Too often in the construction industry, health and safety practices, protocols and professionals are (often incorrectly) seen as being ‘blockers’ to productivity, efficiency and in some cases – fun!
So what can be done to try and change this perception?
Changing culture and perceptions is never easy, so it’s important that things like health and safety are seen in a positive light – something to strive for and be proud of. Communication is always key, and it’s so important for all involved – from the folks working on the construction site right the way through to senior management.
So, when it comes to communication throughout your project or business, a good way to help get people on board is to ask them to think ‘how can I do this activity safer?’
Instead of a top-down approach, where ‘them at the top’ tell all employees how to behave, what is acceptable and what isn’t – giving staff responsibility for their own health and safety can lead to a more positive culture.
People are more likely to ‘buy into’ something they came up with themselves, so challenging them to do just that will help improve attitudes to health and safety, as well as actually reducing incidents, accidents & near misses etc.
For health and safety professionals, it’s even more key to adopt this ‘not No, but How?’ thinking, so when you spot something that isn’t as safe as it should be, you’re there to help improve the situation, not stop it.
So, whether you are working on a construction site or in an office – next time you or someone else is about to take on an activity with health or safety risks, think ‘How?, instead of ‘No’.
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