Working in construction and related contractor roles are some of the most dangerous jobs of all. While following OSHA regulations and common-sense safety practices are crucial to maximizing job site safety and minimizing the risk of injuries and fatalities, it’s also important to foster a culture of safety in construction companies and other skilled labor fields.
“A culture of safety in construction” means an environment where all employees fully grasp the importance of safety, know that safety is a priority, understand safety protocols and procedures, have easy access to safety information and equipment, feel comfortable bringing safety concerns to the attention of supervisors or other superiors, and otherwise see clearly that the entire company emphasizes safety.
Creating a culture of safety in construction starts at the top. If company leadership doesn’t take it seriously—and demonstrate obviously to everyone else that they do—then other employees are less likely to focus on it. On the other hand, if it’s a clear priority for the firm’s leaders, others will feel much more compelled to take it seriously too.
By promoting a culture if safety in construction and contractor firms, you greatly reduce the likelihood of accidents, injuries, deaths, and liability. Below are some tips to help accomplish this.
How to Foster a Culture of Safety in Construction
- Have regular safety awareness meetings between management and workers
- Provide regular mandatory safety training for all employees
- Create a comprehensive, tailored safety plan at the start of all new projects and review it in detail with all involved crew members, supervisors, and managers; keep it on site where everyone can refer to it
- Frequently and openly encourage workers to bring safety concerns to their foreman or manager’s attention right away
- Establish confidential and anonymous ways for workers to report safety violations and concerns
- Always address safety issues immediately after they are observed or brought to light by a concerned party
- Make all necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) readily available to workers, maintain it well, and be proactive about repairs and replacement as needed
- Keep OEM manuals easily accessible to heavy equipment operators
- Never allow anyone to operate machinery they aren’t properly trained on or to conduct safety inspections they aren’t qualified to perform
- Thoroughly vet all subcontractors, closely reviewing their licenses, certifications, insurance, and safety records