How FYLD follows the principles of US Construction Safety Week
As we begin US Construction Safety Week, FYLD’s Scott Broadley, Director – New Growth, considers each of the initiative’s central themes, and how our customers are using FYLD to achieve them.
This week marks the annual US Construction Safety Week – a fantastic opportunity for the construction industry to spread awareness about the health and safety of the people working on projects across North America.
The main themes this year are Empowerment, Recognition, Partnership, and Impact. Here, I’ll consider what each of the themes mean to FYLD and how we are collaborating with our customers to drive meaningful safety cultures.
One of the central tensions in the construction industry is hitting milestones and deadlines. The unfortunate truth is that safety can sometimes be seen as a barrier to meeting those targets. So, for example, if a foreman was under pressure to get a job over the line, it could be easier to look the other way when it comes to risk.
Empowerment in the construction industry is about empowering frontline workers to flag serious issues and ensure they are listened to. If the tendency is for those real concerns to fall on deaf ears in the interest of completing a job or hitting a milestone, there is no empowerment, and culture needs to change.
FYLD is helping to create that culture of empowerment. Firstly, companies are putting our platform in the hands of their fieldworkers and encouraging them to flag issues and collaborate with their colleagues. They’re being empowered to ask the critical questions – is this issue a job blocker? Can we proceed while waiting for that risk to be dealt with? Rather than being isolated and ignored, they’re collaborating and getting decisions from the wider business.
Construction is a sector that is typically seen as quite macho. That masculine culture can mean workers don’t feel confident flagging an issue if they feel like they’ll be ignored or seen as a problem. Giving them tools like FYLD shows them that a company takes safety and productivity seriously and that it actually wants them to record and report these issues.
That culture of empowerment has to come from the very top. We know that the best-run organisations are the safest and most productive. Strong leaders in construction realise that the best way to build successful businesses is by using world-class safety standards to drive productivity. Many of our customers also have the universal language to capture risks, such as HIPO (High Potential Incidents) or near misses. Everyone knows what the risks are and that they’re treated seriously. That’s how you make your workers feel empowered.
There’s a misconception that because the construction industry is male-dominated, workers don’t respond well to praise. I think that’s complete garbage. Historically, the industry has been good with the stick, but not as effective with the carrot. We can all improve with how we recognise the great work of our teams.
One of the benefits our clients have found with FYLD is that it’s simpler to recognise the positive work happening on their projects. Whereas before, a site assessment might just be scribbled onto a bit of paper, it’s now being recorded and uploaded for everyone to see.
By its nature, construction is a distributed sector; there are teams of workers spread over multiple states right across the US. Management that previously would never have been privy to that information can give recognition to that work.
And over time, FYLD builds up vast amounts of data, so you can see who is doing their assessments on time, and which teams are interacting with the hazards our technology is pushing back to them. That is powerful because it’s taking a lot of guesswork out of how teams perform and how seriously they take safety.
We recently worked with our customer Ferrovial to reward fieldworkers on the North Tarrant Infrastructure project. We looked at the individuals and teams that did the most risk assessments over the quarter and which interacted the most with the hazards FYLD pushed to them. Recognising the folks setting high standards on-site is a lot easier to do when you have the data in front of you, and builds into a wider company culture of safety and productivity.
The theme of partnership is fundamental to FYLD. Our platform has been created specifically to partner with businesses, helping people feel empowered, trusted, valued, and safe. We also see FYLD as a natural partner for any worker in the field, helping them to make sense of their environment, while driving broader industry standards at the same time.
On its website, Construction Safety Week digs deeper into the idea of partnership and what it means, saying: “We must always be conscious of our surroundings and our actions, and work together to prevent any distractions that may arise from leading to serious consequences.
“When the plans change, new hazards are identified, or an unforeseen condition occurs, it’s on us all to be there and be ready to recognise, listen, and lead each other toward the safest solutions and outcomes.”
At FYLD, we feel exactly the same and are constantly looking to add tools and features to the platform to ensure those safe and positive outcomes for fieldworkers.
We know that our customers also share that outlook. For example, US-based Granite Construction is putting on a Lunch & Learn event each day of Construction Safety Week for its people. Every session will focus on a different aspect of safety that is relevant for teams.
Granite Construction works on highway construction projects all over the United States, so it’s an excellent opportunity to re-emphasise the importance of safety when working in challenging environments, at heights, near overhead cabling, etc. Construction Safety Week is a chance to pause, look at the big picture, and have wider conversations about safety.
The work we’re doing with Granite is a powerful example of the value of partnership. We support Granite’s safety initiatives, including its STCKY (Stuff That Can Kill You) approach. This makes it crystal clear to its people what hazards are commonly faced and what to look out for in assessments and on the ground.
Those hazards have been integrated into the FYLD platform used by Granite, so when the workers on the ground use FYLD, any of those STCKYs are right in front of them.
In the construction industry, we want to ensure that, as much as possible, our impact is positive. We are obligated to the people who go onto worksites daily to give them the tools they need to stay safe. Most importantly, everyone goes home to their families at the end of the day. Companies work with FYLD to give their people tools to positively impact their working lives and make their environments as safe as possible.
We work with businesses that want to break patterns that lead to accidents, and really change the approach to safety and productivity. By giving workers this technology and getting them to assess their surroundings in real-time, as well as the platform feeding information and hazards, you’re pivoting from a tick-box exercise to a meaningful proactive approach.
Our work with UK gas company SGN is a prime example of using technology to achieve a meaningful, positive impact. Our video and imagery capabilities drive accountability to the leadership because what is being recorded in the field cannot be ignored: it has to be dealt with at a company level.
That has resulted in a 20% reduction in incidents and injuries, so we’re supporting that key aim of people going home safely to their families. That’s the best kind of impact you can have.
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