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Most Overlooked Safety Measure: Quality Work

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In the middle of a hectic morning, you learn there is a serious leak in the solar panel installation. There’s no way around it, numerous rooms have to be gutted. The dreaded rework begins. The impact on your project budget and schedule is painfully evident, but there’s another cost to rework that’s less obvious — jobsite safety.

Rushed and frustrated workers have to perform a demolition, and it often means dismantling, razing, or wrecking an installation. This is where dangers disguised as irritating obstructions await.

Rework Increases Accident Risk

In fact, demolition work is so hazardous that OSHA devoted an entire subpart of its Construction Standards to it. The agency also dedicated its Safety and Health Topics page to the demolition workers who died on the job.

According to research by Construction Labor Market Analyzer, the chances of an accident caused by rework are about one in four.

The frequent nature of rework — poor planning and time pressure — increases the chances of an accident happening.

Getting the job done right the first time, obviously, eliminates the need for rework. However, how do you make that happen as a quality control manager?

Quality-Safety Link

By encouraging and supporting workers to do their best work, say industry insiders. The quality-safety link is a strong one. One way to produce high quality work is through instilling a sense of pride in your team.

You do that by motivating your crew to produce work they are proud of, providing constructive feedback, and giving kudos for a job well done. This helps build a sense of accomplishment for your workers as well as leads to safer work practices by taking the appropriate amount of time needed to perform the job and avoiding shortcuts.

Here are five ways to help you up the ante on your quality control and boost safety.

1. Tell it Like it Is  

Workers, especially your most talented team members, want regular feedback. Pointing out the areas where they can do their job better or more efficiently, not only helps them but benefits the entire project and team as a whole. Don’t forget to praise high-quality work. Everyone likes to be recognized for great work — none more so than those who give it their all.

2. The Big Picture

Get together with your field team regularly to discuss the large-scale project strategies, including both the successes and failures that have occurred. Help them see how their contribution to the larger picture, however small in the grand scope of things, has an impact on the overall success of the project.

3. Teach Don’t Preach

Don’t assume your workers are experts in everything. Offer extra training if needed. When workers lack necessary skills, they can’t offer high-quality work nor can they take pride in below-average results. When they develop their skills, the quality of the work will go up as will their sense of accomplishment.

4. Raise the Bar

Challenge your workers to accomplish things they’ve never done before. Instead of setting mundane and familiar goals, push them out of their comfort zones. At the same time, don’t forget to do everything you can to support their success.

5. Fuel Creativity

Although construction is not commonly looked at as a field of creative work, creativity is an integral part of building. It requires imagination, talent, and skill to build something of value that hasn’t existed before. Encourage your employees to use their creativity to change and improve their work, even if it’s not the way it’s always been done. When you squelch a person’s creativity, you limit them and their quality of work.

Encouraging and supporting your teams to do their best work may not only lead to quality work, but a safer job site.

If you liked this article, here are a few eBookswebinars, and case studies you may enjoy:

Construction Quality and Safety: Reducing Rework While Achieving Zero Incidents and Accidents

McKee Fehl Study

Cover Your A$$: Real Time Quality Assurance on the Job Site


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