“Safety first” has been a popular catch phrase for years, and is used in the public and internal literature of many companies, especially those in fields where it matters the most, like in construction. Too many construction sites have personnel that treat it as an afterthought, however, if they give any thought to safety at all.
Why do people who have the most to lose if a job site is unsafe, the workers themselves, seem to be the people most likely to display a don’t-care or slack attitude about safety? You would think these people would be the most diligent about safety. There are, of course, many foremen and trades people who look at a safe working environment and planned construction method as paramount in doing their jobs properly, safely, and can therefore execute their work with confidence. But there are still too many others not following that example!
A site where everyone automatically includes elements of safety into each day’s construction plan can be the norm, however. A culture of safety can be grown in crews and companies by teaching, reminding and enforcing commonly known OSHA safety measures that everyone on a site should, and most do, know. But how does one grow such a culture?
It starts with a company’s commitment to safe work procedures and a well written safety plan; it continues with signs, checklists, and feedback for any crew’s plan for working safely on any given day. It is enforced by giving verbal and written warnings, and where necessary, taking action to remove individuals from the site that refuse to take safety rules seriously. Companies that continue to send such people to a site should be replaced by other companies who will send safe workers.
Safe workplace procedures like those listed above are a must in today’s construction world, as there are too many life, health and financial repercussions for those companies that don’t do so. I urge everyone, no matter what level of authority, to look at what your company is doing to keep everyone in your workplace safe. I bet you’ll come up with at least one suggestion that leads to a safer and more peaceful workplace for all. After all, the life you save or health you protect may just end up being your own.
APPRO Development, Inc., a Lakeville based commercial construction company, is committed to "safety first" on all its construction projects – large or small. You may review our safety mission statement for more information on APPRO’s policy, and as always, please contact us with any questions.