An Editorial by Jay Sturm, Founder, Cranes101

Attitude. I think it’s going to be the new buzzword in construction. I keep hearing this word coming out of the mouths of managers, safety people and workers alike. I hope this is yet another step in creating a safer work environment for all of us.

Having been a part of so many levels of this business, it can be hard to understand why there can still be so many accidents when we are writing and implementing so many new and better standards for safety. It’s hard to understand and yet we still persevere in writing new standards for safety and implementing new ideas today.

I can’t remember any accident in recent history that wasn’t a result of not following the safety standards. I hate to say it, but it gets to be old hat sometimes when you look at an accident and the whole reason it happened is because someone didn’t follow protocol or didn’t know the proper way to complete a task.

We have been performing safety training for about 15 years now and we’re about to step that up. I believe that training is going to be the next piece of the safe operation puzzle to get implemented. I refer to it as the next step and not the final step because I can see where we will go from there.

The final step will be attitude. You can preach safe practices and demand that your employees know the procedures forward and backward, but if they don’t use their knowledge all the time, it’s like you never trained them.

I have taken some chances and now that I look back I realize that I was lucky. At the management level, you need to convey the “use safe practices all the time” message and make it so it matters to your employees. I know some individuals in the safety industry believe that making safety personal helps. I believe they’re right.

To emphasize the importance of going home at the end of your day and spending time with family or friends as being wrapped up totally with safe practices really drives the message home. If you’re in a managerial position, knowing the name of an employee’s spouse and children is good practice. Making rules personal like; “it’s important to me that you wear a hardhat so that you can go home in one piece and build that tree house with Junior”. The message carries a personal tone and has a better chance of hitting home.

Face it, our work lives are important. They support our home lives. We all have our special interests and special needs. All of which require that we work every day and require that we leave work in one piece. The “leaving work in one piece” part seems to get lost in the fray when we’re focused on getting a job done.

As we get closer to opening the fall curriculum at Cranes101, we are focusing on one of our goals to not only teach but to get the message through. We are excited at this concept and hope you will be too.

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