In a hazardous industry like construction, safety management is a priority. With so many different contractors performing many different roles and dangerous equipment that requires specialist training, it’s not surprising that keeping everyone safe is a full-time job.
But what makes someone successful at ensuring the health and safety of everyone on site? Here are 4 signs that you are an effective safety manager.
1. You are a role model for safety
Nobody on site is going to take your enforcement of safety rules seriously if you don’t practice what you preach. The most effective and respected construction safety managers are those who model the behavior that they need to see in their teams. This means remembering to follow every procedure accurately, and every rule to the letter. Being management by no means mitigates your risk, so even if you are simply passing through an area on site, make sure you have the relevant PPE in place.
Your responsibility for safety extends to any visitors to site, and it’s advisable to keep a supply of disposable earplugs, safety glasses and any other standard PPE required, so that you can be prepared to supply them to any guests or replace any missing equipment among your teams.
2. You are prepared to embrace technology
Technology is changing the face of every industry, including construction. As a safety manager, the health and wellbeing of everyone on site falls primarily to you. But with so many different contractors and risks, keeping on top of everything can feel a little overwhelming. Fortunately, many of the technologies that have been developed are designed to make your job easier and you a more effective safety manager. For example, a construction safety manager who uses GoContractor can use the technology to:
See a list of everyone on site in real time. This will enable you to see, in real time, who is present at any one time.
Control access to site. GoContractor can integrate with other technologies, like access control, to ensure that only the workers who are 100% compliant get access to your site.
Store training records for every contractor online. This gives you access to vital records at the touch of a button 24/7, enabling you to see which contractors are adequately trained to perform certain tasks or handle specific equipment. You can also monitor if any documents, qualifications or training certifications are expiring before they have lapsed.
Enable contractors to complete training online. By enabling contractors to complete essential orientation and safety training online, it frees up your time for other important tasks that require your real-time attention, such as toolbox talks or site inspections. Additionally, online training improves your company’s brand by showing that you are adopting modern technology, which is key to attracting and retaining younger, skilled workers.
Upload and store PowerPoints and videos. Health and safety resources should be readily available to all contractors, both as part of the onboarding process and for them to use as a refresher at any point.
Create quizzes. These enable you to monitor the knowledge of contractors so that you can identify any gaps in training that need to be filled.
3. You have up-to-date knowledge about trade and OSHA standards are regulations
Construction is a fast-paced industry and with new tools, techniques and technologies being developed all of the time, it can be hard to keep up with the latest standards and regulations. However, an effective construction safety manager is a busy individual, so ideally, they should be able to recall crucial information about the trade that they are working in and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines for it as easily as reciting the alphabet. It’s not geeky, it’s safety.
A great safety manager will also be committed to staying up to date with any changes relating to health and safety legislation within the industry, whether this means subscribing to updates published online, reading articles in a health and safety publication or attending any online or in-person courses or seminars that could be beneficial to your role.
4. You welcome participation from employees
The best people to make suggestions about how health and safety in a workplace can be improved is those that work there. An effective construction safety manager will welcome or even actively encourage contractors to make suggestions or raise concerns over site safety. Although they may not be up to date on current safe practices, their comments may raise issues that might have been overlooked. Even if any concerns are unfounded, showing that you value the opinion of the workforce will earn you respect, meaning that they are more likely to listen to you and instructions that you give.
Rewarding contractor participation is also a sign of an engaged and effective construction safety manager. Just a few words of thanks and encouragement can go a long way to making contractors feel that their input is valuable and appreciated by management, while praising employees when they choose safe behaviors is proven to be much more effective than reprimanding them when they fail to consider their safety and that of others around them.
An effective safety manager uses all of the tools at their disposal to take care of everyone working on site. Watch how safety professionals use GoContractor on their projects.