When Rooftop Safety is in Question, SRC is the Answer

If you've spent any amount of time on a commercial roof lately, you know how much is going on up there. It's a world unto itself.

Organizations like Sodexo Roth manage rooftop assets for an ever-expanding portfolio of clients… and when it comes to rooftop fall protection, they look to Safety Rail Company.

Sodexo's client, a global tech giant, relies on them to oversee all preventative and reactive maintenance on their roofs. When a near-fatal fall occurred at the client's facility in Minnesota, rooftop fall protection suddenly took center stage.

Sodexo Account Manager, Staci May, explains, "The client approached me. They said, 'Staci, we need a safety rail program implemented to install non-penetrating rooftop guardrails on all of the HVAC units within 15 feet of a leading edge.' After a quick inventory, we figured the number of units in their portfolio was around 6,000. Okay, I said, so what do you need me to do? And he said, 'Well, we need you to implement this program.' Right about then, I started thinking about the fact that we had never installed safety rails before."

What ensued could best be described as a deep Google dive that produced a long list of self-described rooftop safety experts. "It was a moment of desperation," May said. "In the very beginning, I actually Googled national safety rail providers." She soon discovered her ask required some heavy lifting. "So we were thinking, okay, we need one national provider that manufacturers, installs, and will provide a project manager. And we were thinking, how are we ever going to pull this off?" Several weeks of procurement interviews did little to build optimism as a similar story unfolded each time: invariably, vendors checked some of the boxes, but never all of them. As luck would have it, Safety Rail Company was on the list.

"Comprehensive" is a word that gets tossed around the fall protection industry all the time… and usually the claim is misleading at best. While many organizations make the claim, when it comes to true vertical integration—from site audits and system design through in-house manufacturing and installation—Safety Rail Company stands alone. What other organizations buy, SRC builds. Where other organizations rely on outsourcing, SRC creates organizational competencies. Even beyond a deep and broad product offering of mobile guardrails, ladder guards, hatch guards, skylight guards, crossover stairs and visual warning lines, SRC offers more.

"Our commitment to building rather than buying excellence translates to customers never having to worry about supply chain hiccups, unexpected delays or costly surprises."

Craig Erickson
President & CEO Safety Rail Company

Safety Rail's Site Safe™ approach guarantees every aspect of a rooftop safety program will be considered and handled. When asked about SRC's business strategy, Craig Erickson explains, "Our commitment to building rather than buying excellence translates to customers never having to worry about supply chain hiccups, unexpected delays or costly surprises."

May and her Sodexo team immediately recognized that SRC was the solution they were looking for. But with 160 projects slated for completion in less than 6 months, the job was far from a walk in the park. Although May's team had done a fair amount of recon and assessment, there were surprises.

In phase one, Safety Rail Company didn't do the initial design and specifications. As the SRC team made its way down the site list, it became clear that not all the client's sites were created equal. "Some of their facilities are leased and some are owned," explains May. "They were arriving on site and the landlords are like, what the heck are you doing here? You don't have permission to do this." The SRC team quickly assigned one person the task of proactively gaining permission, providing design and specifications, certificates of insurance and getting full pre-authorization before the installers arrived on site. At one particular site, a permit was needed to close an entire street in downtown Atlanta while components were transferred to the roof via a crane. In many cases, once on site, the SRC team re-evaluated what was needed for compliance and eliminated duplicity and unneeded components. "It was an interesting start, but we were able to iron all that out… thank goodness for Safety Rail Company. But yeah, it was an interesting start," added May.

"For whatever reason, I had never heard of SRC before. And when I got to their website, I saw those bright, beautiful yellow letters. And I was like, okay, this is it. This has to be it. I will never, ever recommend another company again. SRC is it!"

Staci May
Sodexo Account Manager

After successfully completing phase one and the initial 160 project sites, Sodexo and SRC sat down to strategize how to address an additional 200 sites in phase two. In this next phase, SRC's role was expanded. Sodexo was more than happy to let the SRC team do all the initial site audits and assessments, further lightening the load on an already overtaxed account management team. As is always the case, the new sites present unforeseeable challenges and the SRC team finds ways to provide solutions. "It seems like atypical situations are pretty typical, but SRC always has an answer," admits May. "For every question that our client asks, SRC has a viable solution. I just don't think there's a problem they can't solve."

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