11 Steps to Improving Safety Culture in the Construction Industry

Posted by
Lance Roux
on Jan 9, 2014

  1. improving safety cultureStart with upper management.  From the CEO on down, safety needs to be a core value of your company and management should lead by example by participating in safety meetings and trainings.
  2. Make safety an integral part of the job.  The use of safety committees, which include both managers and rank and file workers, can be an effective way to improve safety.  But if the job is large enough to justify it, the budget should also include an on-site safety manager.
  3. Create accountability at all levels.  All employees need to be held accountable for safety and safety rules should be consistently enforced.
  4. Take safety into account during the project planning process.  Your project planning process should include conducting a Job Safety Analysis of each component of the project so that proper controls are implemented before work begins.
  5. Make sure your contractors are pre-qualified for safety.  You should review the safety performance of your potential sub-contractors as part of your procurement process.  This could include reviewing OSHA recordable rates and conducting a an audit of their safety management systems.
  6. Make sure your workers are properly trained.  Train your workers on use of safety equipment, safety expectations, and any safety risks and precautions relevant to their job duties.  
  7. Focus on fall protection.   Falls are one of the leading causes of injuries and deaths, so make sure your fall protection program is effective.  You should have a specific fall management plan for each project where the risk of falls is present.
  8. Prevent substance abuse.  Make sure you have drug and alcohol policies to prevent impaired personnel from working on your site.
  9. Make safety part of everyday conversation.  Make sure safety is addressed at shift changes, weekly meetings, and anytime there is a job change.  
  10. Review accidents and near misses.  Investigate all accidents and near misses to determine their root causes and use that information to improve safety procedures and prevent future incidents.
  11. Conduct regular field safety inspections.  This is one of the best management tools out there to improve safety.  Inspections can uncover safety risks caused by worn equipment, unsafe behaviors, or misplaced tools and give you a chance to correct them before they can cause an accident.


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