Posted on: June 17, 2019
Working in the construction industry can be extremely dangerous. For business owners within the industry, ensuring employee safety should be a number one concern. Although, checking off a safety checklist and participating in monthly training exercises may satisfy most requirements, employers should go above and beyond when it comes to safety. Building a culture of safety is imperative to business success.
Promoting safety helps to reduce risks and other liabilities, boost employee morale, and improve customers’ perception of the way you conduct business.
While the safety environment may vary across departments, businesses, and even industries, the following principles remain relatively consistent in terms of fostering a company culture that promotes safety.
Building a culture of safety in construction requires change and can be difficult to achieve. The change initiative must come from top-level management and must be perceived as sincere before the rest of your employees will follow suit. It is not simply enough for upper-level management to establish rules and safety guidelines. They must elicit a hands-on approach and be involved in the implementation process as well.
To positively change your business’ safety environment, you must invest in your employees. First, start by educating yourself and your upper management staff on all local, state, and federal regulations. Next, consider how you will choose to educate the remainder of your staff on these safety guidelines. Decide on what is most effective for your business. For instance, maybe it is holding seminars, weekly or monthly training sessions, or enrolling your staff in crisis management courses. Whatever your business decides, stay consistent!
Not everyone is accustomed to change, therefore resistance from some employees may be inevitable. To avoid push back from your staff make them feel as though they are part of the movement. Ask for feedback and suggestions for ways to improve the safety environment or the best ways to educate the staff. Employees that are included in the decision-making process are less likely to fight the new change initiatives. Engaged employees are more likely to foster the change your company is looking for and champion your business for building a culture of safety in construction.
Be as transparent as possible. You want your staff to feel comfortable voicing their safety concerns. Make it known that their suggestions will not be subject to ridicule or punishment. When an employee does share their concerns, make note of the concern and the agreed upon solution for record keeping purposes.
At Chris-Tel Construction, we make safety a number one priority. To foster an environment of safety we combine various practices to ensure the best results. Weekly “Toolbox Topic” articles are sent out to all members of our staff detailing various safety regulations to be aware of. In addition, we create incentives for our staff to complete the required Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training modules and have included a suggestion box in our office for employees to voice their concerns. These practices, in conjunction with other company-wide safety initiatives, has enabled our firm and employees to effectively cultivate a culture of safety.
Recently, our firm was awarded the Sunshine State Safety Award from USF SafetyFlorida for Segment 2 of the Estero Boulevard Improvements project on Fort Myers Beach, recognizing Chris-Tel Construction for the safe environment it provides to employees, subcontractors, pedestrians and vehicular traffic. For more information regarding this award and the Estero Boulevard Improvements project, be sure to check out our press release.