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Reflections on Avetta’s ‘Four Strategies for Building a Strong Construction Safety Culture’

I received an email from Lorman regarding a white paper on construction safety. The whitepaper, ” Four Strategies for Building a Strong Constructions Safety Culture”, is available as a free download here.

We throw around the word ‘culture’ at Albion quite a bit. In addition to our day to day culture around the office and our jobsites, our safety culture is a major priority. Much of what the whitepaper had to say aligned with our beliefs as a company.

The whitepaper was completed by Avetta, a supply chain risk contractor management firm. Per their website, “Avetta helps the world’s top organizations minimize risk within their supply chains.”

The whitepaper examines four key strategies aiding in the creation and maintenance of a strong safety culture:

  • Measure Safety
  • Talk Safety
  • Model Safety
  • Reward Safety

Measuring Safety

As with any goal or plan, assessing the current metrics is a no-brainer. Reviewing the current (or lack thereof) safety program including its current training programs, periodic inspections, near-miss reporting, and closing of action items. Additionally, the whitepaper suggests monitoring and analyzing employee engagement in terms of safety communication, safety committee activities, observed safe behaviors, and completed third-party certifications. Finally, an indicator of a successful safety culture is one with management’s commitment to safety. This includes responsiveness to worker suggestions, participation in safety initiatives, and employee ratings of management personnel.

Talk Safety

Per the whitepaper, “In a strong safety culture, safety is part of the everyday conversation, as natural as discussions of how to improve productivity or reduce downtime.”

Methods of making the safety culture part of the everyday culture include ‘eliminating the checklist’, listening to employees, having a positive attitude, talking face-to-face, and providing information.

Model Safety

Workers who lack confidence in their leadership are less likely to heed what their leaders say.”Modeling the behavior that is expected is an obvious way to create a desired safety culture.

The whitepaper suggests the following as ways management can model safety and develop the confidence of employees: being visible to employees; practicing safe behavior; being polite and courteous; and rewarding behavior.

Reward Safety

Finally, the white paper closes with the importance of rewarding safety. Incentive programs are highly productive. Actions that enhance workplace safety – resulting in reduced accident rates – should be rewarded. These include: showing safety initiative; engaging in safe behavior; and achieving safety success.

As the article states:

When you measure safety, talk safety, model safety, and reward safety, you’ll begin building an environment of sincerity and trust in the workplace. That good faith will securely underpin a strong safety culture—and a strong safety culture is good for business. Good faith, then, is good business.

At Albion, we are driven by our safety culture. We are proud of our longstanding, excellent reputation in site safety.

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