Safety is critical to any business in a construction-related field. Of course, the chief reason for this is the lives and livelihood of workers on a job site. But there are other concerns that can impact entire organizations. Projects are won or lost based on safety ratings, and insurance rates—and thus, project costs—can vary greatly depending on a company’s safety record.
But what’s the key to a good safety program?
Any good safety program requires involvement from everybody at the organization.
One of the most critical components is that each field team member must be actively involved in daily safety meetings. These vital meetings reinforce best practices, alert field staff to new regulatory measures, and provide a must-know snapshot of working conditions on and around a job site.
Here are some compelling reasons to hold daily safety meetings, and tips for conducting successful, and impactful safety meetings:
Hazards do exist in the workplace
Workers working at height (like the majority of BLUEFIN’s field crews) have some of the most dangerous jobs of any workers in the United States, statistically speaking.
Discussing safety topics relevant to this type work and the specific conditions that these workers will face on a particular day is vital for maximizing their awareness on-site.
For example, a worker working on or around energized equipment would benefit more from a safety meeting on lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedures, as opposed to ladder safety, or fall protection.
It is of paramount importance that workers recognize real world hazards that they will be exposed to.
Open Dialog is Critical
During the safety meetings, having a two-way conversation is critical, as opposed to one staff member reading a canned safety toolbox talk.
Being open to conversation about any topic not only keeps everyone engaged but it creates opportunities for experienced staff to provide examples of real world scenarios where less experienced crew members can benefit from the knowledge of the senior members of the crew.
Keeping It Fresh is Key
It is ideal to have a different worker lead the meeting each day. This simple tactic keeps the crew very aware of the responsibility they have to their teammates and inspires them to think “what should I focus on when I have to lead the meeting tomorrow.” Suddenly, each safety hazard or close call that day is an opportunity to train and potentially save someone else’s life.
This practice also reinforces the notion of open dialogue mentioned above and makes talking about safety a normal and comfortable thing, especially for the less-experienced crew members. It encourages people to feel comfortable asking questions which they may normally not ask due to being shy, or quiet.
After any successful safety meeting, all attendees should walk away with more knowledge about the topic, but they also gain appreciation for safety in general, with the added benefit of being able to home in one piece to their friends and loved ones at the end of their work shifts.
Remember, “a good safety plan is no accident”.
For more information on safety in the workplace including regulatory standards and training opportunities, visit the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) website at https://www.osha.gov/
About BLUEFIN’s Safety Program
BLUEFIN’s Safety Director, Dave Greene, RRO, REWO committed the company to using the aptly-named Safety Meeting App when he joined BLUEFIN in 2014.
In the past three years alone, BLUEFIN has logged over 1,200 safety meetings on the app and was recently recognized as one of its most prolific users.