Creating a safety culture in the workplace is of utmost importance, especially in high-risk industries such as construction. Kelly Rowland, a construction superintendent with Hoffman Construction. highlighted the importance of safety as a cultural change rather than just a mandatory protocol to be followed.
Incorporate safety into all jobsite activities
According to Rowland, safety should be integrated into every aspect of the job and treated as an essential part of the work rather than a hassle. This includes wearing the right safety gear, such as safety glasses and boots, and avoiding tennis shoes, short pants, or sleeveless shirts. He emphasized the need to embrace a safety culture and set the tone for the project.
While not everyone may be willing to prioritize safety, Rowland stressed that it is the responsibility of the project manager to make it mandatory for all workers. Anyone unwilling to follow the safety protocols should not be allowed to work on the project.
Dan Daley of Daley Construction highlighted the importance of having a safety mindset, where workers stop and think about how to achieve a task safely rather than trying to take shortcuts. This helps to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries in the workplace.
Keep each other honest about jobsite safety
He also emphasized the importance of accountability, where contractors should hold workers accountable for following safety protocols. This, in turn, will help to make safety culture the norm and reduce the risk of injuries on the job.
Daley identifies residential wood framing as one of the most dangerous jobs in the construction industry. The problem with residential construction is that there are many small contractors who pop up to do houses, and not all of them prioritize safety. This puts workers at risk of accidents and injuries.
Daley emphasized that it is up to the person in charge of the job site to press the safety agenda and ensure that workers are following the right safety protocols. If the person in charge does not care about safety, it is unlikely that workers will prioritize it.
Jobsite safety begins at the top
Daley also highlighted the financial benefits of prioritizing safety. Fewer injuries mean lower workers' compensation rates, which offset the cost of buying safety gear. Employers who provide their employees with the ability to be safe are also likely to retain their employees and reduce the risk of workers refusing to work or leaving after a close call.
In conclusion, safety culture is a critical aspect of any workplace, especially in high-risk industries such as construction. both Daley and Rowland emphasize the importance of embracing a safety culture and integrating it into every aspect of the job. Workers must prioritize safety, and it is the responsibility of the project manager to ensure that all workers follow the right safety protocols.
Finally, accountability is crucial, and contractors must hold workers accountable for following safety protocols. By prioritizing safety, we can reduce the risk of accidents and injuries in the workplace and make it a safer place for everyone.