What is a site inspection?
In this article, we will talk about the importance of site inspection to ensu...
Fostering a safety culture across your organisation does not happen overnight. It requires diligent time and effort and a top-down approach where the leaders must demonstrate commitment to occupational health and safety. “Safety first” cannot be “a box ticking exercise” delivered to workers simply to fulfil some bureaucratic purposes.
The upper management must put into practice their commitment and build a strong safety culture within the organisation. Commitment to safety should be one of the core principles of your organisation.
In this article, we will discuss six ways in which you can build upon your existing construction company safety culture:
Job site safety should be your priority above everything else. Cost, productivity and timeline should be secondary. You can only build and improve your safety culture if you understand that your number-one asset is your employees. If you do not instil confidence in them that you prioritise their safety, you will never be able to build trust.
Putting safety first can not only improve productivity at the job site but also helps reduce costs. This is because accidents, injuries and incidents often lead to project delays and cost overruns.
Improving safety implies that fewer days are lost due to downtime. Additionally, your insurance cost will drastically reduce if you have a strong safety record and an efficient occupational health management software.
Even the best occupational health and safety management system will fail if your employees are not adequately trained to interact with it. Adequate training is the easiest method to improve the safety of your company.
Not only does it showcase your commitment to fostering safety, but it also helps get tangible results. Remember, training is not a one-off but a continuous and ongoing process. The best practices must be reinforced, and your workers must be constantly evaluated to see how much information they have retained.
When you create a safety committee that involves employees from all levels of your business, you communicate that you are invested in your employees.
The committee should review and update your company’s safety program, crafting safety plans that are job site-specific. As your workers are on the frontline, they are the ones who are the most experienced at identifying risks and hazards.
Hence, all corrective action plans should be developed using your employees’ input. After crafting the action plan, you must ensure that all your workers know the newly modified plan. Take the help to execute and enforce it. It will make the workers feel involved in building and improving your safety culture and allow them to take safety seriously.
Often, employees are the first to notice inherent risks in a job site but are afraid to speak up because of repercussions.
You must empower employees to speak up and report unsafe conditions or near misses. Hold everyone who steps into the construction site responsible for maintaining safety. Remind your team that safety is not just the safety manager’s responsibility but every worker’s. Make sure you take regular evaluations to see if everyone knows the clearly defined safety rules.
There is nothing as motivating as incentives to make workers adhere to new practices, and safe working practices are no different. Appreciate your team for attending safety meetings, reporting near misses, wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and making suggestions to improve safety or reporting hazards.
However, be vigilant with the incentive program and do not rely heavily on it, as it could lead to underreporting. Here, instead of monetary incentives, praise can be a good alternative. Similarly, ensure that everyone knows there are no negative repercussions for anyone with a near miss.
As the top manager, you cannot be isolated from your job site. You should conduct regular site inspection , ideally, after each work day, to address any emergent safety concerns.
Examples of safety concerns that may not seem hazardous are damaged pieces of equipment or tools left around. Moreover, did you know that the root cause of the majority of the falls at construction sites did not occur when workers fell from a height but when workers tripped over unattended equipment?
Hold regular safety meetings before each work day to review safety protocols and how tasks should be performed. Be sure to address any concerns that were observed from the previous day.
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