IMG_5178croppedBy Lance Simons, Corporate Safety Director for Haskell With Safety Week in full swing, now is the time for those of us in the construction industry to revisit our safety efforts by focusing on proven practices that foster a culture of safety. This can be achieved by placing an emphasis on the following project safety practices: Value the Safety Orientation Process Safety orientation is the single most important means for project leadership to set expectations for safety. Although most orientations are conducted during the busiest time of day, it is vital that the project superintendent makes time to look individuals in the eye and impart safety expectations and goals for the individual and for the project. Make Time for Pre-Planning It is important to invest time in the pre-planning process. When the crew leader takes time to ensure the team is properly prepared for a task, the team is more likely to be focused and prepared to deliver. On each day before the first production activity, the team should assemble, plan for the day’s activities and inspect the work area to eliminate all recognized hazards. Pre-planning provides an opportunity for craft professionals to participate in the safety process and sets the tone for daily activities. Any changes in means, methods or crew membership should prompt the crew leader to stop, reevaluate and communicate the modified conditions. Conduct Post-Audit Team Reviews Safety audits allow us to identify unsafe acts or conditions. Documenting all hazards ensures that as many project team members as possible are gathered to review the findings and discuss ways to eliminate future occurrences. This effort will provide first-hand hazard recognition training, promote more participation in the overall safety process and provide project leadership the opportunity to take action if an unsafe act or behavior was the result of a lack of training, tools or equipment. Support and Recognize Safe Efforts and Behaviors Look for ways to recognize and encourage safety contributions or actions at every opportunity. Simply recognizing a crew for completing a work activity safely has immeasurable value when done so in front of peers. When identifying an unsafe act or violation within work crews, correct the individual, but also be sure to champion those crew members who were working safely. Coach each crew member to take a more proactive approach in correcting fellow coworkers. NCCER_CornerstoneFall2014-COVERFor the rest of the story, read Lance Simons’ Safety Pays article in the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of NCCER’s Cornerstone magazine.

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NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.