Hewitt RobertsAudit software, Behavior based safety, Certainty software, Construction safety, EHS Software, Enterprise software, Inspection management, Safety audits, Safety data, Safety inspection, Safety management, Safety observation, UncategorizedLeave a Comment


In this blog – our 7th in this series – we’ll be looking at safety in the construction industry. Construction is one of the most danger-prone industries there is – responsible for approximately 1 in 5 workplace fatalities. How can construction companies successfully create a safety program and achieve buy in? We’ve spoken with industry professionals Steve Mellard, National Safety Director at Anning Johnson and Desire’e Ropel, Safety Manager at Hermanson to get an insider look into how to manage safety in the construction industry.

Construction Safety & Technology

Technology has had a huge impact on the construction industry. From design to scheduling and everything in between, technology has truly revolutionized construction as we know it. One area that has also undergone a huge technological upgrade is safety in construction. The construction industry remains the most dangerous industry in the world. Each day, on average, two construction workers die of work-related injuries in the United States. A total of one in five workplace fatalities are construction-related. Technology has enabled more efficient safety training, audits, incident reporting, personal safety equipment, and more, to make the job site safer for everyone. But having technology available is only one part of the equation.

Today we’ll look at how technology has changed construction safety and how you can leverage technology to create a safer work environment. As always, we’ll hear from safety experts and get their top tips.

 Use Technology To Collect and Report Safety Information

Steve Mellard, National Safety Director at Anning Johnson, says that a big part of a successful construction safety program is collecting the information and sharing it with all stakeholders. Technology has made this much easier.

The ability to look at overall trends and create custom reports for all districts, divisions and trades is a huge advantage. Sharing these numbers and facts with management, on-site supervision, and field personnel can have a very positive effect on the overall success of the safety program. [You can learn about how Certainty Software helps organizations collect and share data here!]

Certainty Job Site Safety Metrics Dashboard

Use Technology To Work in Real Time

Traditional reporting methods involve paper trails and long delays. Technology has enabled real-time reporting and safety stats to be accessible at the touch of a button. This helps to address compliance and training issues much faster – leading to a safer work environment.

Use Technology To Gather Offline Data As Well

Desire’e Ropel, Safety Manager at Hermanson, points out that while technology is extremely beneficial for streamlining processes and procedures, not everyone on the job site will have access to it. Some workers will still rely on paper, analogue devices, or older systems that aren’t integrated. Furthermore, some remote work environments won’t have an internet or cellular signal. This mix of paper and electronics needs to be accounted for when you’re considering how to use technology to boost safety on the jobsite.

When you’re considering implementing technology in your safety management program, be sure to find a solution that is designed to work with the unique demands of the construction industry.

Safety Technology Advancements of the Future

While the construction industry has come quite far, there are a lot of advancements that we can look forward to as an industry. Here is what we can expect:

  • Wider use of drones for site surveying, inspection, and worker monitoring
  • Virtual reality will expose workers to more realistic safety training simulations
  • Wearable technology and smart clothing that can monitor vital signs, encourage better posture and detect potential intoxication
  • Autonomous or remotely controlled heavy equipment that allows separation of the operator
  • Sensors that can monitor things like temperature, noise, dust and chemicals to limit harmful exposure for workers

In this series we’ve looked at how you can improve worker safety on your construction site. We’ve seen that when planning a construction safety management program, there are a lot of considerations to keep in mind – including leadership, employee buy-in, and technology. Safety in the workplace is truly in the best interests of employees and employers alike. Do you have questions about how to create an effective safety management program? We can help with Certainty Software.

Used by more than 100,000 professionals to complete over 2,000,000 audits and inspections annually, Certainty Software by Certainty Software, Inc. is a flexible, powerful and trusted enterprise-level audit and inspection management solution. We’re trusted by some of the world’s biggest construction companies to help manage workplace safety. Find out more and start a free trial today!

In the next blog in our series on construction safety, we’ll discuss the most significant construction safety issues in the next 5 years.

Stay tuned!

Other blogs in this series you may be interested in:

4 Considerations When Improving Safety In The Construction Industry

What Must A Construction Safety Program Include To Be Effective?

How Leadership Style Affects Safety Performance in Construction

Boosting Employee Buy-In To Your Safety Culture and Construction Safety Program

7 Significant Safety Issues Facing The Construction Industry

#1 Safety Issue In Construction As Told By Top Safety Management Industry Leaders

Alex EckartBehavior based safety, Certainty software, Construction safety, EHS Software, Enterprise software, Inspection management, Safety data, Safety inspection, Safety observation, UncategorizedLeave a Comment


In this blog series we are exploring some of the questions, benefits, misconceptions, and methods of Behavioral Based Safety Programs (BBS). We have spoken with industry professionals Joseph Braun, EHS Manager at Ferrara Candy Company; John Peoples, Global EHS Manager at Huntsman Corporation; and Chad Rasmussen, EHS Manager at Cardinal Health to get an insider look on how to manage an effective Behavior Based Safety management program.

BBS Business Intelligence Dashboard

BBS Business Intelligence Dashboard

The most rigid and comprehensive safety inspection is useless if you do not have the data to show it is being followed 100% and that it is yielding positive results. It can be easy to get caught up in going through the motions of any safety program, routinely following the guidelines without being able to see the big picture – the reason why any of this routine is important. Safety metrics with key leading indicators can support your front line defense against workplace dangers. This kind of data can not only be used for analytical or insurance purposes, but can contribute to the overall safety of a workplace by providing peace of mind in displaying that everyone is dedicated to their personal safety and the safety of their coworkers.

Behavior Based Safety Is only as Effective if you have Participation

The benefits of a BBS program are self-perpetuating – as more people participate in the program, more people become confident in the decisions they themselves and their peers are making to ensure everyone’s safety. As decisions about safety move into the forefront of employee’s mind during daily routines, and more people are becoming aware – and demonstrating – positive actions and attitudes towards safety, the safety culture of your establishment will grow. As Joseph Braun, EHS Manager at Ferrara Candy Company says “The best measure of the performance is the participation by the hourly employees, if they are completing the observations it shows that the culture has truly evolved into a safety-first culture.”

Behavior Based Safety Looks at the Leading Indicators

Safety is about preventing accidents and injuries in the workplace – if you are only implementing protective measures after an incident has occurred, you have already lost the safety game. Solely relying on data from accidents, injuries, deaths – preventable incidents – defeats the purpose of a safety program altogether. Chad Rasmussen, EHS Manager at Cardinal Health puts it “Injury numbers are lagging indicators, so I try to avoid using them wherever possible. Even if people are going through the motions of a behavior based observation, it still has the positive effect of getting people to think about safety and knowing that people are watching them. There are few secrets on a production floor.” A well-designed BBS program aims to recognize trends before they result in an injury or incident.

Data is all About Utilization

Once your program has been in practice for long enough, you will start to accumulate enough data to make some meaningful decisions and evaluations about the safety of your workplace. You can look at several key metrics to determine how well your program is protecting the safety of your employees, but the most important metric might be participation. John Peoples, Global EHS Manager at Huntsman Corporation says about safety metrics “We use the information collected to communicate how engaged managers and supervisors are in the safety program. The metrics are the number of observations per person as per the agreed program.” If your data shows a lack of participation and buy-in from your employees, you will need to figure out how to address that. Participation is the first factor you have to address before you can address any other factors – without a wide enough scope and large enough data set, it can be hard to address the root safety concerns withing your company that lead to incidents.

An effective BBS safety program effectively utilizes the tools available to them. Efficiently generating reports off the most relevant data is critical to improving the safety of an organization through Behavior Based Observation.

Check out previous blogs in this series and stay tuned for more!

Why You Should Include Behavior Based Safety in your Safety Management Program

Hewitt RobertsBehavior based safety, Certainty software, Construction safety, EHS Software, Safety inspection, Safety management, Safety observation, UncategorizedLeave a Comment


In this blog series we’ll be looking at safety in the construction industry. Construction is one of the most danger-prone industries there is – responsible for approximately 1 in 5 workplace fatalities. How can construction companies successfully create a safety program and achieve buy in? We’ve spoken with industry professionals Steve Mellard, National Safety Director at Anning Johnson and Desire’e Ropel, Safety Manager at Hermanson to get an insider look into how to manage safety in the construction industry.

According to OSHA nearly 6.5 million people work at approximately 252,000 construction sites across the United States alone on any given day. With the many hazards present on a typical construction site, it’s no wonder the industry has a higher than average workplace fatality rate.

We’ve asked top safety management industry leaders how they manage safety and compliance on their worksites, and also posed the question: what do you think is the #1 safety issue in construction today?

Distracted Employees

Steve Mellard, National Safety Director at Anning Johnson, mentions distracted employees as being a key issue. Even employees who are well trained and qualified can contribute to incidents and injuries that are totally avoidable if they are focusing on issues other than the immediate task at hand. Due to the fast pace of life in general these days, the issue of a distracted workforce is certainly not limited to construction safety, but certainly has the potential to cause grave consequences given the many hazards of the work involved.

Trade Stacking 

Desire’e Ropel, Safety Manager at Hermanson, points to trade stacking as an important safety issue. Trade stacking happens when multiple trades are scheduled to work in a single area or portion of the job site -and it usually happens when crews are rushing to get ahead.  The idea is, the more people, the more work can be done.

The problem is that trade stacking (and having a high concentration of workers in one area in general) can cause stress and distractions, which can lead workers to skip over safety aspects of their work – along with reducing the overall quality of work as well. This is all not conducive to a safety-first work environment but can happen all too often.

Personnel That Are Unqualified To Perform Their Tasks

Both Desire’e Ropel and Steve Mellard pointed to unqualified personnel as a top safety issue. It is always the employer’s obligation to educate and ensure that a safe work environment is created. Employers have more control over this when all workers on a job site are working for their company. However, in construction, other trades and contractors can also be on the job site. Employers should of course do their due diligence in making sure contractors are reputable and qualified, but with a lack of control over hiring and education, this can make achieving a safe work environment much more difficult.

Some of these contractors can just be plain dangerous to be around. Practices that are unsafe and not permitted in your work environment (for example leaving behind tools from a finished job) might just be how another company regularly conducts business. Their poor safety habits are now putting your workforce at risk. The hazards that come from unqualified staff can be difficult to manage when education and training is out of your organization’s hands.

In the next blog in our series on construction safety, we’ll discuss how technology has changed construction safety.

Stay tuned!

Other blogs in this series you may be interested in:

4 Considerations When Improving Safety In The Construction Industry

What Must A Construction Safety Program Include To Be Effective?

How Leadership Style Affects Safety Performance in Construction

Boosting Employee Buy-In To Your Safety Culture and Construction Safety Program

7 Significant Safety Issues Facing The Construction Industry

Hewitt RobertsCertainty software, Construction safety, EHS Software, Inspection management, Safety audits, Safety inspection, Safety management, Safety observation, UncategorizedLeave a Comment


In this blog series we’ll be looking at safety in the construction industry. Construction is one of the most danger-prone industries there is – responsible for approximately 1 in 5 workplace fatalities. How can construction companies successfully create a safety program and achieve buy in? We’ve spoken with industry professionals Steve Mellard, National Safety Director at Anning Johnson and Desire’e Ropel, Safety Manager at Hermanson to get an insider look into how to manage safety in the construction industry.Top 7 Construction Safety Issues

Previously in our construction safety series, we discussed ways to increase employee buy-in to your organization’s safety culture. In this post we’ll take a look at the top 7 safety issues currently facing the construction industry – and how you can overcome them.

1. Workers Need Proper Tools & Equipment

It can be surprisingly common for workers to start a job without proper tools and equipment, particularly if they are quickly switching between tasks. Your organization’s safety program should emphasize that workers should never start any job (no matter how small) without all of the required tools and safety equipment – accidents only take seconds to happen.

2. Continuous Safety Training is Necessary

Laws and policies surrounding safety in the workplace are constantly changing, and a number of factors can change safety policies – including new laws and standards, incidents, new equipment and new projects. This means that safety training is not a one time thing! Conducting regular safety training to teach new safety practices, as well as to reinforce old ones, is crucial to a successful safety management program.

3. Tracking For Compliance

While your organization may have a robust safety program in place, it won’t be fully effective if proper tracking for compliance is not implemented. Your organization needs a centralized system to ensure procedures are being followed. (If you’re looking for a solution to manage and report business risk, compliance, and performance metrics easily, Certainty Software is here to help!)

4. The Safety Practices of Contracted Organizations

Working on a large construction project can often mean that general contractors and sub-contractors are also sharing the job site. Safety issues can arise if those companies have less than desirable safety cultures. Management should ensure that any contractors present on the job site are abiding by the organizations safety rules and procedures, as well as following company policy on tracking for compliance (see #3 above).

5. Prioritizing Safety, Along with Schedule and Budget

Being on-schedule and on-budget are the bottom line of any construction business. Before standardized safety regulations, many workers were constantly put at risk due to an emphasis on speed and budget. However, these days it’s known that a healthy workforce is also a cost-effective workforce. The total cost of fatal and nonfatal injuries in the construction industry is estimated at nearly $13 billion annually. Safety needs to be considered as an equal to schedule and budget.

6. Having an Aging Workforce

Most studies suggest that injuries are less frequent but more severe among older construction workers. Data shows that worker compensation costs increase with the age of workers, in part due to greater lost work time per incident. Organizations can mitigate this risk by adapting the workplace to fit the needs of older workers. This can be done by using lighter tools and materials as well as emphasizing ergonomic working practices.

7. Poor Habits and Resistance to Change

Poor habits from previous work places can be difficult to shake. This may be especially present in new employees who haven’t yet adjusted to your safety culture. Very experienced workers can also be resistant to change and may think “we’ve done it this way for 20 years, why does it need to change now?” Continuously reinforcing the safety program, and offering rewards for change will help make sure all workers are on the same page when it comes to safety.

In the next blog in our series on construction safety, we’ll discuss the #1 safety issue in construction as told by top safety management leaders.

Stay tuned!

Other blogs in this series you may be interested in:

4 Considerations When Improving Safety In The Construction Industry

What Must A Construction Safety Program Include To Be Effective?

How Leadership Style Affects Safety Performance in Construction

Boosting Employee Buy-In To Your Safety Culture and Construction Safety Program

Hewitt RobertsBehavior based safety, Certainty software, Construction safety, EHS Software, Safety inspection, Safety management, UncategorizedLeave a Comment


In this blog series we’ll be looking at safety in the construction industry. Construction is one of the most danger-prone industries there is – responsible for approximately 1 in 5 workplace fatalities. How can construction companies successfully create a safety program and achieve buy in? We’ve spoken with industry professionals Steve Mellard, National Safety Director at Anning Johnson and Desire’e Ropel, Safety Manager at Hermanson to get an insider look into how to manage safety in the construction industry.

Boosting Employee Buy In

Previously, we discussed how leadership style affects safety performance in construction. A key takeaway from that article was that safety on the job site is not just the responsibility of the safety manager. Getting buy-in from employees is absolutely crucial to the success of a safety management program and for creating a safety culture in your organization.

The term “safety culture” was first used by the International Atomic Energy Agency in its 1986 Chernobyl Accident Summary Report to describe how the thinking and behaviors of people in the nuclear plant contributed to the accident. While the concept has been around for over 30 years, successfully increasing employee buy-in is still something that many organizations struggle with. Let’s first look at some reasons employees may not buy-in to a safety culture.

Barriers to Employee Buy-In

  • Employees with inadequate training/skills/experience are unaware of hazards
  • The organization is growing too quickly and not emphasizing safety practices
  • There is a perceived, or actual, lack of time
  • Employees have a lack of interest in safety issues as they don’t feel it’s relevant to them
  • Employees feel invincible since they haven’t yet had an incident
  • Management involvement & buy-in from the top

Evidently there are a number of barriers to employee buy-in that must be considered. When your organization has committed to creating a safety culture, here are some ways to start increasing employee buy-in:

Enforcement

It’s one thing to have a written policy – it’s another to enforce the policy. Employees need to know that safety is an enforced priority for upper-management. Desire’e Ropel, Safety Manager at Hermanson recommends giving ownership to employees and field-leaders to help develop policies, and that enforcement should come from the leaders in the field. This way, everyone knows that they have a voice and it will be heard.

Safety Incentive Program

Steve Mellard, National Safety Director at Anning Johnson recommends utilizing a rewards program where gift cards and other apparel are given on a regular basis. This helps to show employees and their families that safety behavior is valued and rewarded. These programs should be simple and reward often since safety behavior needs to be repeated on a daily basis. Check out these tips from EHS Today about how to launch a successful safety incentives program.

Individual Approach

While Steve Mellard recommends a rewards program, he emphasizes that nothing beats a personalized approach. Employees need to feel heard and have an open forum where they can discuss safety issues openly and directly. It’s important that this communication is not blame-focused and non-punitive.

Checklists

Integrating checklists is an extremely effective tool in creating employee buy-in. Safety solutions software, such as Certainty Software, allows for company-wide monitoring, audit and safety scheduling and push-reminders, user specific dashboards and more. This helps to ingrain a safety focus into everyday work, and helps to turn safety procedures into a routine part of the workday.

In the next blog in our series on construction safety, we’ll cover the top 5 significant safety issues facing the construction industry (and how you can overcome them).

Stay tuned!

Other blogs in this series you may be interested in:

4 Considerations When Improving Safety In The Construction Industry

What Must A Construction Safety Program Include To Be Effective?

How Leadership Style Affects Safety Performance in Construction

Maya NikolovskiBehavior based safety, Certainty software, Construction safety, EHS Software, Enterprise software, Safety audits, Safety inspection, Safety management, Safety observation, UncategorizedLeave a Comment


In this blog series we’ll be looking at safety in the construction industry. Construction is one of the most danger-prone industries there is – responsible for approximately 1 in 5 workplace fatalities. How can construction companies successfully create a safety program and achieve buy in? We’ve spoken with industry professionals Steve Mellard, National Safety Director at Anning Johnson and Desire’e Ropel, Safety Manager at Hermanson to get an insider look into how to manage safety in the construction industry.

Construction safety leadership

Previously, we discussed the elements that a construction safety program needs to be effective, and safety leadership came out as one of the top factors that will determine the effectiveness of a safety effort.

Ensuring safety in the construction industry is vital for both employees and the public. But implementing a successful safety performance program involves many moving parts, and a constant commitment from the entire company. This is why one of the most important components of a construction safety management program is arguably leadership.

The Importance of Fostering a Safety Climate

Safety on the job site is not just the responsibility of the safety manager. One of the most important things that leadership can bring about is widespread cultural change around the topic of safety. Steve Mellard, the National Safety Director at Anning Johnson, points to the importance of discouraging a “safety cop”. Viewing a safety manager as the only person in charge of safety makes it almost impossible to get employees to buy in. Mellard recommends avoiding authoritarian-style safety leadership, and instead promoting a leadership style that values speaking to employees using their own terminology and referencing past experiences in the field.

This has implications for hiring in leadership positions. Mellar recommends hiring safety managers based not only on their degrees, but also on their experience in construction and their ability to relate to employees and the demands of the job.

Desire’e Ropel, Safety Manager at Hermanson also points to the importance of leadership being seen as a safety resource. Leadership needs to be level-headed, keep their composure and be approachable in order for them to be truly successful at their jobs.

Foundations for Safety Leadership

What are the actual characteristics of successful safety leadership? The CPWR – Center for Construction Research & Training has advised that there are 5 Skills and Actions for an Effective Safety Leader:

  1. Leads by Example: A good safety leader will “walk the talk”, demonstrate a positive attitude about safety and establish safety expectations as a core value.
  2. Engages and Empowers Team Members: Team members should be encouraged and empowered to report hazards and safety concerns, and good leaders should be proactive with providing solutions, reporting near misses and stopping work if necessary to maintain safety standards.
  3. Actively Listens and Practices 3-way Communication: A good leader will be an active listener and truly seek to hear what team members are saying. They will practice 3-way communication by having the person repeat back the message they heard.
  4. Develops Team Members Through Teaching, Coaching and Feedback: Leaders should respectfully teach and coach workers, making sure to watch workers perform the proper safe behavior. Leaders should also focus on potential consequences rather than on the individual team member themselves.
  5. Recognizes Team Members For A Job Well Done: Whether publicly or privately, team members should be given recognition when it comes to safety.

Looking to boost your team’s safety leadership? The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) offers free materials to help train better safety management leaders.

In the next blog in our series on construction safety, we’ll cover how to improve employee buy-in & participation in your safety management program

Stay tuned!

Other blogs in this series:

4 Considerations When Improving Safety In The Construction Industry

What Must A Construction Safety Program Include To Be Effective?

Maya NikolovskiBehavior based safety, Construction safety, Inspection management, Safety audits, Safety data, Safety inspection, Safety management, Safety observation, UncategorizedLeave a Comment


In this blog series we’ll be looking at safety in the construction industry. Construction is one of the most danger-prone industries there is – responsible for approximately 1 in 5 workplace fatalities. How can construction companies successfully create a safety program and achieve buy in? We’ve spoken with industry professionals Steve Mellard, National Safety Director at Anning Johnson and Desire’e Ropel, Safety Manager at Hermanson to get an insider look into how to manage safety in the construction industry.

Construction Safety

The construction industry is responsible for more workplace deaths than any other industry. This makes implementing a robust health and safety program extremely important. Not only is there a concern for the well being of employees – losing money is also a risk for companies who do not take their health and safety seriously. There is a large financial burden that is also at play: in the United States it has been estimated that employers pay nearly $1 billion per week for direct worker’s compensation costs alone, including workers’ compensation payments, medical expenses, and costs for legal services.

Successfully adopting a health and safety program can significantly ease these costs. For example, a study conducted in Ohio of small and medium enterprises showed that after a health and safety program was implemented to fit with OSHA standards the following benefits were accrued:

  • Claims decreased by 52%
  • Cost per claim decreased by 80%
  • Average time lost per claim decreased by 87%
  • Claims (per millions of dollar of payroll) decreased by 88%

But having a safety program in place isn’t enough. What must a construction safety program actually include to be truly effective?

A Safety Program Needs To Be Tailored to Your Company

A safety program that simply covers the basic OSHA standards and requirements will not be enough to be truly effective. The construction industry spans such a large number of activities that one type of policy cannot cover all of the needs of every organization. National Safety Director at Anning Johnson, Steve Mellard, encourages construction companies to create safety programs that are specifically tailored to the type of work they do. Only then can the program be truly effective.

A Safety Program Needs Employee Buy-In

Having an all-encompassing safety program is certainly important, but if this program isn’t followed or enforced, it has little meaning. Desire’e Ropel, Safety Manager at Hermanson points to the importance of buy-in from all employees. From the highest level of management to front-line employees, a safety program must have buy-in for it to be successful. Getting employees excited about change is not necessarily an easy task (and we will cover employee buy-in in an entire article as part of this series). Laying out the vision, managing resistance early, and offering rewards and incentives are important first steps to achieving company-wide buy-in of your company’s safety program.

A Safety Program Needs Strong Leadership

Going hand-in-hand with employee buy-in is having a strong leadership team to enforce the safety program. For the program to be successful, leadership must be fully committed to the safety program and lead by example. Leadership must also be prepared to enforce the safety program and nip any employee resistance in the bud.  This is a crucial ingredient in creating a safety-oriented work culture.

While implementing a successful safety program involves more than an employee handbook, it is the responsibility, and to the benefit, of every construction company to take these steps. And be sure to remember that aside from saving your company money, a safety program also comes with other benefits, including:

  • Improvements in quality and production
  • Increased employee morale
  • Gains in employee recruiting and retention
  • A more favorable image and reputation among customers, suppliers, and the community

In the next blog in our series on construction safety, we’ll cover how leadership style affects safety performance in construction. Stay tuned!

Hewitt RobertsBehavior based safety, Construction safety, EHS Software, Inspection management, Safety audits, Safety data, Safety inspection, Safety management, Safety observation, UncategorizedLeave a Comment


In this blog series we’ll be looking at safety in the construction industry. Construction is one of the most danger-prone industries there is – responsible for approximately 1 in 5 workplace fatalities. How can construction companies successfully create a safety program and achieve buy in? We’ve spoken with industry professionals Steve Mellard, National Safety Director at Anning Johnson and Desire’e Ropel, Safety Manager at Hermanson to get an insider look into how to manage safety in the construction industry.

Construction safety briefing

Construction Industry Safety Importance

 The construction industry poses unique health and safety challenges. In fact, 1 out of every 5 workplace deaths were in the construction. Luckily health and safety processes play a vital role in minimizing risks. And while the construction industry is heavily regulated (see OSHA & CFCSA), having a safety program in place to make sure these processes are being followed is a major challenge for the industry as a whole.

Here are 4 issues to consider when looking to improve safety on construction jobsites.

  1. Create a Safety-First Workplace Culture

Having a safety-first work culture is one of the top ways that construction companies can keep workers safe on the jobsite. And while your own company culture can be strong and safety-oriented, new workers may not share the same values. Getting personnel from other companies and cultures comes with unique challenges: old-school values and cutting corners may be the norm for some employees who don’t yet understand the importance of “doing it right”.

  1. Provide Consistent and Regular Safety Training

Desire’e Ropel, Safety Manager at Hermanson, points to consistency of training as a key factor to a successful safety program. Even when a safety item may seem like common knowledge, consistent training and reinforcement from top-level management is crucial to make sure that safety procedures are top of mind.

  1. Have Realistic Budgets and Deadlines

Construction companies are constantly under pressure to meet project deadlines on time and in budget – it’s the nature of the business. However, when budgets and schedules are tight – or tighter than you expected – it is often safety that takes the hit when working under pressure. Safety often takes a back seat in the minds of front-line managers and workers when racing against the clock. Just as you wouldn’t speed through a crowded school zone because you are late going somewhere, giving safety management the short shift because a project is running over schedule could end in disaster. Given the nature and number of  hazards on a job-site, even the slightest oversight can be catastrophic.

  1. Consider “The Human Factor”

Steve Mellard from Anning Johnson cites the “human factor” as one of the key factors to consider when thinking safety as it contributes to – or is associated with – almost all incidents. Employees can make poor choices knowing full well that their actions could be detrimental to their safety – and/or the safety of others. This is why a safety-first workplace culture which reinforces training and rewards safety over risk and time-saved is so important.

Instead of facing potential legal action, fines, and lost productivity, the construction industry should work to ensure they are not falling short when it comes to safety.

In the next blog in our series on construction safety, we’ll cover what a construction safety program must include to be effective.

Next blogs in this series:

  • What Must A Construction Safety Program Include to Be Effective?
  • How Leadership Style Affects Safety Performance in Construction
  • Improving Employee Buy-In & Participation in Your Safety Management Program
  • 5 Significant Safety Issues Facing the Construction Industry
  • #1 Safety Issue in Construction As Told By Top Safety Management Industry Leaders
  • How Has Technology Changed Construction Safety?
  • The Future of Construction Safety – Looking to 2025