Technology in Construction is Now a Reality, with Drones Leading the Charge
Building Up To Smart Skyscrapers
The Big Renewable Projects You Should Know About
NSW's New Construction Plan Calls for Transparency and Collaboration
Can Affordable Housing Even Out Construction Cycle?
How to Gain Leads and Get Ahead of the Competition
How Digital Drawings Are Transforming Construction
The New Green Toolkit — What You Need to Know
By Missy England
March 29, 2016
The construction industry has a problem with safety. Safety records in the industry are troubling, at best, and little improvement has been made over the years. This is partially due to construction processes and job sites, however, a large part of accidents occur because safety is not taken seriously enough.
There is a lot of talk about safety, and in at least one notable research effort it was clear that companies don’t often have safety behaviors that match their rhetoric. Three professors wrote in the Winter 2016 edition of MIT Sloan Management Review about decades-long studies of companies in the manufacturing sector claiming that “Managers believe accidents are a cost of doing business.” Bending safety rules to get the job done, turning a blind eye, and changing safety requirements to get results, were behaviors noted by managers and even union representatives.
Workers referred to company safety initiatives as “Safety Unless Production Affected,” and when safety rules were routinely bent, so were other rules like those affecting quality, and cost control.
There was ample evidence that companies with exemplary safety programs, (that employees actually followed), reaped cost efficiencies and gains in productivity. Even when faced with wage disadvantages, as some companies are in the global economy, the researchers found early adopters of OHSAS 18001 or ISO 9000 saw their injury and illness costs reduced by 20-40 percent. And, as their safety performance improved, so did their “productivity, return on assets, and sales.”
When managers, owners, CEOs, and executives take an aggressive and unyielding stance on safety, the message to the rank and file is clear: production and profitability take a back seat to safety. Of course, getting buy-in from management means making the case for safety. That includes showing how cultures of safety actually increase productivity, quality, and profitability.
There are also indirect costs to organizations when safety is not part of the culture, and it’s important when getting buy-in to help people understand those as well. When workers don’t think the company has their best interest at heart, they often feel undervalued. Once trust erodes, people are less invested and begin to look out for themselves rather than one another.
Getting people personally involved in the safety program entails a thoughtful look at the safety standards and how they are applied. It’s good practice to have excellent reasons for when, and where, rules apply. You should also ensure that any enforcement is consistent, both in how it’s judged and in how it’s carried out. If people see the rules as arbitrary or inconsistent, it’s likely they’ll be confused about when and where the rules apply. They will also lose trust in management if only some people are held accountable.
The Anatomy of a Request for Information (RFI)
When life is so busy, it can be easy to get into an unhealthy routine. Here are 11 easy ways to break up your routine and live a healthier, happier life…#1 Make your lunches for the entire week…on ... Read More
Maintaining a streamlined and efficient workflow is one of the primary goals of any construction firm. However, whether due to a lack of skilled la... Read More
Budget. Schedule. Quality. The trifecta of a project. But balancing that trifecta isn't easy to do. Our webinar, led by construction industry exper... Read More
Tim Kelly, S&P Technical Services Manager, looked at numerous document management systems, including EADOC and "probably 10 other systems." What bo... Read More
Workplace safety is a front-of-mind concern for any responsible construction company. Strict adherence and compliance with safety training regulati... Read More
Any construction company will have lots of data sloshing around, and many still rely on archaic methods of logging, filing and using that data, typ... Read More
May 14, 2018
The construction industry is on the rebound after the Great Recession and spending is at an all-time high. In November, investment in new projects ... Read More
May 21, 2018