Over the years our amazing clients have shared loads of safety wisdom with us – from awesome innovations to the “oh crap” moments. In this series we’re looking at the challenges they’ve faced and the lessons we learnt from them.
When you’re managing a construction site, which may be home to hundreds of contractors and sub-contractors over the course of the build, it can be hard to nail down the right site safety culture.
Different trades come and go, and though you may try your best to communicate values that keep everyone safe and productive, it’s not easy to engage everyone on the same level and ensure your message cuts through the noise.
Our clients have a burning desire to attract the best personnel to their projects and uphold an enviable reputation in the industry, so being recognised as a leader in safety is critical for them.
Some of the benefits of a great safety culture include:
- Helping you maintain a good safety record
- Reinforcing your commitment to protecting your people
- Allowing you to attract quality staff
- Improving your reputation in the industry
- Reducing costly accidents and incidents
Site culture challenges
You probably already have a strong desire to create a superior safety culture, and a bunch of processes to try and achieve it. These include things like inductions, safety signage and toolbox talks.
However, these processes can be less effective in practice. For example, not everyone on your site has English as their first language. So, they may not always interpret signage or toolbox talks the way you intend. It’s also becoming harder to engage a workforce that spends less time looking at signs, and more time staring at their smartphones.
Another challenge comes down to simple geography. How can you create a company-wide safety culture, while managing hundreds of workers across multiple job sites? Especially when many workers don’t see safety as a high priority (until something happens), and have inherited poor safety practices from other job sites.
Improving safety culture
Most experts agree that a positive workplace culture comes down to one essential element:
Without the right communication at the right time (and in the right way), it’s almost impossible to rally workers to see things the way you need them to. Think of any person in history who has ever inspired change. Their ability to reach their audience on their level was key to getting their message heard.
These days, it’s harder to communicate than ever before. People increasingly turn to their phones to stay connected and informed, and place less value on traditional messaging.
If, however, we take a lesson from the history books and reach people where they are, we can begin to see a clearer picture on how we can improve construction safety culture.
For example, one of our clients had an incident occur onsite, and a worker was injured. When incidents had happened in the past, the Site Manager needed to try and rally everyone for a meeting. Some showed up, others missed it, some heard what was said, while others tuned out. Some workers only heard about incidents through word of mouth – leading to misinformation and gossip.
But after implementing SignOnSite, the Site Manager was able to reach every worker, and ensure they all got the same message. Using the Daily Briefing feature, he explained what had happened, and the importance of remembering to take certain actions to prevent this type of incident happening ever again.
The Daily Briefing feature is instrumental for many of our clients, and allows them to:
- Ensure workers have 24/7 access to the site’s safety procedures
- Make updates available in foreign languages
- Update procedures and advise staff that they have changed
- Share time sensitive information (such as the presence of plant on site)
- Share reminders of safety actions (such as avoiding sunstroke on hot days)
- Share stories from site to reiterate the need for safety
Our clients are also able to equip their Site Managers with instant information to make their jobs easier. For example, if they see Michael working 5 stories high, the Manager can whip out their phone and check if Michael has Working at Heights certification. If a worker needs medical attention, site staff can view the worker’s medical details to ascertain any allergies, existing ailments, and so on.
Improving the quality, frequency and delivery of messages, can make a huge difference to worksite culture. It’s about giving your personnel the right information at the right time, and reaching everyone on their level so your message gets heard.
To chat with us about how SignOnSite can help you improve your site safety culture, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or book a demo.