Safety Psychology

Every construction environment may be seen as a hazardous environment. Debris and materials can cause a lot of harm, not only to the project itself but the workers involved in the construction. This is why taking active steps towards creating a safer work environment is something that needs to be a priority.

There are many ways to create a safer work environment. Setting up safety rules and placing safety signs and reminders in different areas are among the things you can do to get started. The most effective way of creating a safe construction environment, however, is by having a culture of safety. To develop a strong culture of safety, you must first understand the psychology of safety.

Understanding the Challenges

Safety codes and regulations are put in place for a reason. They are there to prevent safety-related accidents from happening. More importantly, safety regulations are helping construction companies protect workers throughout a project’s duration.

However, regulations may be seen by some workers as barriers. Setting up safety measures, training employees, and encouraging compliance with safety rules and procedures may at times seem tedious to associates that are not engaged in the process. Many employees aren’t willing to change the way they work “just” for safety reasons. Something that has been done for years isn’t easy to change, especially when there may have not been any accidents involving a particular procedure.

Nevertheless, we should not accept habits or routines as excuses. Safety upgrades still need to happen. It is important to note that the regulations directing workers to change procedures may arise from accidents that happened elsewhere.

An Objective Approach

The challenges we discussed previously are not easy to overcome, but they can be mitigated with a better understanding and an improved company culture that focuses on safety. We can start the process by promoting that safety measures and regulations are designed to be objective.

Safety risks and concerns are very subjective. Risks depend on individual workers and attending to each potential hazard individually isn’t realistic or even possible. Safety measures, on the other hand, remain objective by taking into account different types of workers and project environments. The more associates understand the objective approach; the easier it will be to develop a corporate culture with safety at its core. Growing to a new and more informed understanding of safety requires training, on-site consistency, and management transparency, as well as support.

Rather than follow owner/management rules that may not be immediately intuitive or complying with regulations to avoid possible fines, associates should feel that the company cares for their wellbeing and success. Safety is not something to check off on a list, it is the way we want to work so risks are minimized. Working safe is an informed decision; change is an ongoing process; it is an evolution to perform better/to upgrade the worker and customer experiences. Improving to a safety culture takes time, engagement and a directed, team effort.

Taking the First Steps

With a better understanding of why safety measures are important, the next step is to foster a strong safety culture. Shared beliefs that safety is vital must be established, and there are steps to take in order to achieve this particular objective.

Consider starting the process by demonstrating more empathy. Owners, managers and supervisors must be on board and listen and adjust the process from associate input. Empathy strengthens the connection among workers and all stakeholders. As associates become engaged, there is a potential of to ignite interest and enthusiasm for new and improved safety procedures.

Owners and other company leaders need to be accessible at all times, especially when it comes to safety-related issues. Let workers ask questions so they can understand the new regulations better. Do thorough assessments with the entire team and make time to do evaluations too. The more stakeholders are engaged, the more you will see a culture of safety shaping up.

Last but not least, use education and training to build a team atmosphere. Never take training lightly. It is an effective mechanism for introducing new procedures and reshaping work processes. It is also a great way to incite a better understanding and interest for working safely.

Safety Training for Stakeholders

You may notice that the word “stakeholders” was used instead of workers. This is because everyone needs to be involved in the process of creating a culture of safety. It is also necessary to tailor training and onboarding programs to include everyone. Project workers should be trained with health and safety courses, while supervisors and leaders must receive more in-depth training on how to maintain a safe environment on work sites.

All stakeholders need to be involved. Business owners and managers must know the challenges faced by workers and supervisors in the field, along with the best ways to mitigate safety risks and challenges. When tackling safety issues from a psychological point of view, new processes are more effectively implemented. With the involvement of everyone, a strong safety culture may be established.

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