In the construction trades, you’ll often hear the phrase “leading with safety.” And by often, we mean daily. But what does it mean to lead with safety?
Leading with safety means the health and life of the tradesperson is prioritized above everything else. Workers are more important than the work, more important than profits, more important than deadlines. In recognition of OSHA’s Safe + Sound Week 2022, let’s talk about what that means and why safety is the first priority in the building trades.
Leading with safety has to start with a strong foundation. Safety is about creating a controlled work environment, so the first and most important step in safety is securing the basics. Trained workers, bright lighting, clean and ventilated workspaces, well-maintained tools, and proper safety gear – all of these contribute to a safer work environment. It’s the responsibility of both workers and managers to prioritize these basic requirements, taking the extra time to make sure that the job is done right.
Once the basic foundation has been secured, the next step is to look ahead to proactively identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness. One way to manage these hazards is by strict adherence to OSHA’s published workplace safety rules, which are based on years of reported workplace accident data and university research. The other way is through in-depth training and hands-on experience. The more knowledgeable and experienced workers are, the more they will be able to identify potential hazards and prevent injury. When OSHA’s rules and regulations are combined with years of training and experience, everyone is much safer.
The payoff for all of this extra effort in training and maintenance demonstrates that safety is front and center for everything we do in the trades. It also means that you get to lead in the trades. Construction tradespeople who lead with safety develop the most experience, get to be trained on the most complex and dangerous machines, and go on to have the most successful and long-lasting careers. They are the people everyone wants to work with when doing inherently risky tasks, like welding the side of a suspension bridge or installing high voltage electrical equipment. They’re also the people employers and customers want to hire.
In the construction trades, your safety comes first, always. Is it dangerous? Yes, at times, but you can trust that there is no industry more committed to your health, safety, and well-being. You’ll get the training, the equipment, the jobsite, and the management you need to do your job well - to do it safely.
Ready to get started with a fulfilling career in the trades? Find out how to get started today!