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Refreshing Insights

For the past three years in a row, an annual survey conducted by the EHS Daily Advisor and SafeStart, has identified the same top three workplace safety challenges—lack of employee engagement, employees taking shortcuts or ignoring rules, and lack of supervisor participation in safety programs.

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to see the connection between these challenges on a construction jobsite. If supervisors aren’t invested in safety measures, they certainly aren’t going to expect employee engagement and workers will get the (mostly unspoken) message that rules can be ignored.

The not-so-simple truth is that jobsite safety needs to be a priority that is communicated from the top down with total buy-in from owners, project managers and supervisors, or it will take a back burner to the “just get it done” production mindset that often accompanies tight deadlines.

Leaders have the power to enforce Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) compliance and promote safety on the jobsite. Protect workers and your bottom line with the following approaches toward safety awareness.

#1 Safety-Oriented Leadership

If safety isn’t your priority, it won’t be anyone else’s either. This means that everyone in a leadership or a management position in your company needs to walk the walk and talk the talk about your safety program. Show your commitment to a safe jobsite by properly investing in safety equipment and safety training, and consistently modeling safe behavior on the jobsite.

#2 Set Clear and Consistent Expectations

For employees to meet and exceed performance expectations, they need to know what the expectations are. The same goes for safety expectations. Set safety goals for the jobsite and provide transparency into safety practices. Make sure any worker safety incentives are in compliance with OSHA standards.

#3 Practical Safety Procedures

Safety precautions are rarely one-size-fits-all procedures that work for every job. For example, you might require building framers to wear work gloves, but gloves would significantly hinder someone doing detailed finish work. The best way to ensure that rules are not ignored is to involve workers in creating them. Safety is more effective when workers feel empowered to voice their concerns about a particular tactic.

#4 Reinforcement of Safety Training

Employee safety training can’t be a “one and done” approach, but it usually doesn’t make sense to pull workers off a job to sit through a refresher course. It can be easy to overlook safety measures in the rush to get the job done, so safety needs to be reinforced regularly on the jobsite to stay top of mind.

Some supervisors gather employees for a short safety meeting before the workday and ask: Where are we likely to have safety exposures today? What will we need to do to overcome them?” Another, more casual, approach is to provide real-time praise when good safety habits are observed and corrective feedback when safety protocols aren’t followed. 

#5 Regular Self-Inspections

Let it be known that project owners, architects and construction managers are welcome on the jobsite at all times, they are likely to show up unannounced, and they expect a clean site. A clean jobsite is, by its very nature, a safer jobsite. When tools are put away and pathways are swept, it is a lot easier to avoid tripping hazards and steer clear of debris.  

Looking for more tools?

We’ve developed a Construction Safety Checklist that walks you through common safety risks on the jobsite and provides guidance for meeting OSHA standards. Access the checklist below and contact the team at McClone to help you reduce your risks even further.

Download Safety Checklist for Construction Jobsites

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A collection of articles from the McClone team with the helpful knowledge and insights to ensure your organization is well protected.