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Safety and the Masonry Supervisor
For a person to accomplish any task of great significance, he must have the wherewithal to complete the task. Building the pyramids, conquering the known world on foot, freeing all the slaves in an entire nation, harnessing electricity, men understanding women, women putting up with men, or keeping your employees injury free on a construction site can only be accomplished when a great leader is given the opportunity to lead effectively. If we incorporate the following components into our masonry supervisors, it will build a foundation that can give them the opportunity to lead our industry into a safer future.
This is best accomplished with a written safety program, SOP (Safe Operating Procedure Manual) or Safety Policy and Procedure Manual. Call it what you want, but it needs to cover, in some detail, all the foreseeable hazards that an employee could encounter on the jobsite. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. There are plenty of written safety programs out there that can be purchased, but bear in mind that it must be applicable to your business and the masonry industry. A good way to double check whether the program is “for real” is to do a hazard analysis on your jobsites. The hazards found must be addressed in the written program. I’m a believer in a brief, real life, no filler type program. This is easier to follow, and people will actually read it. If it’s not relevant, they won’t read it.
The supervisor should be the most educated employee on the crew regarding safety. At a minimum, he should have training as a competent person, forklift operator (so he knows what his operator should and should not be doing), and finally, training on the Written Safety Program – that’s the big one. Included should be scaffold safety, heavy equipment, drug-free workplace, hazard communication (chemical hazards), fall protection, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), and more. There are other issues of training that should be addressed, such as CPR First Aid training. Anyone one on the crew could have this certification, but it makes good sense to have the supervisor equipped in this as the leader of the crew.
Another form of training that I believe to be important is in the area of people skills. A person in the role of masonry supervisor should know how to communicate and act with professionalism and respect toward other people. Being “the boss” doesn’t give a person the right to be belligerent, and with training he will understand that he can get much more from an employee who feels respected.
Not all of these trainings mentioned have to be done in a classroom setting. On-the-job training, safety meetings, on-site workshops, on-site videos and online training are ways to accomplish the desired result. As an employer, you can do the training, or you can out source the training by using a third-party training company.
Don’t forget about PPE equipment, either: safety glasses, face shields, ear plugs or muffs, hard hats, gloves, and the list could go on, depending on what tasks will be performed.
Support from the top
The masonry supervisor needs the right attitude toward safety. If he thinks safety is a burden and he’d be better off to not have all this safety stuff on his back, then he will be a failure at safety. His crew will learn and adopt his attitude. It can be a lengthy process, but you can convince your employees that you truly care.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 March 2009 18:46|