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Identifying ways to support your workforce is one of the first, simplest steps to improve safety across your company. The industry is rapidly changing, and there are new technology and tools to make everyone safer. Top-performing contractors now utilize software and apps to review safety performance at the touch of a button.
Modern day top leadership engagement is continuing to trend away from the traditional command-and-control approach. Far from the “I think it, you do it” model, the total human health approach to top management is all about leadership—curious, engaged and relational. Safety isn’t left to chance or considered the responsibility of just the safety director; safety is managed and led just like every other operation in the company, from accounts receivable to customer experience.
Equipment of any kind needs to be accompanied by training, evaluation, inspection, follow-up and, most importantly, an operator who understands the potential hazards and carries out their duties in a safe manner. Safety is everyone’s responsibility throughout the entire organization, and everyone needs to be fully and thoughtfully engaged. Proper training, culture and mindset is the key to success and lower incidence rates.
The roadmap to building a strong health and safety culture begins with improving new hire safety orientations and intentional incident investigations. It seems simple, but the reality is that this journey does not happen by itself. We must be committed to safety as a core value every day and in every situation to achieve industry-leading results. Leaders and all team members must be committed to supporting each other to drive results.
Safety training equips supervisors to lead and manage projects, people, processes and policies. This training is enhanced through frequent, regularly scheduled safety meetings involving supervisory staff and the company safety director. These intentional, agenda-driven meetings go beyond training and education, helping to develop relationships as challenges and successes are shared.
Intentional, purposeful two-way communication is vital to a successful workday. Daily communication builds resilient relationships and enables a group to accomplish mission-driven tasks with a high degree of safety, quality and effectiveness. Daily toolbox talks and consistent start-up inspections create the environment where both communication and safety coexist successfully. The ABC STEP Safety Management System is designed to help you accomplish this to strengthen your safety culture.
Some would say safety is common sense, others know it’s about relationships and intentional planning, equipping and supporting. When safety isn’t integrated with full communication from the beginning, the workforce could be put at higher risk if time, logistics and budgets are stretched too thin. Incorporate pre-planning for safety in every aspect of the job to ensure your team returns home safely at the end of every shift.
Safety training, education and professional development are all critical to a top-performing company. These investments can powerfully shape culture, reinforce expectations, provide valuable feedback and equip the workforce to meet or exceed expectations. When people are engaged and equipped in a way that is meaningful to them, they will choose to work safely because they want to. And they will continue to do so if they are supported with proper planning and resources. This creates a strong and effective health and safety culture.
Safety rules affect safety culture. Seeking workforce input on procedures is vital to creating that culture, as a key component to ensure safety goals are attained is workforce engagement. When developing or updating a safety program, you must ask your team for input, suggestions and feedback to ensure buy-in, understanding and adherence. Learn how to communicate both universal and situational safety rules and policies.
Planning for a successful safety program starts with setting goals, implementing proper recordkeeping procedures and ensuring documentation is correct. ABC's STEP Safety Management System provides the framework to drive improvements in construction safety programs through recordkeeping and benchmarking in 25 key components. Discover four helpful tips for submitting OSHA incident data.
Safety Training and Evaluation Process (STEP) applications for 2014 may still be submitted, but time is running out as ABC will cease processing applications on Dec. 15 in order to close out the year and begin the annual STEP data analysis. This analysis, completed using data submitted by STEP participants, provides ABC members who apply for STEP a benchmarking tool for their companies compared to other STEP participants of similar work type/size and the rest of the construction industry.
National Safety Excellence Award (NSEA) applications are due Oct. 31 and can be downloaded on ABC’s website. All 2014 Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP) Diamond and Platinum recipients are eligible to apply and there is no fee to participate. New STEP Gold recipients may also apply for the NSEA by submitting the NSEA Gold application and $450 application fee. ABC members who do not have STEP status can learn more about STEP on ABC’s website.
According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics/Department of Labor Sept. 11 report, construction fatalities decreased slightly in 2013, and fatalities in the industry have dropped 36 percent since 2006. There were 796 workplace deaths in the private construction industry in 2013 and 806 in 2012. That translates into a 2013 fatality rate of 9.4 per 100,000 workers, down from 9.5 in 2012.
The 2014 Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP) applications are now available and have been mailed to all ABC chapters and contractor members.
ABC members who want to apply for the National Safety Excellence Awards (NSEA) have until Friday, Oct. 25 to submit their applications. New for 2013, Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP) Gold recipients are eligible to apply for the award along with all 2013 Diamond and Platinum recipients.
ABC will be hosting a two-day STEP Plus Safety Excellence Academy Nov. 6-7 at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas to coincide with the ABC Institute for Leadership and Professional Development.
National Safety Excellence Award (NSEA) applications are due Oct. 25 and can be downloaded on ABC’s website. All 2013 Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP) Diamond and Platinum recipients are eligible to apply; there is no fee to participate. New for 2013, STEP Gold recipients may also apply for the NSEA by submitting the NSEA Gold application and $450 application fee. ABC members who do not have STEP status can learn more about STEP on ABC’s website.
ABC will be hosting a two-day STEP Plus Safety Excellence Academy during BizCon, Feb. 19-20. This in-depth course on safety culture and mindset will be presented by leaders who are both contractors and owners, and will establish the path for achieving world-class safety performance
The 2013 Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP) applications are now available and have been mailed out to all ABC chapters and contractor members.
ABC will be hosting a STEP Plus Safety Excellence Academy “Train-the-Trainer” Course, Jan. 9-11 in the National office in Arlington, Va. Owners of ABC member companies, safety professionals and chapter safety staff are encouraged to apply to become one of a select number of Authorized STEP Plus Safety Academy trainers that conduct the Safety Academy nationwide.
ABC’s Environment, Health and Safety Committee will be testing phases of ABC’s new STEP Plus program from December 2012-May 2013 and is looking for ABC member company volunteers.