COMMENTARY

Creating a zero-injury culture

Changing mindsets and behaviours towards safety is a key step in reducing hazards, injuries and human error on construction sites and beyond.

Most construction companies are aware that safety training is likely to save them money in the long run in terms of reduced downtime due to damaged equipment, serious injuries and stopped work. However, many do not realise that safety training can also reduce costly human errors that lead to delays, customer complaints, wastage and reworking.

Creating a safety culture that is acknowledged and embraced by all levels of employees is essential in the quest for a zero-injury work site. Without it, it will be an uphill battle to convince construction workers that they can go a year or more without a recordable injury.

Avoiding complacency on construction site will help to avoid potential risks

To achieve zero injuries, everyone on site must accept a different level of safety than they would typically have for themselves after work. This is likely going to be more difficult in communities where overall safety standards are almost non-existent and people are generally complacent with how things are done.

Achieving zero injuries can also be more challenging when there is a constant flux of subcontractors and equipment at different stages of a project. Each of these subcontractors may have a different culture or ‘normal’ way of doing things, and their workers may have their own sets of beliefs that can be difficult and slow to change.


LARRY WILSON
CEO, SafeStart International
Wilson was a traditional behaviour-based safety (BBS) consultant in North America when he determined the need for a programme that went beyond the limitations of BBS. In 1998, he developed and launched the SafeStart programme, followed by SafeTrack, to reduce injury and instil positive culture change in workplaces.

He has also authored numerous articles and co-authored the book “Inside Out: Rethinking Traditional Safety Management Paradigms”. He has more than 25 years of speaking experience at health and safety conferences and international events.

SafeStart was one of the exhibitors at the 12th edition of OS+H Asia, a regional exhibition on occupational safety and health held in Singapore. The next iteration of OS+H Asia will be held from 26 to 28 August 2020. For more information, visit www.osha-singapore.com.


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