We’re kicking off Construction Safety Week with our monthly safety meeting and featuring some great tips from top construction professionals. At Fortress Development Solutions, safety is more than just part of our job, it’s part of our motto! We believe in giving our team the knowledge and education to take their safety to the next level. Through our continued efforts, stop work policy, and dedicated safety team, we’re cracking down on worksite accidents and delivering on our promise to each and every client. Learn what we’re discussing this month and how we keep safety top of mind.
The theme for this year’s Construction Safety Week is: Be Present, Be Focused, Be Safe! The outside stresses and distractions can take us out of our element, interfere with our focus and awareness and impact everything from our decision-making abilities to our reaction times. This is why staying present and focused is a huge part of staying safe. Whether it’s our heavy hauling drivers or hydrovac operators, everyone is staying present in their roles.
Personal Safety is the concept of employees taking responsibility for their safety and the safety of their coworkers. It can only be achieved when we own our circumstances regardless of the situation. It’s a mindset of not accepting anything less than every employee going home safe. With this mindset, we create an Incident and Injury-Free culture. Some people relate the concept of personal safety to common sense, but that can be misleading. Common sense is a good start to staying safe, but the benefit of hindsight makes common sense.
An employee following a procedure that doesn’t recognize a specific hazard could be excused for blindly following the procedure that puts themselves in harm’s way. An employee in the same situation with a concept of Personal Safety will identify hazards not addressed in the procedure and take the proper steps to ensure the work is done safely.
What are some key things to be aware of daily? There are pitfalls in our day-to-day work that lead us to accept unnecessary risk and can get in the way of working safely:
• • Taking Shortcuts — Never let tight schedules or a desire to get the job done justify taking shortcuts that increase risk.
• • Being Overconfident — Confidence is a good thing. Overconfidence is too much of a good thing and easily becomes complacency. Never stop looking for what could go wrong.
• • Starting a Task with Incomplete Instructions — You need complete information to do the job safely. Don’t be shy about asking for explanations about work procedures and safety precautions. It isn’t a weakness to ask questions; it’s a weakness to avoid asking them.
• • Poor Housekeeping — Poor housekeeping creates hazards of all types. Good housekeeping involves both pride and safety.
• • Ignoring Safety Procedures — Choosing which procedures to follow and which procedures to ignore increases the risk to the whole crew. When you choose to not follow a policy, it sets an example for those around you and increases their risk of injury.
• • Mental Distractions at Work — Having a bad day at home and worrying about it at work is a hazardous combination. We all have items in our backpacks from what is going on in our life. We must recognize and help team members when their backpack is heavy to help them go home safely.
• • Failure to Plan the Work — Activity plans allow us to figure out the smartest ways to work safely and effectively with input from the entire team. Pause and re-plan when things change.
• • Just This Once — Unsafe practices that are justified as exceptions to the rule can result in serious injuries or worse. It can happen the first time as easily as on the 100th time.
• • Believing That This is Overkill — Some unsafe practices can occur when team members bypass precautions that they consider excessive. Policies are developed because someone somewhere got injured. Never bypass a policy that you think is unnecessary.
• • Being a Team Player — Never justify unsafe practices for the good of the team, company, or customer. Following a safety, policy demonstrates respect and care for your coworkers.
• • Not Speaking Up When You See Risk — In addition, we all have an obligation to speak up when something does not seem right. You might be the only person that notices something wrong. We call this Stop Work Obligation. Speak up when the situation at hand does not feel right and listen when someone else speaks up.
• • Not Reporting Near Misses or Injuries — Reporting an injury (no matter how minor) or near miss is a gift for the rest of our team because it gives us the opportunity to learn and to possibly prevent another team member from being injured. Reporting prevents bad outcomes: Increased pain and suffering for the team member Potential hazards not recognized and corrected that could injure coworkers.
These were a few of the many great resources provided by Construction Safety Week. Our team plans to implement these into our safety talks and safety meetings. Through continued education, our team is putting workplace safety first. To learn more about the mission of Construction Safety Week, or to find more resources, visit their site.