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Prioritizing Project Safety


In the construction industry, superintendents are responsible for leading and ushering construction site activities to successfully deliver projects on time and within budget. The superintendent’s scope of responsibilities may be broad, but priority number one is the safety of others. Construction is an inherently dangerous industry with a high risk of accidents. Ultimately, every job site should be as safe as possible, and the superintendent plays a huge role in achieving that goal.

Hourigan operates a variety of job sites with differing scopes and ranges of complexity—oftentimes with these scopes being completed simultaneously. The superintendent must be prepared for any scenario that may arise on site. The company assumes responsibility to ensure each superintendent has the knowledge and training to then reinforce those practices with the project team to keep all workers safe each day.

Building a Safety Foundation

It takes varied experiences over time to attain the title of Superintendent. During that time, superintendents experience numerous job sites with different site conditions and degrees of construction difficulty. Along the way, they inherit the best safety practices for a breadth of construction scenarios. From these experiences, a successful superintendent has built the knowledge to lead a team to a safe and successful execution.

Creating an environment where the superintendent can excel is an essential starting point for a safe job site. Aside from past experiences, each superintendent should be extremely familiar with their assigned job site, its potential risks, and best practices to mitigate those risks.

The superintendent cannot be watching over all workers at the same time. Therefore, it is important that everyone assigned to a job site understands the potential hazards and general safety rules that must be observed. To ensure all safety boundaries are covered, site-specific training will prepare the team for safety situations that are unique to a certain site.

Safety requirement banners hang on the fence line as a reminder of its importance and what must be followed.

Continued Education

To effectively manage construction site safety, the superintendent must know and understand best safety practices and how to apply them in the field. To achieve this, the superintendent benefits from support in the form of dedicated time and resources to ensure the team understands the safety requirements for each job they participate in.

Hourigan implements mandatory safety training with all employees, whether working in the field or in the office. The following are just a few of those trainings courses:

Facilitating mandatory safety training at all levels of the organization provides baseline situational awareness to all employees and creates shared accountability for job site safety.

Reinforce Safety Practices

Pointing out when safety rules are being followed and recognizing those workers for applying the best safety practices is one way to push the importance of safety on the job site.

Positive reinforcement of safe behaviors increases motivation and productivity. This reinforcement does not have to include a reward to be effective; simply recognizing an employee for doing the right thing is just as effective as giving a reward. Hourigan frequently recognizes these workers at team meetings to reinforce the importance of safety and applaud those individuals that uphold our corporate safety culture.

CEO Mark Hourigan (center) standing under our safety banner displaying our commitment to job site safety. Also pictured, Superintendent, Ben Boatwright (left) and Senior Project Manager, Mike Ferrara (right).

A strong safety culture starts at the top. Leading by example and holding all workers and visitors to the same standard increases awareness, creates shared accountability, and strengthens the overall culture.

Safety Support

Safety in this industry is a commitment to the community and those who work for and around construction operations. It is simple: value the human elements and strive to provide a safe working environment for all involved both directly and indirectly with the project.

There are many ways to help the superintendent put safety first, but one outweighs the rest: support. Superintendents at Hourigan are set up for success beginning with an appropriate level of experience and enhanced by a corporate commitment to supplying resources, time, and focus to prioritize safety efforts.

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