Give Your Superintendents the Skills to be Better Safety Leaders

five safety skillsSuperintendents and lead workers with the skills to be effective safety leaders on the job site are the linchpins to creating a strong safety climate, a key indicator of injury outcomes.

The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) has developed The Foundations for Safety Leadership (FSL), a 2 ½-hour course designed to teach these workers five critical safety leadership skills and how to put them into practice.

More than 10,000 superintendents and foremen have participated in the FSL course. The course includes foundational material plus seven real-world animated scenarios designed to teach five critical safety leadership skills.

The likely benefits to your superintendents include:

  • Strong safety climate
  • Reduced hazards and injuries
  • Increased morale and sense of teamwork
  • Increased productivity due to improved job site communication

“Just the participation in the class lets the foremen know that the owners and upper management are on board with safety, by actually giving them the time to do what they have to do to perform the job safely,” said one builder after he sent employees to the class.

“I think they’re more aware when they do their morning huddle…. I also see them take a little more time when they’re talking that they also cover the safety implications of that work. [They] try to get more input from the employees on their crew instead of just giving instructions.”

five skillsTrained superintendents also have a lot of positive feedback about skills they learned, particularly three-way communication and engaging crew members:

“I never took it as seriously as I do now. You know, having the people explain back to you what you told them. That really has helped a lot, instead of just giving somebody some information, sending them off blindly to do the job, and then getting mad ‘cause they didn’t do it right. That way, they can explain to you back exactly what you said to them and if they didn’t get it the first time, you can talk about it, have an opportunity to get it right.”

To incorporate the FSL into your safety training, you can download all the teaching and supporting materials at no cost. If you send your superintendents to the OSHA 30-hour course, encourage them to ask the trainer to teach the FSL as one of the electives.

For more additional information about the FSL, contact Dr. Linda M. Goldenhar, Director of Research and Evaluation at CPWR.

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