Updated: Feb 11, 2022
Over the last several years, we have all witnessed the evolution of safety in our industry. Fall protection equipment has become a lot more efficient, effective, and even more comfortable. Safety glasses come in various styles and fit our faces a lot better than they use to. Gloves give us a lot more specific protection depending on what our hazards are.
Your people should also be a part of this evolution. They should be taking a more pro-active role in safety. Do they still say that scratches and scrapes are just a part of the business? Have your people developed a sense of pride in building work and doing it safely?
Your teams should be becoming less tolerant of risk takers and poor practices. In regards to your crew, do they mind their own business and just let stuff happen? Or are work plans developed by a good balance of engineering and craft knowledge? JHA’s should be written by the crew and followed by the crew.
So, let me ask you, where do you fit in with this evolution thing? Are you one of the leaders who helps the process along? Or are you one of the people who fights change? Do you support the campaign that it is unacceptable for anybody to get hurt? Or do you think it’s impossible?
The history of safety in construction is fraught with accidents and fatalities, with true focus on improving safety only emerging within the last 50 – 80 years. In fact, at the time of the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, it was expected that one person would die for every $1 million spent. Since that time, a variety of regulations have been passed at both national and local levels, and the construction industry has also worked to increase awareness and education related to keeping workers safe onsite and encourage construction safety innovation.
The evolution is happening right now and the day is coming when injuries will be a thing of the past. Let’s help it along by following good work practices, keeping each other in check and not tolerating unnecessary risks. Hold high standards for your people and don’t let them work in an unsafe manner. We all have a responsibility to stop unsafe actions before they result in an injury.