Written by Ben Johnson on April 24, 2019
Construction Safety Week is important, but sometimes planning gets pushed back, and budgets are tight. So here are 8 ways you can still have a successful Safety Week 2019 (May 6-10):
1. Organize messages from leadership. Buy-in for construction site safety from your organization should start from the top. There are many ways to make this happen, from all-company meetings to videos to emails. Not everyone likes being on camera, but getting your director of safety and CEO on camera together talking about why Construction Safety Week is important and what your company is planning to do will have a big effect on participation and success. Messages don’t need to be long, they just need to cover the basics. Recorded messages are also easier for your whole company to view, whether they’re in the office or in the field.
2. Speaking of reaching the whole organization no matter where they are physically, setting up a basic communication plan will go a long way toward creating a “special event” atmosphere during Construction Safety Week. Plan out an email for each day to send to the whole organization. These can coincide with any themes you’ve planned, or they can be from a different employee talking about how safety has affected them and their careers, or they can just be some helpful hints and a few links to resources. Make a quick header with your company logo and Construction Safety Week included to tie them together, and outline any activities happening each day.
3. Name the week: Giving your company’s Construction Safety Week a slogan is free and simple. Have a contest to name the week–it only takes sending an email and maybe organizing a small prize for the winning entry. This slogan can be used on any Safety Week branded emails etc., and helps differentiate one year’s Safety Week from the next.
4. Did you say events? Of course you did, because events during Construction Safety Week are key to tying everything together and including the whole company. On jobsites add an extra bit about safety to toolbox talks. Have a Safety Week kickoff meeting for the whole company. Get leadership to visit jobsites and get a feel for what safety challenges exist on their projects at that moment. Have a fall arrest or other safety demonstration on site or in the office parking lot. Have the entire company, both office and field, wear PPE for an hour.
5. Personalize Construction Safety Week for your company’s needs. What safety issues has your company seen in the last year? Are certain issues losing ground? Were there some close calls you can use as learning tools? Are you tackling some new project types that require new training? This is the perfect opportunity to confront these safety-related issues and create training, education, and activities that are customized for your needs.
6. Get family involved! Construction site safety affects workers’ families even more than it affects their company. And safety doesn’t stop when you leave the jobsite; safety is just as important on the drive home, on the weekend, and in the house. Send home some Construction Safety Week and company-branded coloring books (or coloring pages, easily printed anywhere!) to help everyone bring safety home with them. Have the fire department conduct a car seat training or fire extinguisher training, have CPR classes, or any other safety training that helps improve safety in everyday life.
7. Trainings and certifications Construction Safety Week is a great time for education through professional trainings and certifications. Some accreditations, like CSM or SMT through the National Association of Safety Professionals, require relearning every few years. Why not use Safety Week as the time to do so!
8. Don’t forget the appreciation! Nothing says “we appreciate your participation and dedication to construction site safety” more than food! Have barbeques on sites, get food for the office, and take advantage of the natural gathering to wrap up and reinforce the messages of Construction Safety Week 2019.
Construction Safety Week is an excellent opportunity to instill potentially life-saving lessons on safety both on the jobsite and in all our lives. Interaction and active events are great ways to help create a “special event” atmosphere during Safety Week and will help carry these ideas throughout the rest of the year.
During Construction Safety Week, Dodge will have daily posts of safety-related materials, studies, podcasts, videos, and more. Check back during Safety Week for more!
Safety Resources from Dodge:
REPORT: Contractor Use of Safety Best Practices
WEBINAR: Your Competitors’ Safety Practices are Possibly Better Than Yours
PODCAST: Opioids, Technology, and Labor Shortages – The State of Safety in the Construction Industry
ARTICLE: 4 Safety Best Practices for the Modern Jobsite
REPORT: Building a Safety Culture
WEBINAR: Building a Safety Culture
ARTICLE: Construction Labor Shortage Impacts Jobsite Safety
REPORT: Safety Management in the Construction Industry
Helpful links for Safety Week:
More Safety Week planning resources
The Center for Construction Research and Training
National Association of Safety Professionals (accreditations)