Things Seem Well in Construction—Except With Safety

According to the latest annual report published by FireStarter Speaking and Consulting, "2019 People in Construction Report," employees in construction and construction-related jobs feel relatively satisfied in most respects—except when it comes to safety.

In its annual survey, FireStarter interviewed people in a number of construction and subcontracting (concrete, mechanical, electrical and plumbing) companies, and in a number of job positions, including executive, estimating, office operations and field supervision. Companies ranged in size from under 50 to over 2,000.

With the workforce shortage showing no signs of abating, employers report raising hourly wages, offering employee bonuses and incentives, and expanding benefits packages as a way to both attract and retain workers.

For these and other reasons, respondents reported a very high level of happiness at work—7.73 on a scale of 1 to 10. In addition, over 90 percent of respondents said they have the right materials and equipment to perform their jobs properly.

Furthermore, when asked if they would recommend their place of employment to friends, 84 percent responded in the affirmative, and 83 percent said, if given the chance, they would reapply for their current job.

Some differences show up between office operations and field supervision, though, with 83 percent of the former claiming to have confidence in the leadership of the organization, while only 68 percent of field supervision answered the same. Similarly, 89 percent of office operations people said they trust what their boss tells them, while only 75 percent of field supervision responded similarly.

And this seems to lead to a disconnect in the importance of safety, according to the report. In specific, 97 percent of office operations people reported safety was a top priority, and 93 percent of field supervision reported the same.

However, when it came to the area of "safety execution" (actually walking the walk, rather than just talking the talk), only 78 percent of office operations people stated they consistently worked safely, and a mere 68 percent of field supervision said they consistently worked safely.

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