A positive and effective safety culture cannot exist without the entire organization committed to it. Because there is a high level of risk working in construction, everyone should be involved to ensure the protection of our team members and customers – including owners, management, safety personnel, jobsite supervisors, and all workers and subcontractors.
Helmkamp has identified the below three ways to reinforce a strong safety culture, particularly during a time when full company in-person safety meetings are not an option:
- Employee Involvement – Our level of success is proportional to the level of employee involvement. The employee must feel connected to the organization. If the employee feels like the organization cares about them, they are more likely to return that sentiment. Through hiring practices and newer employees being teamed up with a more experienced mentor, the focus on safety in everything we do should breed consistent safe behavior and practices.
- Management Commitment – The role of management is to organize, coordinate, and oversee activities that keep workers safe and is critical for establishing and maintaining a positive safety outlook across the organization. Just saying “our #1 priority is safety” is not enough. Many ways Helmkamp demonstrates its commitment to safety include:
- - Performing new hire safety orientation
- - Establishing safety goals and communicating them
- - Displaying NO mixed signals about the safe way to do something
- - Having clear expectations
- - Training them on what they need to know
- - Performing field audits and having safety measurement systems in place
Recognizing and Celebrating Safety Success – To help build trust that safety is valued, employees should be encouraged to proactively be involved in helping identify and address safety concerns daily on the jobsite. Good catches, on-spot recognitions, and sharing findings with other team members all fuel a positive safety environment on any job. Helmkamp distributes a safety reward item to each individual on the jobsite quarterly upon reaching company-wide safety goals to confirm they are on the right track. It is Helmkamp’s intention that each employee has the highest standard of safety in every task they perform which ultimately improves performance and instills confidence to the client that Helmkamp’s culture and every team member on their project is serious, focused on safety, and doing the job well.
Developing and maintaining our positive and effective safety culture is all about using these primary areas when connecting employees to our safety program. Secondary tools that help blend it all together are the use of safety in regular communication, technology, reporting, audits, proactive safety planning during the pre-construction phase of a project, and safety being a focus topic not only at safety meetings, but all team meetings. These tools help model a consistent message that safety is always the priority at Helmkamp.