Continual monitoring of safety performance is critical on all sites, This is very often done by means of the Site Supervisor or Manager conducting a short stroll around the site accompanied by the site foreman, items will be pointed out if seen and in most cases rectified immediately.
Its certain that if this is the only method of monitoring and checking performance then the site has poor management, harsh? not really when the only safe steps taken are likely to be “the boss is coming, fix this or do that before he comes” with the consequence being shouted at or reprimanded, no positive or negative reinforcement is carried out or in some circumstances only negative reinforcement is used.
How can Management ensure that a culture of safety exists on site?, the simple answers are:
- Involve staff at all levels with site health and safety.
- Set up a Reward System where safe work and safe work areas are established and kept up.
- Set up a system where those who do not improve any safety issues have a consequence, this can be a name and shame system for very minor safety breaches up to verbal and written warnings and even dismissal.
At least once a week a full site safety inspection should be carried out by not only the management but a team of workers from all grades, where each member of the site workforce will get a turn and this team changes every week.
At the end of the inspection a site safety meeting should be held where ALL safety related issues are discussed by all persons, all grades of staff must be encouraged to speak. The meeting minutes will show persons appointed to oversee actionable items, as well as areas of both good and bad safety inspection results.
The reward system could be in the form of a monthly donation to charity by the company or reward those with good safety records with a free curry night, this would be a great positive reinforcement and if this means the whole site gets a meal one night then the company should happily provide the funds.
Another critical factor is the “rogue supervisor” these used to be prevalent on most if not all sites, “do as I say, but not as I do” these supervisors would break every safety law possible to get the concrete poured on time or to ensure the project timetable was achieved, if questioned by staff these rogues would more often than not use bulling and threats as the standard reply, and then attend a progress meeting acting like butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths, these days there are a few of these around and hopefully senior management will put an end to it when discovered.