First-Line Supervisors Critical to Safety Success

Safety Training
Published On
Feb 13, 2020

While a comprehensive safety program involves all levels and departments in an organization, a new study published by Dodge Data & Analytics, “The Safety Management in Construction Industry SmartMarket Report,” finds that contractors consider job site supervisors and workers as the most essential aspects of world-class safety programs.

“Job site workers continue to be a critical part of safety programs, and new data show that construction firms rely on the leadership of their supervisors to improve safety,” stated a press release accompanying the report. 

The top four factors selected by contractors as being most important to an effective safety program are:

  1. Job site worker involvement (cited by 84% of respondents).
  2. Strong safety leadership abilities in supervisors (cited by 83%).
  3. Regular safety meetings with job site workers and supervisors (cited by 82%).
  4. Ongoing access to safety training for supervisors and job site workers (cited by 77%).

Dodge Data & Analytics noted that these four factors “rank far above other important factors” identified by respondents. Other factors included regular safety audits (67%), regular safety meetings among staff at the corporate level (62%) and having staff positions devoted to safety (61%).

The statement also added, “The percentage [of respondents] selecting the aspects involving supervisors also increased notably between 2017 and 2019, with increases spanning 7 to 10 percentage points.”

Companies rely heavily on their supervisors and foremen to deliver safety training to job site workers. Specifically, 73% of respondents selected this as their primary means to provide training, which was almost 50% more than those selecting the second most popular option—using an in-house trainer.

The report also noted the strong business results that emerge for contractors who have effective safety management programs. Specifically, 69% of respondents reported that it increases their ability to attract new work, and 57% reported that it improves their ability to retain staff, which, as noted by Dodge Data & Analytics, is “a critical factor in an increasingly tight labor market.”

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