Staying Safe in Construction Means Building the Right Culture
As construction season ramps up, construction accidents ramp up as well. To avoid lost time, injury, or an increased EMR, a safety culture is a must.
McHugh Construction, a Chicago-based construction company, spoke with Safety and Health Magazine about their culture in a recent interview and article. Recently, a worker at McHugh Construction thought he spotted a problem with an outrigger on a crane pick up. He had recently undergone a safety training as a new employee and knew that his company encouraged workers to speak up if they see something that might be amiss.
"Here's a young kid - and I say young because they're not old like me - but he's not afraid to say, 'Hey, stop work, I need to make a call," said Jerry Flemming, Vice President of Risk Management at McHugh. "He said, 'Hey, is this right?' We said, 'Woah - no, stop! It's not right. Good call!'"
McHugh preaches safety on the job site. If you see something, say something.
The outrigger had sunk on one side of the crane. If the crane operator had swung the load to the side with the faulty outrigger, a further failure could have caused the crane to tip over and lose its load. This is just one example of how a safey culture is incredibly important in avoiding accidents on the job site.
About 71% of construction firms expect to increase their workforce in 2016, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. However, there is a major shortage in skilled workers, causing many companies to turn to new/inexperienced workers that may not know safety. It is critical to have a proper safety program in place and preach it to new employees.
Here are some tips for keeping workers safe:
1. Establish a buddy system for all new hires.
2. Hold safety orientation sessions for all new hires, including temporary workers.
3. Ensure leaders have an appropriate leadership and effective communication skills to instill a safety culture and concepts in the workforce.
4. Always create pre-task hazard analysis
5. Hold monthly safety training programs
6. Require leaders, such as foreman and superintendents, to attend leadership in safety courses.
7. If there is a safety incident, hold a targeted meeting.
8. Train your trainers
What do you do to increase safety on the job?
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