Improving jobsite safety is a priority of many glass and glazing companies. Creating a safety culture that is integrated into a company’s culture of quality workmanship is an effective way to get workers thinking about safety throughout the project.

In the webinar “Finding Gold at the Intersection of Construction Quality and Safety” hosted by Engineering News-Record, construction industry experts gave tips about implementing a safety culture that works with, not against, a company’s overall project goals.

Bill Weber, principal at Gaston Electrical, said, “You can’t deliver a quality product without a quality safety program.”

He said that companies need to communicate consistently with the project team and eliminate the “old-school” mentality that shortcuts are okay.

“Safety should be a unifying force that involves everyone,” said Weber. “There should be no variance in expectation across jobsites.”

He suggested beginning each meeting with a safety moment, and consistently reinforcing safety expectations.

“Belonging to something bigger than the individual worker improves morale and productivity,” he said.

Preplanning is one step that can increase productivity and efficiency while also improving safety.

“This ensures that workers have all the resources required to do their jobs before they do it. Maintaining a safer jobsite ensures that they are delivering quality work,” said Weber.

If the client is focused on safety it can drive teams to continue to stay focused even when under pressure or stress.

Webers’s five key components for quality are:

  • Understanding expectations of the client and end user;
  • Clear and effective communication with customers;
  • Workmanship;
  • Compliance with codes and project specifications; and
  • Preplanning.

He believes that modular building and prefabrication off the jobsite will increase because the quality of work is often higher and employees are working in a safer environment.

According to Steve Pianalto, director of environmental, health and safety at CRB, there is a difference between complying with a company’s safety rules and choosing safety.

“If no one at a company is wearing personal protective equipment that influences how people behave. The safety culture of an organization influences people’s choices,” said Pianalto. “What I’ve learned over the past 15 years is that we need behavior-based programs that get people to comply with safety rules, but we also need to know what’s driving people so that we can drive them to choose safety.”