“Safety – it’s all I ever hear about anymore. I just want to build buildings and do my job.” This was a direct quote heard at a roundtable discussion with the leadership team of a large construction firm.
Move Away From Safety Banners to Better Promote Safe Construction Four Ways to Improve Jobsite Safety
During a recent jobsite visit to check on his electricians, Glenn Taverna, regional safety manager of Starr Electric Company, Inc., was haunted by what he saw. Hoisted from a crane directly outside of the executive trailer was a crash test dummy in a safety harness. In its hands was a sign that read: “Two days ago this harness saved a life on this jobsite.”
Construction has never moved at the same technological pace as other industries. The nature of the business is that conditions change from job to job, and even construction of “cookie-cutter” restaurants and hotels present different geographic, regulatory and labor challenges. Therefore, it’s no surprise that when a tool or system works—outdated though it may be—there’s hesitation when it comes to changing it on the mere promise of a better deal. As the old saying goes, if it’s not broken, why fix it?
As communities shift their focus to building “smarter” cities, a huge opportunity exists in the construction industry. In fact, 37 percent of municipal leaders prioritize “smart buildings” as an area for future investment, according to Smart City/Smart Utility, a 2017 Strategic Directions Report by Black & Veatch.
When a worker is exposed to airborne hazards on the job, adverse health effects may return home with them. Respiratory protection is more than just an onsite precaution. It’s a preventative step workers and employers must take to protect and preserve a person’s health today. On jobsites where airborne hazards such as dust, fumes, mists or vapors are or may be present, a worker’s respiratory health must be considered.
When a job involves working on energized power lines, there is no room for error—one safety incident could be deadly. Coutts Bros., a Maine-based utility contractor, understands the potential fatal consequences and created a culture of safety to minimize that risk.
Contractors have placed increasing importance on developing a world-class safety culture in their organizations for their jobsite crews. According to a 2016 Dodge Data & Analytics SmartMarket Report, 85 percent of the survey respondents felt jobsite worker involvement is essential to a building a high class safety program—up nearly 20 percentage points from the 2012 survey.”¹ Providing these workers with the tools and training they need to report on incidents in a timely and accurate manner is crucial to maintaining a culture of safety. Continue »
Safety: It’s Everyone’s Responsibility Award-Winning Companies Build Their Culture From the Top Down, Bottom Up and Everywhere in Between
In the midst of his 17-year career with Houston-based D.E. Harvey Builders, Inc., Scott Oliver left the comfort of his job as a superintendent to take on a safety role. The firm had landed a 30-story Anadarko building, and part of the contract required a full-time safety coordinator to be onsite. Oliver’s previous experience working within a highly regulated chemical plant thrust him to the top of the list of employees well-suited to take on the position.
Prescription opioid abuse is a public health epidemic in the United States. Since 1990, drug overdose death rates have tripled due to extended abuse of prescription medications, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Anyone familiar with construction safety will recognize the term “responsible individual” as a person on the jobsite or in an organization who has responsibility and knowledgeable of proper safety techniques.
The International Code Council (ICC) recently released cdpACCESS, a cloud-based tool for code development that will make the process open and transparent to people or entities that may be affected by the codes. The tool allows users to submit code change proposals, stay on top of proposed code changes and offer commentary. It also allows code officials to more easily determine the outcome of proposed code changes.
Every organization has legal and ethical obligations as they conduct business. Some industries have an additional obligation—a moral obligation not to harm those they serve. These industries include obvious fields such as health care and law enforcement, but also construction. Companies in the construction industry have an obligation to protect those on and around project sites from harm.