In construction today, success takes more than working hard—it takes working smart. A key to construction success is ensuring that you have a coordinated approach to all your processes–including safety. Operating a safe job site saves the company time and money through efficiency.
Jason Vetterick, Airgas’ Vice President of Construction Markets and a 15-year veteran of the construction industry, recommends the following keys to putting smarts and safety into action on any jobsite:
Fewer supply deliveries, more safety
This may sound counterintuitive coming from a safety supplier, but limiting supply deliveries can actually help create a safer jobsite. Choosing the right product supply mode provides a higher level of job site safety. When you have the right mode of delivery working alongside incoming products that match the demand, job site movement is decreased. That means fewer deliveries, fewer trucks coming on and off the job site and less people walking around–the combination of which makes the job safer for everyone working in and around the site.
Vetterick’s Value Add #1
“Mitigating safety risk is the number one priority for us all,” says Vetterick. “There is no question that fewer site deliveries creates a safer work environment, so the real question is, how do you minimize the number site deliveries? Take the time in advance to better understand the options available to you. For example, are you certain that you have the most effective and reliable industrial gas supply system in place for your site?”
Head, shoulders, knees and toes—and everything in between
For the safest job site, added focus on three main safety areas–fall protection, hand protection and head, eye and face protection–will make an enormous difference. Make sure to keep an adequate supply of proper safety supplies onsite at all times to address these vital areas.
Vetterick’s Value Add #2
“Not having the appropriate safety supplies on hand leads to increased risk and higher overall cost,” warns Vetterick. “Typically labor is going to be the largest cost variable for any contractor site and keeping an adequate level of supplies with a well-planned supply chain will certainly contribute to increased levels of safety and productivity.”
Make constructing a safety culture your specialty
Implementing thoughtful safety strategies go a long way to building a safe and smart jobsite, but even the best strategies have their soft spots. Take your safety strategy a step further by partnering with specialists who can visit your job site, review your safety strategy, train your workforce to use the safety supplies and equipment properly. They can also make recommendations on best practices based on the latest OSHA standards. Engaging specialists and leveraging their expertise will help you lay the foundation for a consistently safe jobsite.
Vetterick’s Value Add #3
“Far too many jobsites don’t take full advantage of QSSP Certified (Qualified Safety Sales Professional) personnel to the extent that they should,” Vetterick points out. “Check into your current strategic suppliers’ capabilities because in most cases there’s no additional charge for this kind of consultative support which can have a positive impact upon your safety culture. Safety risks are all around us, why not take utilize all the resources at your disposal as part of your strategy.”
Stock up on common sense
Having the right safety supplies onsite is only half the battle. Getting your workforce to use them properly at the right time is key. When the right product is used or worn the right way, safety is much easier to maintain. This circles back to ensuring that the site is always stocked with the proper safety supplies and equipment.
Vetterick Value Add #4
“Product consolidations are a missed opportunity for most as it’s one of the best ways to ensure you have the right supplies for your teams,” Vetterick explains. “Many are aware of the benefits such as improved product consistencies, better price positions and enhanced supply chain efficiencies, but few take the initiatives required to fully implement. Your national suppliers and strategic partners should have the resources and analyst available to assist.”