A great leader isn't someone who leads, it's someone who inspires other people to want to follow. That’s the philosophy of Kurtis Drews, general manager of Tradesmen International in Oregon. Drews and his team specialize in building up a productive, profitable workforce, and safety is essential to its foundation.
Strategic workforce approach
In construction, a job site can change from day to day. That frequency increases the potential for worker hazards. There were 971 construction industry related fatalities in 2017, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. The leading causes are falls, struck by object, electrocution, and caught-in/between machinery - commonly known as the Fatal Four.
“As part of job site safety, we conduct a site inspection. Anything not to code, we bring up to the general contractor,” Drews said. “We provide our guys with PPE - hard hats, high-vis safety clothing etcetera. Ultimately, it’s the general contractor whose job is to make sure their job site is safe. When people put production in front of safety that’s when most injuries occur.”
Drews says that in construction, safety leadership starts with an OSHA 10 course for all field employees. However, training and safety don’t end with the classroom. It’s this safety diligence that has earned Tradesmen International STEP awards through Associated Builders and Contractors. Their operational reputation and professional network helps fulfill skilled trade requirements throughout North America.
Construction projects sometimes face a worker shortage or don’t have the qualified expertise they need. Tradesmen International helps fill in construction teams with solid labor support. With many hands on deck, communication is crucial for efficiency as well as safety. Tradesmen International trains workers to lead. They learn to take full control of labor-related projects and to consistently meet critical business objectives, which includes lessening regulatory compliance risk.
Workplace safety is the top core value of Tradesmen International. “We constantly strive to comply with all applicable health and safety regulations, and to help provide the safest work environment for all personnel on construction job sites,” said Marty Wick, CEO of Tradesmen International. “It is our longstanding company goal to send all of our valued employees - and those of our clients - home safely each and every night, free from any workplace injuries.”
Evaluate and control
Safety is about all coworkers taking the lead in controlling and eliminating construction site hazards. With the ever-changing dynamics of a job, it is crucial to assess the tasks at hand. Hazard identification is an ongoing process to identify, evaluate, and control work site hazards. Tradesmen International recommends that construction teams work together on safety and pay attention to several key areas including:
- Housekeeping: Make cleanliness and order a virtue. One person’s material waste mess can cause another’s injury.
- Maintain tools and machinery: Don’t overlook equipment cord fray, which can cause electrical shock.
- Minimize slips, trips, and falls: Know the layout and walking routes. Keep foot and vehicle traffic safe, highlight directional cues and more through signs and labels.
Keeping construction crews safe is one of the most important responsibilities on a construction site. It takes a team with strong work ethics and safety values to make for a successful project. By following safety best practices and mitigating construction site hazards diligently, crews can steward safety all the time, no matter what. Need a construction safety management boost? Quickly understand requirements and recommendations for improving safety in this free guide to Construction Safety Management.