Job site safety has taken on more pressure, tighter compliance and greater scrutiny as the impact of the pandemic continues to change the way we work and operate as an industry. It is well-known that the impacts brought on by COVID-19 have been experienced across the board throughout most roofing and construction businesses. In fact, approximately 70 percent of contractors noted that they had projects cancelled due to the pandemic, and nearly 50 percent were forced to terminate or furlough employees (source: Association of General Contractors).
And while the initial impacts have passed for many, and most companies have transitioned and transformed their operations to meet changing demands, many business owners are still seeking ways to remain efficient and profitable under this “new normal”. The contractors who are investing in the necessary safety training and solutions to keep projects active and the backlog flowing are finding that they are better positioned for both recovering and strengthening their businesses.
So, what are some of the ways that you can strengthen your business in the face of current challenges? The answers may be many, but for the purpose of this article, we will review three “T’s” – Technology, Training and Trust:
Technology – Technology is rapidly improving and expanding, and when it comes to the roofing and construction industries, many tools can help in improving safety, communication and efficiency. Such technology improvements include safety gear, upgraded roofing equipment and wearables. With safety gear and equipment, it is worth taking the time to review your inventory, take proper maintenance measures, and make appropriate upgrades when an improved product is on the market or your current equipment has exceeded its lifespan.
As far as wearables are concerned, they are still making their way into adoption by contractors, but use is on the rise. Wearables can be built into PPE that you already use on the job, such as construction helmets or vests, making them a quick and easy addition to your safety protocol. Wearables can be in the form of various technology including biometric devices, GPS or location trackers, voltage detectors, and slip and fall sensors.
Training – As we’ve explored in previous posts (“Why Safety Training is Important” and “Five Reasons to Invest in Safety Training”), safety training plays a critical role in the success of a business. With current conditions, safety has and continues to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind as it is vital to the success and strength of a roofing and construction business. In order for safety to be top-notch, aligned with OSHA’s standards and best practices, safety policies and procedures must be understood and followed – This is where the training comes in. The truth is that your safety measures are only as good as they are followed. You can invest time and resources in developing a strong safety policy and protocol, but if employees are not properly trained and that training is not regularly reinforced, then your business is at risk.
Trust – Building a culture of trust and inclusivity has multiple layers in any business, and when it comes to safety, trust is an integral part of the process. Both on the job and in the office, employees must feel safe to communicate with each other and upper management about any issues without fear of impacting their status or employment. Communication regarding safety can include feedback about job site conditions, equipment or other team members complying with policies. It is also important that the efforts you are making to ensure team members’ safety is clearly communicated and understood. By informing employees of the safety measures and resources available to keep them safe and successful on the job, you can build a sense of trust and security.
An educated and trained crew is a safe crew, and safety must be a priority for any contractor. Through technology, training and trust, you can build both a strong team and resilient business that will be able to overcome the challenges of today’s pandemic, and tomorrow’s unknown.
To learn about how Brauner Safety Services can provide assessments and custom safety training programs to ensure that you and your crews are properly equipped and prepared for all conditions on the job, contact Brauner Safety Services.