the first defense and covered rebar ends are extra insurance against impalement in case of a fall. With the focus on safety and protected rebar ends, this is one safety point workers will be glad to miss.

Sloan Security Group prides themselves on best safety practices. Check out other safety topics here!

Safety helmet, glasses, gloves, and earmuffs



PPE stands for personal protective equipment which we use in our daily work activities. OSHA gives employers responsibility for ensuring that employees wear appropriate PPE to reduce exposure to hazardous conditions such as falling objects, noise exposure, toxic atmospheres, etc. Personal protection is the main objective and each of us must follow our employer’s safety requirements.

The first form of PPE is a hard hat. This safety device provides us with an impact resistant covering that protects the head. We know that all of our body functions are controlled by ‘that gray matter’ inside our head, so don’t take chances — protect your brain — wear your hard hat at all times!

Many other forms of PPE are available to you. Hearing protection in the form of ear plugs or muffs reduces the amount of noise reaching your ear drums, thereby preserving your hearing. Respirators provide protection against toxic substances that might enter our bodies through our respiratory systems. Safety belts with lanyards and full body harnesses are types of personal fall protection, but they are effective only if we use them. Knee pads necessary when kneeling during work.

The eyes and face are another area that needs to be protected. There are many types and sizes of spectacles and goggles to protect the eyes and each has a special application. Be sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions before wearing them and choose the right type. Face shields should be worn if potential danger exists from physical, chemical or radiation agents.

Personal Protective Equipment can be cumbersome, uncomfortable, hot, etc. and employees occasionally don’t wear it even though they know they may be risking injury. Any worker who fails to wear required PPE should be disciplined.

Evaluate your work operations and define the hazards. Check with your supervisor for necessary PPE requirements and resolve to wear them. An ounce of protection is worth a pound or cure.




Have you ever given much thought to your back? It’s there when you need it, but only if you don’t abuse it. The back is made up of four major parts. The spine, nerves, muscles, and the spinal cord. There are thirty- three bones in the spine and thirty-one pairs of nerves branching out from the spinal cord. All of them must work together. If they don’t, you could end up with anything from a strain to a ruptured disk, fractured vertebrae, and/or a debilitating disease like arthritis.

To help prevent a back injury you should exercise, practice good posture, eat the right foods, and watch your weight. Check with your doctor for muscle strengthening exercises for the back.

Other things you can do to prevent back injuries include using work-saving devices — hand trucks, forklifts, wheelbarrows, and dollies can assist you. When you have an object to lift that is too heavy or bulky get help! Ask a co-worker for their assistance. Remember, two backs are stronger than one.’

Now, what can you do when you have to do some lifting? Check out the object to be lifted. Think about how you are going to grasp the load and make sure there is a clear path of travel so you won’t stumble. Before you lift, stand close to the object, bend down at the knees and straddle it, get a good grip, and lift with your legs while keeping your back straight. The secret is to let your legs do the work.

It doesn’t have to be a heavy load — even a small, very light object lifted incorrectly can trigger a back injury.

Back injuries can be painful, disabling, paralyzing, and sometimes even fatal. Protect your back by following the guidelines above. You’re here today — we want you BACK tomorrow.


Workmen in heavy rain

Working Safely in the Rain

Working Safely in the Rain

Employees working in the rain face additional hazards, such as poor visibility and wet, slippery surfaces. Here are work practices that will help prevent accidents and injuries when working in the rain.

  • Move more slowly and carefully. When working in the rain, a natural reaction is to try to work more quickly to get back inside as soon as possible. However, because rain makes everything more slippery, you should do the exact opposite—work more slowly and deliberately to prevent slipping and falling, especially when climbing ladders.
  • Use the correct equipment. Do not use electrical tools and equipment that are not specifically rated for outdoor use when working in the rain. When using hand tools, use tools with textured, nonslip grip handles.
  • Wear appropriate rain gear. If you are cold and wet, you are likely concentrating more on how miserable you are than the work at hand. Rain gear which includes both a coat and pants or overalls and is ventilated should be worn for prolonged wet-weather work. If it’s cold and rainy, wool or synthetic fibers specifically designed for cold weather use are the best for wear under rain gear because it will keep you warm even if it gets wet. Also, wear rain gear that is the proper size; if it’s too large it may interfere with movement.
  • Wear appropriate footwear. Footwear for use in inclement weather should have deep treads to help prevent slipping. Footwear that is in poor condition (treads are worn down or worn smooth or footwear with holes) should not be worn. To keep water out of shoes or boots, make sure the top of the shoe or boot extends above the ankle and rain gear extends to the ankles. Also, the top of the boot or shoe should be inside the pant leg (as opposed to tucking the pant leg into the footwear).
  • Use proper hand protection. When doing work requiring a sure grip (using hand tools, for example), wear gloves that fit snugly and provide a nonslip grip. To prevent water from entering gloves, make sure that the sleeve of the glove is either tight fitting or is long enough that it fits under the cuff of your raincoat.
  • Ensure that you can see. If wearing goggles or eyeglasses, use antifogging sprays or wipes on them before going outside. Be sure that the area you are working in is well lit; if needed, light the area using lights rated for outdoor use. Wear hoods or hats to keep rain out of your eyes. Also, since hoods on rain gear narrow your range of vision, make it a point to turn your head to look both ways and above and below you when wearing a hood in the rain.
  • Make sure that you can be seen. If working in an area where there is vehicular traffic (trucks, cars, forklifts, etc.), always wear bright-colored, reflective vests or rain gear, even during the day. Do not wear rain gear or vests that have become worn and are dull and/or no longer reflective.
Worker inside a freshly-excavated trench- DO NOT DO THIS.

Protecting Against Trench Cave-Ins & Collapses

Protecting Against Trench Cave-Ins & Collapses 

Why Does a Trench Collapse Occur?

Soil is normally kept in place by the pressure generated from the horizontal and vertical forces of the surrounding soil. During a conventional excavation operation, when the soil is being removed or dug-out in bulk form, the surrounding support is removed; the remaining soil becomes a vertical wall without lateral support. Because of that lack of surrounding pressure, most soil types will eventually collapse into the open excavation. This often happens suddenly, and usually without warning.

Protective methods and systems for excavated soils

OSHA regulations governing the protection of employees working in trenches state that workers must be protected from trench collapse/cave-ins by an adequately designed protective system; unless the proposed excavation depth is less than five (5) feet, and the examination of the soil by the competent person reveals no indication of a potential cave-in. OSHA also requires that all workers be properly trained in understanding the importance and functionality of protective system(s) proposed for use. For excavations five (5) feet or more in depth, the following protective systems are commonly used:

1. Sloping or Benching of the Soil – The simplest method of protecting workers is to slope or bench the walls of the excavation. The maximum angle of the soil slope will vary depending on the soil type. If the excavated walls are composed of stable rock, then the trench can be dug with a vertical slope. As the soil type or stability reduces, so too does the slope angle. OSHA requires that excavations over four (4) feet in depth have some form of access/exit, such as a ladder or ramp; and that access/exit points be located within 25 feet of employee(s).

When the location and/or depth of the proposed excavation makes sloping or benching of the soil impractical, a protective system of either shoring or shielding must be used.

2. Shoring – Shoring systems provide lateral support against the walls of a trench to prevent a collapse. Shoring systems can utilize metal or timber uprights, driven sheet piling, or other recognized methods. Shoring is used to protect large areas so that a crew can work inside, or adjacent to an excavation without danger of collapse.

3. Shielding – Unlike shoring, shielding is not designed to prevent a collapse of the trench walls. Instead, shielding protects workers from cave-ins in a specific area of the trench where they are working. Shielding, also commonly referred to as a trench box, is usually designed to be portable and can be moved along a trench.

If the excavation is using a shielding or shoring system, there must be a copy of the manufacturer’s information and technical data on site; as well as a copy of equipment inspection(s) performed by the competent person. Regardless of the method used to guard against the collapse of excavated soils, workers must be protected from objects, debris, soil, etc. from falling into the trench and/or area of excavation. OSHA requires that all equipment, excavated spoil piles, etc. be positioned at least two (2) feet away from the edge of the trench.


Why is Health Important?

Why is Health Important?

When we are talking of health, it is not just about a healthy body but also about sound mental health. Good health can be described as the condition where both our body as well as our mind are functioning properly. The main causes behind poor health conditions are diseases, improper diet, injury, mental stress, lack of hygiene, unhealthy lifestyle, etc. Over the past few years, our lifestyle has changed and we often tend to ignore the importance of healthy living in one way or the other.

Why is Health Important to Us?

There are several benefits of a healthy life. Your body becomes free from various forms of disorders and thus, you get a longer life. You can live a life without suffering from any aches, pain, or discomfort. In every sphere of your life, you will be able to perform to the best of your ability. Doing excellent work helps you to be a valuable member of a healthy society. Besides, when you are physically fit, it gets reflected on your face. So, you look attractive and start feeling good about yourself! If you have a fit body, then you can lead a physically active life even after growing old. This is because, the body can heal the regular wear and tear associated with aging faster. In short, health and wellness brings about a drastic improvement in the overall quality of your life.

Why is Health Important in the Workplace?

As an employee, you should take good care of your health, both in the workplace as well as at home. This will make you feel more energetic and you will be able to carry out both simple as well as strenuous tasks without pushing yourself too hard. As your mind and body is free from work pressure and mental stress, you can handle the daily chores at workplace with a positive attitude. You feel motivated to finish off the task at hand and will be interested to work on more number of things. Your mind develops a natural tendency to focus upon the positives and is not bothered much about the negatives. Most importantly, at the end of the day, you can sleep well and you do not have to start the next day with a body ache or joint pain or stomach upset. As a result, you do not need a medical leave too often and you will get your salary at the end of the month without any deductions!

Good health has a positive effect on the productivity of the employees. Therefore, an organization should also give the prior importance to the health care of its employees through its policies. When the organization is showing interests in the well-being of its employees, they in turn will also feel more responsible and loyal towards the organization. It improves employee retention, reduces absenteeism and cuts down on company’s health care costs.

Man working with proper fall arrest equipment

Guide to Personal Fall Arrest

Guide to Personal Fall Arrest

Falls are among the most common causes of injuries and deaths in the workplace, totaling an estimated 100,000 each
year. They are, in fact, the reason for more than half of all the on-the-job deaths among construction workers — and 15
percent of all occupational deaths.

But despite the increasing sales of fall protection products, the number of fall-related injuries continues to grow. Why?
The lack of proper training is one reason. Others are the selection of the wrong equipment for a particular application,
and the failure of a user to wear the equipment properly.
A Personal Fall Arrest System is comprised of three (3) key components – anchorage connector; body wear; and a connecting device.
While a lot of focus has been given to anchorage connectors and body wear (full-body harnesses), when discussing fall
protection, the connecting device (a shock-absorbing lanyard or self-retracting lifeline) between these two component
actually bears the greatest fall forces during a fall.

Anchorage/Anchorage Connector
Anchorage: Commonly referred to as a tie-off point (Ex: I-beam, rebar, scaffolding, lifeline, etc.)
Anchorage Connector: Used to join the connecting device to the anchorage (Ex: cross-arm strap, beam anchor, D-bolt,
hook anchor, etc.)
- Anchorages must be capable of supporting 5,000 pounds of force per worker.
- Must be high enough for a worker to avoid contact with a lower level should a fall occur.
- The anchorage connector should be positioned to avoid a “swing fall.”

Body Wear
Body Wear: The personal protective equipment worn by the worker (Ex: full-body harness)
- Only form of body wear acceptable for fall arrest is the full-body harness.
- Should be selected based on work to be performed and the work environment.
-Side and front D-rings are for positioning only.

Connecting Device

Connecting Device: The critical link which joins the body wear to the anchorage/anchorage connector (Ex: shock-
absorbing lanyard, fall limiter, self-retracting lifeline, rope grab, etc.)
- Potential fall distance must be calculated to determine type of connecting device to be used – typically, under 18-
1/2 ft. (5.6m), always use a self-retracting lifeline/fall limiter; over 18-1/2 ft. (5.6m), use a shock-absorbing lanyard
or self-retracting lifeline/fall limiter.
- Should also be selected based on work to be performed and the work environment.
- Shock-absorbing lanyards can expand up to 3-1/2 ft. (1.1m) when arresting a fall; attach lanyards to the harness
back D-ring only; never tie a knot in any web lanyard – it reduces the strength by 50%.

Cartoon of a man with railroad tie almost hitting a man behind him through carelessness.l

Common Sense and Accident Prevention

Common Sense and Accident Prevention

Generally speaking, we are not born with common sense, we acquire it throughout life. Actually, common sense is really common experience–we learn about life from others’ experiences as well as our own. Awareness of your environment, self-preservation and concern for your fellow workers are all factors in good common sense. Contrary to popular opinion, all workers can prevent themselves from getting hurt. The easy way to avoid pain is to observe how others have taken risks and been injured, rather than learning the hard way–from your own injury. That’s common sense!

The experts say at least 80% of industrial accidents are caused by unsafe acts on the part of employees–and not by unsafe conditions. Although employers are required by law to provide a safe and healthful workplace, it is up to you to be aware of your work environment and follow safe work practices. By avoiding unsafe acts and practicing common sense, your work will go smoother, with less chance for accidents.

Statistically, most accidents are caused by unsafe acts, including:
Being In A Hurry – Sometimes there is more concern for completing a job quickly instead of safely. Take time to do a good job and a safe job.

Taking Chances – Daring behavior or blatant disregard for safe work practices can put the whole work team at risk. Follow all company safety rules and watch out for your fellow employees. Horseplay is never appropriate on the job and can lead to disciplinary action.

Being Preoccupied – Daydreaming, drifting off at work, thinking about the weekend and not paying attention to your work can get you seriously hurt or even killed. Focus on the work you are paid to do. If your mind is troubled or distracted, you’re at risk for an accident.

Having A Negative Attitude – Being angry or in a bad mood can lead to severe accidents because anger nearly always rules over caution. Flying off the handle at work is potentially dangerous. Keep your bad moods in check, or more than one person may be hurt. Remember to stay cool and in charge of your emotions.

Failing To Look For Hidden Hazards – At many jobsites, work conditions are constantly changing. Sometimes new, unexpected hazards develop. Always be alert for changes in the environment. Hidden hazards include spilled liquids that could cause slips and falls; out-of-place objects that can be tripped over; unmarked floor openings one could step into; low overhead pipes that could mean a head injury; and other workers who don’t see you enter their hazardous work area.

Remember to stay alert for hazards, so you won’t become one more accident statistic: You can do a quality job without rushing. Maintain a positive attitude and keep your mind on your work. This is just common sense–something smart workers use!

Sprains, Strains & Tears are 100% PREVENTABLE

Sprains and Strains Prevention

Sprains and Strains Prevention

Sprains and strains account for about a third of injuries in construction. A sprain is an injury to a ligament, the tough, fibrous tissue that connects bones to other bones. Sprain injuries involve a stretching or a tearing of this tissue. Ankle, knee and wrist injuries account for the majority of sprains. A strain is an injury to either a muscle or a tendon, the tissue that connects muscles to bones. Back injuries are the most prevalent in regard to strains. Depending on the severity of the injury, a strain may be a simple overstretch of the muscle or tendon, or it can result in a partial or complete tear.

These soft tissue injuries occur frequently, and are painful, disabling and often accompanied by lengthy recovery periods. Maintaining good physical fitness is essential in avoiding sprains and strains.

To minimize the chances of sprains, observe the following practices:
1. Practice safety measures to help prevent falls. For example, practice safe housekeeping by keeping work areas clear of clutter.
2. Avoid strenuous activity on the job when tired or in pain.
3. Use extra caution when working on slippery surfaces such as ice or wet floors.
4. Always wear appropriate and proper fitting footwear for your job.
5. Use extra caution when walking across uneven surfaces. These are areas where you could easily turn or twist an ankle or knee.
6. When stepping off ladders, always look where you are placing your feet, before you put your full weight on them.

To minimize the possibility of incurring strains, observe the following practices:
1. Be certain that you understand your employer’s Material Handling Safety program.
2. Whenever possible, arrange your work areas to minimize the amount of heavy lifting required.
3. Before any heavy lifting activity, always warm up, using moderate stretching exercises. Do not stretch aggressively as you may over-stretch and injure yourself.
4. Always plan the lift. Consider the weight of the object; how far you must carry it and your route of travel. When you approach an object on the floor, try to get an idea of how heavy it may be by moving it with your foot or cautiously lifting it off the ground. If the object is too heavy, seek additional help or use a mechanical lifting device such as a forklift, hand truck or winch.
5. Lift objects in the “power zone”. This is the area between mid-thigh and midchest height. Avoid lifting objects outside this zone. Use your best judgment when lifting heavy objects. Do not attempt to lift an object that exceeds your strength, and use extreme caution when lifting objects exceeding 50 lbs.
6. Always carry objects close to your body.
7. Always lift slowly and smoothly.
8. Avoid twisting. Always turn the whole body as one unit when changing direction while carrying a heavy object.
9. Move heavy objects by pushing or pulling, whenever possible. Pushing is always preferable.
10. Always stand close to the object that you are lifting and be certain that fingers and toes are clear when setting it down.
11. Always lift with you legs and not your back.

Follow these helpful rules and you will greatly reduce the chance that you will experience a painful sprain or strain.