Over the last three decades, the safety of the construction environment has improved dramatically. Yet, construction sites are still one of the most dangerous workplaces the world over. As a result, today’s safety management efforts are focused on ensuring that no amount of harm is considered acceptable on a construction site. This commitment to the “zero harm” standard is now regularly included on company logos, plastered across work site and is a mantra that has become a part of standard industry speak.
However, all of this focus on zero harm, and the approach that it entails, begs a few questions that very few people are asking:
- Are we actually making construction a safer place to work?
- Are safety statistics and field reporting becoming a more or less reliable source of information to improve the wellbeing of our people?
- Does it drive the behaviours and actions from our people that we intended?
- Are we bringing safety and our work methods closer together or are we driving them further apart?
- Are we making conversations about safer ways of doing work easier and more open, or are we creating a language of political correctness?