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Construction Safety Week: Empowering Your Team for a Safer Tomorrow

Every year, Construction Safety Week serves as a reminder of the vital importance of safety on construction sites throughout the country. During the week of May 6-10, many organizations will take extra time to discuss with their employees who work in the potentially hazardous construction environment the importance of safety and how they can work together to prevent workplace injuries.

There are limitless safety topics that can be tailored to the specific environments that team members are working in, as well are certain aspects of safety that can be tied to teams and job sites across an organization and industry. These bonding principles of a safety program result in employee ownership and help build a holistic approach to safety throughout an organization. These universal safety themes include:

  • Fostering a Culture of Safety from Within
  • Hearing the Voices of All Team Members
  • Cultivating a Sense of Ownership and Innovation.

Fostering a Culture of Safety from Within can be easier said than done. It requires not only buy in at all levels, but also participation at all levels. At FTI, this concept starts on the first day with all new team members. Our onboarding process starts with safety, organizational values and the resources needed to be successful. Safety is incorporated into all training elements, the design process for each job and everyday work practices. As apprentices move into leadership roles, their safety knowledge and skills are incorporated into their areas of responsibility and that safety mindset is clearly demonstrated by their safe work practices and performance.

The second guiding safety principle is Hearing the Voices of All Team Members. Are we taking the time to listen to the concerns of our team members? Do they have an effective way to communicate to the right support systems within the organization? The importance of early reporting cannot be overlooked. Team members on the front lines often have firsthand knowledge of potential hazards and safety gaps. Having a system in place to not only collect the information, but also get that information to the right support team is just as essential. At FTI, all employees have the ability and the responsibility to quickly report a near miss or good catch by simply scanning a QR code on the Operational Risk Management board found at every job site. This process not only allows for quick reporting, but also enables safety team members to quickly receive the report and follow up with the reporting person. The follow-up is just as important as the reporting; if accountability is lacking, the reporting and feedback would become stagnant as well.

The final empowerment strategy is Cultivating a Sense of Ownership and Innovation. This gives employees the opportunity to take pride in their contributions to the overall safety program as well as make positive changes by incorporating new processes or equipment into their environment. FTI empowers our team members to be innovative and think outside the box. Providing support and encouragement for team members to design and integrate new ideas or products into their work task ensures that their ideas become a reality. These innovations not only make their jobs safer, but almost always make the task more productive.

Safety Week 2024 focuses on valuing every voice in the construction industry. By practicing these universal safety themes, we lay the foundation for a safer and more resilient future. As construction sites across the country pause to reflect on safety practices and initiatives, let’s all reaffirm our commitment to building a safer future with our team members.