SMSTS - Can a Safe Construction Site Also Be Efficient and Productive?
With stories of strange and bizarre health and safety actions frequently cropping up in the media, there is the perception that the introduction of health and safety measures into a place of work will greatly slow down and hinder operations, with the subsequent increase in time and costs. This view is also shared by numerous construction site managers and supervisors who believe that their projects will be completed much faster without having to bother about health and safety.
There is no denying the fact that complying with some health and safety regulations and doing things 'by the book' will take longer. However, not only is it a legal requirement to perform certain actions, but dealing with the consequences of an accident which occurs due to insufficient health and safety measures such as a lack of personal protective equipment will take up a far greater amount of time than ensuring that employees are working safely from the outset.
Also, there is no reason why a safe construction site cannot also be an efficient and productive one at the same time. Rather than implementing safety procedures on an ad hoc basis, having workers attend health and safety courses such as the CITB Site Manager's SMSTS qualification from the outset and ensuring that they are well-versed in procedures such as permits to work will allow them to put these safety measures and best practices into operation with the minimum of disruption to their work. Not only this, but many studies have come to the conclusion that a workforce who feel that their employer is serious about their safety in the workplace is a happier one, who are then more productive and likely to take less time off or seek alternative employment elsewhere. Apart from avoiding the inconvenience and time spent looking for new recruits, it also lessens the requirement to keep training new workers either in health and safety or in certain aspects of their new job.