Project managers have dozens of tasks to manage, and figuring out which tasks must take priority can be difficult, and may even change from project to project. But all project managers know that the one thing that will always take precedence over any other task is to ensure the safety of everyone on your team.
Where to begin
The first thing you need to know about safety is, well, all about safety. That is, you need to be familiar with the legal safety policies that your team must adhere to in order to meet the minimum requirements of the law. It’s important to not only know these rules, but to also keep up with any changes, as they will likely be updated as more research on safety and accident prevention become available.
You also need to make sure your team understands the policies and guidelines as well as you do. Maintaining regular communication about current and updated safety requirements is essential to keeping to safety at the front of everyone’s mind. Make the safety policies available in multiple forms – a printed copy, an online version, and any other method that will allow team members to see the requirements on a regular basis.
It’s also important to let your team know that you need their input and for them to voice their concerns. You may be meeting the minimum requirements, but your team has firsthand knowledge that can help you go above and beyond when it comes to keeping everyone safe on the worksite.
Why it matters – and how it will help
Several years ago, an aluminum-manufacturing company hired a new CEO in an attempt to find a new way to recoup some of their recent sales losses. Instead of coming up with a new plan to boost sales or to retain more clients, the CEO focused on one thing: Safety. He implemented rigorous safety policies that everyone had to adhere to, from the newest employee all the way up to the Vice President of each department. The result was not only increased safety – which improved dramatically – but a company-wide success that boosted their bottom line and made the company more money than they had brought in for years.
When studying this case, researchers realized that it wasn’t necessarily accurate to say that increased safety protocols directly resulted in more sales. But what it did do was promote attention to detail, empower employees to speak up about concerns, and give everyone a common goal that united them as a whole.
Again, there is no guarantee that giving your safety routines more attention will suddenly bring in project after project. But it will get you in the habit of taking the time to focus on little details that can make big differences. And that, in turn, will boost your reputation as a project manager who doesn’t let even the smallest item on the list go unattended.
Your team is counting on you for safety – so take the time to understand what they need, how it should happen, and why it matters in the long run. If it is important to you, it will become important to them, and that creates an environment where safety is always first.
About Impact Construction Management
Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, Impact Construction Management is a full-service construction management firm. Founded by Louis Buonaiuto and Richard Bowlin, Impact Construction Management has been managing construction projects for clients throughout the Midwest and South for over 10 years. From our very first project to today, our focus has been on delivering the results our clients want by providing responsive service, up-front pricing and the highest-quality workmanship.