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How Leadership Roles Can Foster Positive Safety Cultures

The topic of construction safety includes everything from federally mandated regulations to worker attire and everything in-between. But despite that all-encompassing scope, most prominent solutions focus entirely on educating and equipping the average worker. And while such approaches certainly have merit, the power of leadership roles in fostering positive safety climates should never be discounted. Read on to learn about three ways business owners, project managers, and supervisors can lead by example to reduce injuries, illnesses, and work stoppages at their project sites.

Humanize the Safety Training Process

When most people hear the phrase “safety training,” they typically imagine monotonous presentations, droning lecturers, and sometimes mind-numbing videos. And for many construction safety programs, this reputation has been rightfully earned. But despite the lack of enthusiasm they receive, such training sessions still convey vitally important safety information to workers on a large-scale.
Foremen and lead workers have the ability to significantly enhance the effectiveness of safety training sessions by taking them in a more conversational and interpersonal direction. Through the use of anecdotes, more casual styles of presentation, and even humor, construction leaders can make important safety messages stick in the minds of job site workers. In fact, multiple studies have indicated that more personalized approaches to safety training result in safer job sites.

Ensure That Safety is Prioritized Even Under Pressure

The construction industry commonly operates under tight deadlines and constrained budgets. Because of these constant pressures, those in managerial roles often feel compelled to do everything they can to hasten the pace of their work to achieve project milestones on time. And while such mindsets are understandable in the face of pressing business realities, it’s up to construction leaders to never sacrifice safety in the name of productivity. Any gains achieved by cutting corners are never worth the risk of mortal injury. By leveraging their influence and decision-making ability, owners, managers, and supervisors can ensure that the health and well-being of their workers remains uncompromised.

Guide Workers to Make Safe Decisions on Their Own

While conditions vary from job site to job site, in general, construction workers enjoy a certain sense of autonomy. As opposed to being micromanaged from 9-to-5, most job site staff are left to their own devices, so long as they are staying productive. Because of this working dynamic, it’s crucial that construction leaders impart their workers with the ability to make safe decisions of their own accord. By training workers to identify perilous scenarios and teaching them how to respond to them, every individual worker can contribute to making job sites dramatically safer.

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