Safe Workplaces Don’t Happen by AccidentMay 18, 2017
Safe workplaces don’t happen by accident. They are cultivated one person at a time; until eventually a shared understanding, vision, and culture emerge. One simple definition of the word ‘culture’ is that it’s “what people do when no one is looking.” So what does this mean in the world of construction, specifically in terms of safety culture? At Miron, it means work is done safely regardless of who is on site. It’s not a policed or regulated activity, it’s simply the norm. It means safety trumps quality and production, not just sometimes, but all the time. At Miron Construction, this theme is captured in our safety motto: Safety.Quality.Production. It follows that if a task is performed safely, quality and efficient production will follow.
Workplace cultures that value safety are also proactive; they have forethought. Safety is intentionally designed from the ground up. It’s literally “built” into the environment and is embedded in the culture. This purposefully shows up in all of the behaviors of the people who work there. Team members think things through before they act—they plan, troubleshoot, ask “What if,” and are empowered to take action.
Miron has deliberately designed this pre-planning culture through our daily Excellence Huddles. These huddles begin with pre-shift stretching and pre-task planning, helping ensure our employees are physically and mentally prepared for the workday. According to Kevin Hildebrandt, Miron’s director of risk management, Excellence Huddles “are dedicated time slots where our team members lay out the game plan for the day regarding safety, quality, and production. Team leaders share what people are going to be doing and what their performance expectations are. They ask the question, ‘if something were to happen on our jobsite today, what would it be?’”
A recent article in forconstructionpros.com shares how important it is to start each workday with a prepared crew and highlights the fact that safety does not happen by accident. It’s an intentional, daily practice. According to the article, “contractors who prepare crew leaders to consistently follow a sequence of preparation steps will empower the crew leader, and crew members to perform better and more safety on every job.” Full article
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