Let’s set the scene.
Senior company executives are concerned that their sites aren’t being managed effectively and want to know what can be done to improve safety performance and develop the organisational safety culture.
It’s a busy construction site in the middle of the city centre, and employees are using noisy tools and equipment that creates dust, working from Stepladders, Scaffolding Towers, and the PPE provided to protect their health and welfare is not being worn, and the site rules are not being followed properly – Get the picture? Okay.
My immediate question is, “Why and how are these employees allowed to work in this manner?”
And my next question is, “At what point did the employees decide to work at risk and what were their reasons for this behaviour?”
What works for me
When engaging with the employees, I would approach them, introduce who I was, and ask them to talk me through what they were doing. I would ask about their background (where the employee is from, family, hobbies, etc.).
Next, I would ask about how long they have been working for the company and how long they have been on the site. Then I would ask about their co-workers to get an insight from their point of view.
I would also ask about their supervisor/manager to understand their relationships. And after getting to know them a bit more. I’d ask the employees about “near miss reporting” and what that would mean to them.
Unless there was an imminent danger to an employee… I would not address the PPE issues or the site rules directly with an individual. I would end the conversations there with the entire team.
Onto the management
Next, I would have a private conversation with the site manager/supervisor to understand their knowledge of and relationship with the employees and their knowledge of the company policy, site rules and procedures.
Part of that conversation is to bring to the manager’s/supervisors’ attention the at-risk observations and employees’ concerns, discuss safety coaching techniques that can help improve the organisational safety culture – and provide them with a leadership development opportunity and strategy to engage the employees, correct the issues, and lead.
Finally, followed by a feedback session with the senior executives to discuss the findings and the solutions offered, how these would work in practice, encourage them to get involved and commit to a continuous safety improvement program.
Does that sound interesting to you?
When you’re ready to improve your organisational safety culture with coaching and strategy get in touch using the contact form below.