Posted by: nedpelger | July 12, 2008

Making People Behave

Do you ever feel that most of a Construction Supervisor’s time involves making people behave? We started steel erection a few days ago on a 50,000 sf factory/office project. We discussed safe erection procedures prior to the start, we specifically told them they weren’t going to be running around like yahoos on our site. Then the guys start erecting steel like it was 30 years ago.

Dereck, my Construction Supervisor, jumped on them, then he jumped on them again. After a threat of throwing them off the job, they settled into following some reasonable safety standards. The firm erecting the steel had a fatality last year…a young guy with a wife and young children. The erection firm certainly instructs their guys to follow the safety standards. But the work starts to flow and production trumps safety and off they go.

I understand there are firms that purposely flaunt safe techniques and put their workers at risk to make a few more shekels. But most firms, I think, see the high cost of work place accidents as something to avoid. So even if a construction company doesn’t care about their workers, it makes business sense to have a safe construction site.

So why does so much risky behavior still occur? Do you agree that the Construction Supervisor often ends up being the person on the jobsite making people behave?

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