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

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 RobertsAudit software, COVID-19 Checklist, Enterprise software, Featured, Inspection management, Safety audits, Safety inspection, Safety management, UncategorizedLeave a Comment


In this blog @Hewittroberts, CEO – @Certainty Software talked with @TherrinProtze, who is Chief Operating Officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for Delaware North, a global hospitality and entertainment company that operates the visitor complex for NASA. Protze is part of a team planning for the reopening of about 200 Delaware North operating locations that have closed or suspended most of their operations in the wake of COVID-19. His focus has included how Delaware North can use Certainty software to tackle reopening challenges across their business. 

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Reopens with Certainty!

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Reopens with Certainty!

Headquartered in Buffalo, New York, Delaware North operates at high-profile places such as sports and entertainment venues, national and state parks, destination resorts and restaurants, airports, and regional casinos. Before COVID-19 hit in March, the company employed over 55,000 people worldwide and had over $3.7 billion in annual revenues.

Delaware North’s portfolio of landmark operating locations includes:

  • Operating concessions, premium dining and retail at over 25 major league sports venues, including in NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA venues.
  • Owning and operating a portfolio of regional casinos and gaming venues;
  • Lodging, retail and restaurants at Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon and other national parks;visitor services at Niagara Falls State Park, operating all aspects of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex;and owning and operating Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, Sea Crest Beach Hotel on Cape Cod and other destination lodging.
  • The Patina Restaurant Group, with outlets in Lincoln Center, Walt Disney World, Disneyland, LA Music Center, the Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal/MetLife Building and Madison Square Garden.
  • Food, beverage and retail at numerous airports and travel centers throughout the United States, Australia and United Kingdom.
  • Owning and operating TD Garden in Boston, home of the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics and host to numerous major concerts and other events.
TD Gardens Reopen with Certainty!

TD Gardens Reopen with Certainty!

As COVID-19 shutdowns ease and lockdown orders are lifted, Delaware North is faced with the Herculean task of planning, preparing for and safely reopening its operating locations.

With endless unknowns about COVID-19, a challenged global economy and no real-life pandemic experience to draw on, Protze and the business resumption team at Delaware North recognized the challenges involved:.

  • Who could assist and provide additional guidance on COVID-19?
  • How should they respond to and manage future confirmed or presumptive cases of COVID at their locations?
  • How should they monitor employee health and hygiene?
  • What changes do they need to make to regular cleaning and sanitizing at their locations?
  • How should they manage and monitor social distancing guidelines and requirements?

Protze and his team felt confident that they could rise to this challenge, and I caught up with him by phone  in early May to discuss how Delaware North went about planning this project, what have been the most significant challenges and how the team managed these challenges  to prepare to safely reopening Delaware North globally.

Hewitt:  

How are your planning the reopening of Delaware North businesses?

 Therrin:

One key part of our planning has been using Certainty as our management platform and the COVID-19 Reopening for Business checklist that the Certainty team created (and available here) to supplement our own business resumption checklists, standards and procedures.

Certainty will be used for the creation, dissemination, and companywide reporting on the adherence to these new standards and procedures.

We will have some people on our team working on enterprise-wide standards and the corporatewide data collection based on these checklists. Others in our team will work with our operating subsidiaries in gaming, travel, and parks and likely work closely with those businesses to make any required location-specific checklist additions.

We will launch these checklists company-wide as we begin to re-open our locations such as Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and some of the parks locations we operate.

Hewitt: 

As a business with more than 200 locations worldwide, what are the biggest challenges you face with respect to reopening after this pandemic?

Therrin:

The biggest challenge we face is gaining customer confidence and being able to do everything we can to help ensure the safety of all of our visitors – each and every one of them – whether they are visiting Yellowstone National Park, Southland Casino or TD Garden.

Once we do that, then the next real challenge will be trying to figure out what the ”New Normal” will look like, how are we going to respond to this  and how are our customers going to react? We know things are changing, so how do we adapt to continually ensure customer confidence?

Right now, we are following the CDC  guidelines, but the challenge going forward will be adjusting to a ”New Normal” and putting in place the right feedback mechanisms to ensure we are continually addressing what is needed.

Hewitt:

How are you going about solving these challenges?

Therrin:

One way is with Certainty, which provides a true platform where we can ensure all the standards created are tracked, followed and reported on a regular basis to create accountability across Delaware North.

We will have enterprise standards that will be a minimum compliance requirement, and then each location can create its own additional checklist. That’s how we will roll it out.

Our COVID Re-opening Checklist will be highly effective, and it includes videos, visuals and links to online training.

Everybody at Delaware North really likes Certainty because it’s easy to work with. We feel very comfortable with it.

Grand Canyon Visitor Center Reopens with Certainty!

Grand Canyon Visitor Center Reopens with Certainty!

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?

Alex EckartCOVID-19 Checklist, Safety audits, Safety inspection, Safety management, Safety observationLeave a Comment


A Job Hazard Analysis, or JHA, is the analysis of a job and its component tasks, the hazards associated with those tasks, and the preventative measures required to minimize those hazards. Typically, a JHA will also include a Risk Assessment, a professional assessment to determine the severity and likelihood of any risks associated with the job/component tasks. These Risk Assessments rely on a combination of the experience of the safety official, as well as any internal or legally governing guidelines to assess – often by law – the overall seriousness, severity, and probably of a risk. Given the risks associated with COVID-19 in the workplace, this global pandemic has, of course, impacted how we conduct JHA’s and assess risk. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Assess the physical aspects of the job – this is where exposure to COVID-19 occurs. Are all physical aspects completely necessary for the job? Is there a task, or tasks, that can be done remotely? Removing the physical presence of your employees may be all you need to eliminate the risk of infection.
  • It’s easy to narrow your focus on figuring out how to minimize the risks of the most frequently completed tasks, but the exposure to COVID-19 can happen in a single occurrence, and come from somewhere you may not expect. Make sure you address those non-routine jobs within your organization (and the outside people you bring in to do them such as maintenance, repairs, cleaning, auditing, etc.). You must minimize outside exposure to reduce the risk of infection.
  • A Risk Assessment may include a component where historical records are reviewed and analyzed to determine the best procedures to reduce or prevent risk. The unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic makes it hard to know what data is even relevant to the current situation. Re-evaluate your assessment processes and re-imagine your approach to safety – now is the time to innovate your approach to safety, because now we must.
  • Consider who within your organization is most at risk. Health authorities are telling us that elderly people are most at risk of experiencing harsher symptoms from COVID-19. Find a way to protect the workers who need protection.
  • Talk to workers – know their fears. The psychological effects of a global pandemic can induce stress, fear, uncertainty – all of which affect your employees’ mental health and their ability to make safe decisions and focus on the hazards at hand. Influencing the safety environment of your organization has an impact on the behaviors of your employees.

 

For more on how to assess your preparedness for COVID-19 and future pandemics, check out our COVID-19 Crisis/Pandemic Preparedness Checklist for Business here.

For more on how to manage your business during the COVID-19 (and other) pandemic(s), check out our COVID-19 Crisis/Pandemic Outbreak Management and Response Checklist here.

Hewitt RobertsAudit software, Certainty software, COVID-19 Checklist, Enterprise software, Safety audits, Safety inspection, Safety managementLeave a Comment


Like nothing else in our lifetime, COVID-19 has affected everyone, everywhere – worldwide. It has indiscriminately taken lives, destroyed livelihoods and put our world on the brink of the largest financial crisis in living memory – possibly ever.

Managing this crisis has been a Herculean undertaking. Politicians and business leaders around the globe have had to make gut-wrenching decisions and, in an effort to save lives (and our health care systems), they have closed businesses, borders and shut down entire sectors of the economy.

We have all been affected and we are all desperate to re-open our businesses, get back to work and re-start the economy.

Re-opening your business post COVID-19

However, and as Governor Andrew Cuomo eloquently put it, ‘This is not a light switch that we can just flick one day, and everything goes back to normal. We’re going to have to restart a lot of systems that we shut down abruptly and we need to start to plan for that.’

And to do that, each and every business will all need a plan. These plans will need to be ‘smart’ and ‘specific‘ to your business, your industry and your circumstance. These plans will need to be flexible, regularly evaluated and changed where needed as we learn, as we adapt and as things slowly go back to a new normal.

Most importantly, these plans and your procedure for re-opening must ensure that you can provide a safe workplace for your employees, customers and suppliers. Using a carefully considered procedure (checklist) and regularly monitoring (and responding to) your results will help make sure you have systematically addressed all aspects of re-opening (people, places, process, precautions, etc.) to ensure you:

  • Provide a safe work environment for your employees, customers, suppliers and all stakeholders;
  • Quickly identify and respond to issues identified during your initial and ongoing checks/assessments;
  • Get your business up and running as quickly and efficiently as possible; and,
  • Put in place the procedures and practices (checks/inspections) to keep your business open moving forward.

Using Certainty for COVID-19 Re-Opening Preparedness Assessments

This is how we hope we can help with Certainty. Certainty can be used to easily manage and report on any checklist-based approach to performance, compliance or risk management – including the evaluation of your business’s readiness for re-opening after the COVID-19 shut down.

COVID-19 BI Dashboard

 Creating and Adding New Checklists in Certainty

With Certainty, you can use any of our existing checklists (such as our COVID-19 Preparedness & Response checklists) or you can create/add your own with questions/checks specific to your own business or sector.

COVID-19 Checklists Customized by Site, Site Group or Company-wide

With Certainty, checklists can be made available for use at a single site (i.e. a factory, a distribution center, or a restaurant), they can be made available for use at a group of sites (i.e. all production facilities, all distribution centers in Georgia, or all sites with on-premise customers) or can be made available for use across your entire business.

Customizing COVID-19 Re-Opening Assessment Checklists by Site or Business Unit

 With Certainty, you can create a single corporate checklist for use at all locations (i.e. COVID Re-Opening Preparedness checklist with base or mandated questions that must be answered at all locations company-wide) and allow individual sites or business units to add site/business unit-specific questions that would be additional and relevant only to those locations or business units.

Customizable COVID-19 Re-Opening Preparedness Checklists

Customizable COVID-19 Re-Opening Preparedness Checklists

Corporate-wide Reporting of COVID-19 Re-Opening Preparedness and Progress

With Certainty, there are reporting tools that allow for instant reporting of virtually all data points and metrics collected from your checklists and with the dashboards, system reports and business intelligence reporting tools you can easily report things such as the number of ‘COVID-19 Re-Opening Preparedness Assessments Completed by Location’ or ‘COVID-19 Re-Opening Preparedness Score’ by site, business unit or corporate-wide.

 

Alex EckartAudit software, Certainty software, COVID-19 Checklist, Inspection management, Safety audits, Safety inspection, Safety management, Safety observationLeave a Comment


Under OSHA and most other governing Health & Safety standards employers are responsible for providing a workplace free of recognizable hazards that may cause injury or death. The onset of the COVID-19 outbreak has the potential to expose people to new hazards and risks that haven’t since been recognized. It is important to adapt our typical approach to Job Safety Analysis to address this new invisible threat to our health and safety.

1. The first step of a JSA involves selecting the jobs to be analyzed. This might mean omitting less dangerous jobs from a complete analysis dude to practical constraints while prioritizing others. Are there jobs that now don’t need to be analyzed, because they can no longer be done? With the new threats caused by COVID-19, it’s important to reassess which jobs now have an increased severity and potential of exposure to hazards and allocating resources to address and prevent those hazards.

2. The next step you’d take in a typical JSA would be to break down the job into its component tasks so they can be analyzed. You should ask yourself, in this current environment are there tasks within that job that have a new potential for risk? Once the job has been broken down, look at rearranging those tasks to expose as few people as possible to those risks. You should look at reducing tasks that normally require many people, into tasks that only require one.

3. We then need to identify potential hazards. This step will vary depending on the job even though the risks associated with COVID-19 are universal. We not only need to recognize the severity of these new risks but also shine a light on every corner of the workplace to identify exactly where these new risks are present and where they are most dangerous – and who they are most dangerous to. Doing this will help you know exactly what plans to take and what equipment to secure in the next step.

4. For the last step of determining preventive measures, we can look to our government institutions and medical experts as they have laid out a series of guidelines on the practical measures that can be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The general practices that apply to all workplace environments include: Pre-screening and then regularly monitoring employees for symptoms, wearing a mask, social distancing, disinfecting and cleaning works spaces, and sending sick people home immediately. After ensuring these practices are followed closely, you should assess if there are any other preventative measures specific to the job and component tasks that can be applied to assure the safety of your employees.

For more on how to assess your preparedness for COVID-19 and future pandemics, check out our COVID-19 Crisis/Pandemic Preparedness Checklist for Business here.

For more on how to manage your business during the COVID-19 (and other) pandemic(s), check out our COVID-19 Crisis/Pandemic Outbreak Management and Response Checklist here.

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

Maya NikolovskiAudit software, Enterprise software, Inspection management, Safety audits, Safety inspection, UncategorizedLeave a Comment


We’ve been involved in the design, development and implementation of enterprise- level software for over 20 years, which is why our team of experts put together this 10-part series on evaluating Enterprise-level software. We’ll cover topics ranging from security, data collection and reporting requirements, implementation resources, pricing / cost models and more, to ensure your next enterprise software deployment is a success. You can also download the entire Evaluating Enterprise-level Software whitepaper here

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Last week we looked at the importance of having a centralized location for software administration. Does the solution you’re evaluating meet this requirement? Let’s move on to the implementation process, and the resources that the provider has to ensure a successful and smooth implementation. 

If a well managed project with clear objectives is a key drivers of project success, then a close second would be a good start to the process itself. Nothing like hitting the ground running.

Just as projects without good leadership and clear objectives will most likely fail, projects that are not implemented well will likely struggle to meet your needs and eventually wither.

So, when considering an enterprise-level solution, ensure that the solution provider has a track record for implementing enterprise-level projects and can offer all the training, tools and support (i.e. onboarding procedures, data upload templates, project reviews) needed to ensure your project will be a success from day one.

Some things to consider:

  • Does the solution provider offer support for initial project implementation and configuration? Is technical support provided (free of charge) and can you submit support requests 24/7?
  • What onboarding / project implementation resources are available (e.g. onboarding procedures and/or implementation guides, training material, initial data upload templates)?
  • What support is offered by the solution provider (e.g. training, configuration, customization)?
  • Does the solution provider offer ‘test’ or ‘sandbox’ environments for initial roll out testing, new releases, user-testing, etc.?

Next week, we’ll concluding our series on evaluating enterprise software by exploring the pricing and cost model of the solution. 

Ps. if you want access to the full whitepaper today, you can download it here.