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Safety starts at the top

Recently, occupational safety and health magazine EHS Today conducted a survey asking safety professionals what their biggest challenges are. Reading through the 40-plus responses, one theme became clear: the seriousness – or lack there of – of safety and training, and implementing and following proper safety and training programs. (For a sample of responses, scroll down.)

Safety is everyone’s responsibility on the job, but for staff to truly embrace and utilize safety programs and practices, it’s up to management to proactively and visibly demonstrate safety at all times. Yes, the age-old saying, “Safety starts at the top,” is, in fact, true.

So, what exactly should managers and leadership do? Here are a few tips:

  1. Establish a safety management system and make safety a company value.
    1. There are numerous online resources available to reference, including the National Safety Council’s page dedicated to workplace safety. 
  2. Lead by example.
    1. Wear proper PPE, take required training courses and remember: actions speak louder than words.
  3. Observe staff on the job.
    1. By watching what’s happening around the workplace, it sends a message to staff that safety is serious.
  4. Follow-up on accidents and near misses.
    1. Managers who follow-up on safety concerns or incidents showcase how safety is a top priority.
  5. Reinforce positive actions and empower employees.
    1. If someone has a long-standing safety record, let it be known. Celebrate milestones.
  6. Constantly communicate.
    1. Provide employees with a well-written safety plan and conduct daily safety talks, produce memos, etc. The more safety is discussed, the more likely it remains fresh in someone’s mind.

If you’re feeling ‘stuck’ with where to start, don’t forget there are courses available for site safety managers that provide the latest tools and information to get you started. For those in construction, the OSHA 30 Hour Construction Training Course is designed to give foremen, supervisors, superintendents, competent persons, safety staff, safety committee members, and others with responsibility for workplace safety, knowledge about the basic OSHA health and safety regulations affecting construction workplaces.

For construction workers in New York City, there are also classes that specifically address New York City’s DOB Chapter 33 regulations, which require site safety coordinators to be licensed.

The following safety training courses (and many more) can be booked on Easybook Training:

NYC SST 8 Hour Site Safety Coordinator course:

  • Differentiate between OSHA Standard and New York City DOB Chapter 33 regulations
  • Determine job safety protocols during construction and demolition operations in NYC
  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of a NYC Dob licensed Site Safety Coordinator
  • Site safety plan requirements
  • Analyze jobsite safety violations and emergency situations

NYC 40 Hour SST Site Safety Manager course:

  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of NYC Department of Buildings licensed site safety professionals
  • Recognize the rules and regulations which were promulgated after serious construction accidents in the state of NYC
  • How to identify safety procedures to protect public and property during demolition and construction operations
  • Describe construction fire protection and prevention methods that comply with the Fire Code of NYC
  • Explain communication procedures between licensed site safety professionals and New York City Department of Buildings
  • Distinguish between the NYC Department of Buildings Chapter 33 regulations and the OSHA standards

NYC 32 Hour SST Site Supervisor course:

  • The 32-hour SST Site Supervisor training course has been designed for construction site supervisors in New York City and combines a number of safety classes.  In order to apply for the SST Card candidates will also require the OSHA 30 Training course.  On successful completion of the 62 hours of training required by the DOB, students will qualify for their Supervisor Site Safety Training Card.

Easybook Training also offers online SST, OSHA, Fall Protection and many more courses for safety and health professionals and workers. Click over and browse – then book – a class today.

Responses to EHS Today about top concerns and challenges regarding safety:

  • People who are afraid to report near misses and unsafe conditions.
  • Outdated regulations and standards.
  • Correcting the culture from “Safety working against us” to “Safety works for us.”
  • Finding the ability to truly open a dialog with workers to hear their recommendations on improving safety and identifying the risks.
  • Companies that emphasize profit over safety.
  • To keep safety always in the front of everyone’s minds.
  • Safety awareness and ongoing development of a safety culture.