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

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


In this blog series we will explore 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.

Including BBS in your safety management program

To some people the benefits of a Behavior Based Safety programs may seem elusive – how could you get concrete data from the common-place everyday actions and decisions of your employees? Should it just be assumed that resources be put towards preventative measures and protective equipment, tangible assets, where the value they bring to safety is more apparent? This kind of thinking overlooks the common factor that is universal to all workplace injuries – people.

A safety program that does not take special consideration of human attitudes, beliefs, ideas, and feelings towards safety is missing a huge piece of the safety pie. Behavioral Based Safety takes a holistic approach to safety – it looks at the big picture, the safety environment of a workplace, and unearths the root causes of potential hazards and unsafe behaviors. As Joseph Braun, EHS Manager at Ferrara Candy CO. puts it, “BBS helps to get a feel for what is really going on at the floor level. It provides data to make decisions on where to focus your safety programs and what areas are lacking”. A BBS program helps you identify exactly where those resources and tangible safety assets are most required.

A safety program that focuses only on unsafe behaviors and hazards associated with a job can undergo the unfortunate result of becoming reactionary, addressing dangers after they have already had a negative impact on your business and employees. This defeats the purpose of a safety program altogether. To truly increase the positive outlook on the safety environment of your business you will also need to focus on what works. What are the every-day actions of my employees that are guaranteeing their safety and the safety of their peers? As Chad Rasmussen, EHS Manager at Cardinal Health puts it “Not all hazards can be controlled by elimination or engineering. When employees need to be trusted to make decisions regarding their safety, the right choices need to be reinforced. People get complacent and don’t always notice positive outcomes when they become routine. At that point people start to knowingly or unknowingly start making riskier choices”. Identifying and positively reinforcing these actions is what an effective BBS program aims to do.

It may take time, but if planned extensively, followed rigidly, and executed efficiently, a BBS program can have a very positive impact on the environment of a workplace and the well-being of the employees. It empowers workers, as John Peoples, Global EHS Manager at Huntsman Corporation puts it, “it provides an opportunity to recognize and reinforce high standards and good practices displayed by our teams”. This high standard is the best possible outcome you can achieve from and effective BBS program. This high standard of safety will directly prevent workplace accidents and injuries before they can happen. It is not a reactionary approach, it is a proactive one that could even save lives.

Take some time to consider the benefits of a BBS program. As we have explored here, it can be effective in addressing some key areas that could be lacking from your safety program. Do you have trouble bringing your employees into the safety conversation? Do you want the confidence to trust your employees to make the right decisions? Do you want your employees to become Safety Leaders and take proactive steps towards a safer work environment? If you answered yes to any of these questions, maybe it is time to give Behavior Based Safety a second look.

Stay tuned for more blogs in this series!

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!

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?

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 RobertsCertainty software, COVID-19 Checklist, Featured, Inspection management, Safety inspection, Safety observationLeave a Comment


Let us help you re-open with this COVID-19 Re-opening Checklist for Businesses.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought much of our world to a standstill. Offices, schools, businesses and borders have been closed and our economy has contracted to unprecedented levels.

We have all been affected and we are all desperate to re-open our businesses and re-start the economy. But to do that, each and every business will all need a plan and 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’.

Using a carefully considered procedure (checklist) and regularly assessing (and responding to) your plan 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.

To help in this process, we have developed a checklist that we hope will help our clients, colleagues and anyone who needs it during this time.

The COVID-19 Re-opening Checklist for Businesses is a 65-question checklist to help a business prepare for and assess readiness to re-opening after the COVID-19 shut down. This checklist covers Pre-opening Planning; Infection Control Policies & Procedures; General Infection Control Measures; and Infection Control Measures for the Workplace and for Premises Open to the General Public.

Please feel free to download and use, amend or share this checklist if you wish and we of course welcome any feedback or suggestions to help improve this checklist overtime!

Stay safe!

Readers may also be interested in:

COVID-19 Crisis / Pandemic Preparedness Checklist for Business

COVID-19 Crisis / Pandemic Outbreak Management and Response Checklist