Safety in Action: See It, Own It, Share It

May 2, 2016

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This week, we’re joining with construction industry stakeholders across the nation to observe Safety Week 2016, an industry-wide initiative to help raise awareness of safety in the construction industry. For the second year in a row, our efforts at Brasfield & Gorrie will be focused around the theme, “See It, Own It, Share It.” So what does it look like in action to see it, own it, and share it?

See It

In order to help promote a safety culture, employees must be aware of their surroundings. Whether on the jobsite, in the office, at home, or in the car, everyone should look out for unsafe conditions. Understanding safety protocols, requirements, and best practices is key to recognizing unsafe conditions, so staying current on these standards is essential. By encouraging everyone to see it, own it, and share it, we are encouraging a culture in which each individual is aware of their surroundings and mindful of potential safety implications.

Own It

Routinely we encounter the issue that it’s always someone else’s problem. People tend to assume that they are not the only ones who see a safety concern and that someone else will respond or take appropriate action. In psychology, this is known as the bystander effect—a phenomenon that refers to cases in which individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim when others are present. The same principle applies to safety; when others are present, people are less likely to speak up when they see unsafe conditions present or unsafe work taking place.

By focusing on the need to see it, own it, and share it, we are aiming to help combat this issue and communicate the need for every employee to take personal responsibility for safety. In a culture in which people care about the well-being of their colleagues, it is the responsibility of each and every employee—no matter their position—to own safety by not only working safely, but looking out for the safety of others.

Share It

Another common misconception is the idea that sharing safety concerns is tantamount to tattling. Those who see something unsafe may choose not to share it with colleagues or supervisors because they fear being seen as a traitor. The reality couldn’t be farther from the truth; if we truly care about our colleagues, we must care about them enough to talk to them or to the appropriate parties about conditions that could jeopardize their safety.

It’s also important to recognize that there are no secrets when it comes to safety. When we find innovative safety solutions or uncover potential safety concerns, we should stop and ask where else this could exist in our organization and who else might benefit from knowing this information. We don’t stop at believing we should share safety best practices within our own organization; we also work to help promote safety awareness and share best practices with our subcontractors, vendors, partners, and even the industry as a whole. For instance, we’re sponsoring Safety Week 2016 to help support this collaborative effort to make the industry as a whole safer for each and every employee.

For more information about Safety Week 2016, visit www.safetyweek2016.com.

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