By Kevin Leamy, Operations Support Manager
Let’s agree on this: safety on the construction site is the cornerstone of every company that wants to be successful and see its operations boom. Failure to meet safety guidelines that keep your crews safe is going to compromise their well-being and put your business in serious trouble. You certainly do not want this to happen. So, how do you ensure that every project is completed without harmful incidents taking place? How do you make sure that your tradespeople leave the jobsite the same way they came in? It is simple. You need to build a construction safety culture that involves and engages everyone and it becomes part of the way you do business.
Never stop investing in talking safety! From bringing on board new hires to holding regular safety meetings to having frequent toolbox talks, the more you educate your crews on how to stay safe, the less risk they run to get into an accident. Regular discussions are the best way to increase communication and build a construction safety culture because tradespeople come together to get informed and share concerns in regards to safety. Are there any issues with the plumber job that started yesterday? Do the junior electricians you hired have any questions about the electrical job you have them working on? Are tools and equipment in good working condition? Make it a standard to frequently bring your team together and talk safety.
In order to build a construction safety culture, you need to make sure that everyone, from upper management to worksite personnel, is involved and invested in the effort. For example, it is not only the folks working on the plumber job or on the electrical job who have to wear protective equipment and follow the safety guidelines. It is also the project managers and the superintendents who have to follow the same rules. When your staff sees that management sets the example and takes construction safety seriously, then they will put more effort into adopting safe workplace practices.
As mentioned above, construction safety is not the responsibility of a few people in your company; it is a common effort. It is the job of everyone on the jobsite to stay safe and make sure that everyone around them does their job with safety in mind. An effective way to build a construction safety culture is by holding everyone accountable. You need to explain and communicate the importance of following safety guidelines and take disciplinary action to enforce safety. Review and analyze near misses and accidents to find out where things went wrong and what corrective action you can take to improve conditions.
Every company that strives to build a construction safety culture needs to make sure that safety guidelines must be the standard of not only its workforce, but the standard of the partners it does business with. If, for example, you need to fill an electrical job and you reach out to a construction staffing firm, or if you need to outsource a plumber job to a subcontractor, you need to work with partners who are committed to construction safety. Look for vendors who have a solid safety training program in place for the talent they send your way and for the manpower that they have working on your jobsite. In other words, ensure that they comply with the business practices and safety culture of your organization.
There is no way you can build a construction safety culture without staying informed about the industry safety requirements, codes and guidelines. Are new rules being introduced that alter the way you run your jobsite? How fast are you able to implement new standards? Are you familiar with the local rules before you expand your business to new locations? Are your tradespeople using the latest personal protective equipment (PPE)? Construction safety is an evolving concept and your company needs to be ready to adapt and adjust to changes. Be ahead of change, don’t wait for it.
Key Takeaways for Building Your Company’s Construction Safety Culture:
- Bring your team together on a regular basis and talk safety
- Make safety everyone’s responsibility
- Increase accountability and review near misses and accidents
- Make sure that your partners comply with the business practices and safety culture of your organization
- Stay informed around changes in safety requirements
Founded in 1993, TradeSource is a construction labor solutions firm focused on delivering labor solutions to contractors throughout the United States. By supplying skilled tradespeople – where and when they’re needed – we help contractors grow their companies, without the associated costs and hassles of full-time hires. Likewise, we match qualified employees with rewarding and well-paying job opportunities in the construction industry. www.tradesource.com