The Center for Construction Research and Training announces the release of a 10-page workbook, “Strengthening Jobsite Safety Climate: Eight Worksheets to Help You Use and Improve Leading Indicators.” The workbook can help contractors, safety professionals, and construction foremen assess and improve the safety climate of their jobsites.
Safety climate is a measure of workers’ and managers’ perceptions of the importance given to safety and health on a particular worksite.
Firms can use the ideas contained in the eight worksheets to help determine if what they say and how they act is effectively communicating to their superintendents, foremen, and craft labor force that they truly value safety – and that they aren’t inadvertently encouraging them to cut corners to make production or cost targets.
“We know that when workers and supervisors value safety, we see fewer hazardous work practices on the jobsite – but is management doing all it can to reinforce that message? They may start with a safety talk in the morning but then focus only on production the rest of the day,” says CPWR Executive Director Pete Stafford. “This tool will help contractors spot those kinds of issues.”
The worksheets are based on findings from a 2013 stakeholder workshop that explored safety culture and safety climate in the building industry (see published report, Safety Culture and Climate in Construction: Bridging the Gap between Research and Practice).
Each worksheet in the workbook contains a quick self-assessment for leading indicators of safety climate. This is followed by a list of ideas that owners, safety directors and supervisory staff can implement to evaluate and improve their safety climate. The ideas range from including safety in company mission statements and holding daily huddles to using suggestion boxes on the jobsite and implementing near-miss reporting systems.
“These worksheets are a great, easy-to-use audit of your safety program,” says Paul A. Amedee, CSP, Vice President of EHS at Safway Group. “I’ve assigned all my EHS professionals to evaluate our safety climate using the workbook – identifying which best practices we already use in our organization, and which we don’t. We are going to use the results in a gap analysis to look for ways to enhance our efforts.”
CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training, is the research, training and service arm of the Building and Construction Trades Dept., AFL-CIO, and works to reduce or eliminate safety and health hazards construction workers face on the job. CPWR produced the report and worksheets under a cooperative grant with NIOSH, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Grant OH009762).