The construction world is one of constant change as we drive to safer and more efficient work practices.”

Andy Schlegel, P.E., Division Leader, Northern California, Southland Industries

 

As a driving component of safety, a zero-incident rate culture is often the ultimate goal of going the entire year without a recordable or lost time incident. Although a daunting milestone for many companies, a zero-incident culture is achievable when three basic components are prioritized to achieve safety goals: (1) management’s commitment to safety, (2) a superior safety team and support, and (3) employee participation.

Management’s Commitment to Safety

When management is committed to safety, they provide the safest tools available, utilize prefabrication in the shop as much as possible, and support the safety team at every turn. By providing the best tools and equipment available, crews can work freely without all of the hassle that comes with using outdated tools and equipment. Cordless hand tools, automated shop equipment, and small portable cranes to hoist equipment or materials are efficient ways to promote safety and productivity. Although some reluctance is often prevalent when investing in equipment, the commitment to buy top-notch tools is worth it.

Safety protocols are only effective if team members consistently practice them while on a jobsite.”

Zach Gill, Northern California Division Safety Manager

 

Superior Safety Team and Support

Having a superior safety team is another pillar for success in driving a zero-incident culture. Through consistent communication (regardless of training type, message or location), collaboration, and a united commitment to safety, the safety team can gather a deeper understanding of the support and resources employees need to overcome daily challenges while meeting safety goals.

Employee Participation

Safety protocols are only effective if team members consistently practice them while on a jobsite. It is important to have general foremen, foremen, and journeymen who are veterans of the business and the company. Safety practices work when all employees are behind the common goal. Sharing success stories and innovations through videos and internal network posting, reviewing lessons learned, and reporting near misses with corrections are great ways to help achieve safety goals. Employee buy-in to an increased safety culture doesn’t happen overnight, but with small adjustments it is easy to build over time.

Tags:

  • Zach Gill

    Safety Manager

    Zach Gill is the Northern California Division Safety Manager for Southland Industries. With over 10 years of experience as a safety professional, he is a strong advocate of Prevention through Design and Lean practices, believing these two practices can make all the difference when it comes to preventing an incident. Zach is also a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) and a Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST).

You May Also Like

Using Lean Methods to Find Process Improvements

Much of what I know about Lean and process improvements comes from two of ...

Lean IPD Strategies from the Trade Partner Perspective

Building owners are transforming the construction industry with the increased adoption of a Lean ...

Seven Tips to Stand Out at College Career Fairs

Attending a career fair can be an overwhelming experience. Knowing who to talk to, ...

How Lean Leads the Way for Prefabrication: Insights from Amy Marks

Reprinted with permission from Lean Construction Institute (LCI). Because her presentation was such a ...

Career Advice for Aspiring Engineers

“As a kid, I loved toys that allowed me to build things. As I ...

Driving AEC Innovation: Learning to Embrace Nontraditional Thinking

During National Engineers Week 2019, Bonnie Lee, VP of Design and Construction at Industrious, ...