Construction Safety Professionals – Those that “Rock “and those that “Rock the Boat”

Recently we have seen an increase in requests from companies to fill Safety Director positions. This is good news, particularly considering the problem of workplace injuries and fatalities in this country.  OSHA reports an average of 13 workplace fatalities per day in the United States, with Construction ranking as one of the highest occupations for workplace injuries and deaths.

When a loved one enlists in the military, one is often worried as to whether he will return home safely.  Why do we not have the same sentiment for the faithful men and women that risk their lives each day working in construction?

If you have experienced a fatality on a jobsite, you know the immense effect it has on everyone that is associated with the project.  A human life was lost, and a family will not be welcoming their loved one back home anymore.

In order to assist companies with hiring safety professionals, we are presenting job descriptions and character traits for Safety Directors and Managers.

Corporate Safety Director Job Summary:

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer as an extension of Senior Management, the Corporate Safety Director leads and manages all safety-related functions and activities across the company, including developing safety policies, leading all safety-related committees, and coordinating safety activities with all projects and departments.

The Corporate Safety Director must have a thorough understanding of the health and safety regulatory processes.  He is responsible for ensuring compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.  Further, the Corporate Safety Director is responsible for budgetary and strategic oversight of company-wide safety activities, as well as safety budgets for all company projects.  The Corporate Safety Director also ensures that all members of the company operate in a manner that supports and promotes a culture of safety and quality.  This position directly supervises all safety personnel and works closely with the executive team, as well as preconstruction and human resources.

Field Safety Manager Job Summary:

The Field Safety Manager is responsible for conducting safety audits on all job sites, and is also responsible for the management of safety policies on the job site.  In addition, the Field Safety Manager is responsible for correcting unsafe practices, as well as providing coaching and mentoring to employees.  The Field Safety Manager also works collaboratively with the Corporate Safety Director to maintain a safe working environment and eliminate potential safety hazards.

Safety Professional Character Traits:

Irrespective of whether a safety professional is hired for oversight on a single jobsite or for managing the entire corporate program, certain behaviors make the most respected safety professionals in our industry stand out.

1. They are Proactive.

They ensure that prior to jobsite mobilization, clear safety protocols are established, and employee safety training is completed.  They are organized and informed regarding the anticipated lifecycle of the project.

2. They have a coach’s mentality They “Carefront” – Confront with Respect

A coach helps highly functional people become even more functional.  The top safety professionals fully enforce safety regulations while also showing empathy for the individuals effected by them.  This includes recognizing the differences between ignorance and defiance, as well as treating all the players on the team with the utmost respect, grace, and mercy.  They understand the working conditions, wage differentiators, and differentiators with the various trade companies.

3. They understand that Construction is a Production Business.

The best safety professionals do not become entangled in battles with the Project Team over shutdowns and dismissals.  Instead, they act for safety, and dismissals or shut-downs occur only in the event of insubordinate behavior or unpreventable incidents, with the leadership team backing them, as required by the corporate protocol and program.

4. They facilitate training instead of always being the trainer.

We have many safety professionals that love teaching the safety programs.  They often become involved with the profession because they enjoy speaking to an audience and making a difference.  Nevertheless, the top safety professionals build their resources, including other trainers and training options, and utilize them to maximize their effectiveness.  Having more resources for training allows smaller teams to train while others man the jobsites, for instance.  Moreover, training workers in smaller groups helps ensure attentiveness and engagement on their part.  The purpose of training is to instill vales and knowledge, and not merely to check a box.

5. They maintain a Safety-First environment

Behavior-based injuries are on the rise in Construction, including suicide.  The top safety managers provide a confidential way for workers to bring their concerns regarding behaviors that may be a danger to themselves or others.  Some companies even have online portals that provide real-time reporting that can be done from a worker’s cell phone.  An example of this is Team Zero.

After all, “Those who work the safest way-live to see another day.”

Does your company have the right program in place?

Be aware and Take care,

Suzanne Breistol

Watch below: Target Zero – Safety at Truebeck Construction 

Everybody Goes Home! Kudos to Truebeck Construction for doing it right!

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