Economics and Safety Highlight AAMA Conference

February 15th, 2017 by Tara Taffera

“Those of you who think regulation is going to disappear [under President Trump]–it ain’t gonna happen.” That was the message from Dr. Jim Doti, president at Chapman University, who presented the economic forecast at the annual meeting of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, taking place this week in Phoenix. “There may be simplification but no outright elimination.”

Dr. Jim Doti of Chapman University addresses the AAMA conference in Phoenix.

He also discussed the most likely impact of “Trumpenomics,” which “will most likely increase the federal funds rate.”

Other predictions include a slight drop in growth in the real GDP, but “nothing significant,” said Doti. He added that the Federal Reserve could start increasing rates but then put some fears to rest. “It takes awhile for a recession to happen once rates have been increased.”

“This recovery will be the third longest recovery in the history of the U.S,” said Doti.

While he didn’t address housing forecasts in great depth, he did say there will be “more doors and more windows—at least on the residential side.”

In concluding his presentation, Doti told attendees if there was just one takeaway, it would be this: “Be more mindful of the spread in interest rates rather than the low.”

Don’t Make These 5 Safety Mistakes

JoAnn Dankert, National Safety Council, gave a particularly timely presentation on safety in the workplace and what not to do.

She put it simply before delving into her top 5 don’ts. “If we give employees the right training, we will find some good success,” she said.

  1. Believing “Safety is a Cost of Doing Business.” You need the leadership and management commitment to foster safety in the workplace so this attitude doesn’t take over.
  2. Be reactive vs. proactive. Implement corrective/preventative action. “Oftentimes people have that ‘I care’ piece because someone died or was critically injured,” said Dankert. “But it needs to start before that. Employees know if you care or not. The leader has to care.”
  3. Failure to integrate safety into the company culture. Dankert said leaders should ask themselves how they can integrate safety into regular meetings. “Talk about safety when good things are happening,” she said. “Celebrate safety milestones.”
  4. Lack of effective safety communication. Dankert said you can’t be afraid to say to someone, “hey man, don’t do that.”
  5. No follow up/through on safety processes. If you don’t follow through for whatever reason, this sends a bad message to employees. “People look at your follow-through to see if you are serious about safety,” she said.

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