Proactively Managing Safety to Finish 2020 Strong

Safety is at the forefront of EVERY. SINGLE. THING. we do at Helmkamp. This year, we’ve talked a lot about how to supplement our strong safety culture while in-person company-wide safety meetings haven’t been an option during the pandemic.

One of the strongest tools we use is safety management insights program in Procore, where (among other project management features) each of our crews can audit and communicate with our Safety Director through regular jobsite inspections and good catch reporting that is shared as a learning tool with subcontractors and crews on other jobsites. All employees are encouraged to report good catches through this system. In the spirit of transparency and continuous improvement, we’d like to share some examples of these good catches that help us to be accident-free:

  • “Corrected several cords/hoses piled up in walkways and at top of staircases; Reinforced the importance of maintaining a well-organized workspace to eliminate frustrations and reduce risk of falling”
  • "A crew member was tied off at waist height when they could have been tied off overhead. A retractable was secured overhead and that was used for a tie off point"
  • "Stopped demo work on floor briefly to add a hole cover where a drain pipe was removed through decking”
  • "Stopped Work to add more fire blanket and wet area to prevent sparks from dropping to floor below”
  • "Worker not wearing face shield while using powder actuated gun to install metal pan deck. I asked him to put one on and he complied”
  • "Corrected workers using 2x4's as a bridge over an open hole and to higher elevation; a clear trip and fall hazard which was stopped and corrected immediately”
  • "Job scope changed; laborer stopped work to make sure that the permit covered the new scope of work. Talked with operations about scope change and adjusted JSA then went back to work. Good catch guys”
  • "Carefully mentioned to one employee to take his time and improve his body position while lifting. he was twisting at his waste while lifting heavy material….. Recommended taking time, think about safety, and reposition to lift load from directly in front of him”

A construction company may have a record of zero accidents or injuries, but the nature of construction work doesn’t mean that hazards in the field don’t exist. It does mean that with the right safety culture and management tools in place, we can proactively identify hazardous situations and correct them before they become a bigger safety concern. This particular tool was implemented in 2018 and helped us achieve zero incidents in 2019. We believe this continued effort has been key in 2020 as team members continue to better observe, share, and learn from each other through everyday hazards on the jobsite.