Safety Bob
Safety Management Consultants

TALK #10

Working Safely Sometimes Means Making the “Hard” Choice

You’re a superintendent on a large construction project that’s nearing its completion date. It’s Thursday afternoon, and you have to “turn” the new building over to the owner on the following Monday morning. At best, you and numerous selected subcontractors will be working all weekend to finish the job. You see an employee of your wallpaper installer on this Thursday afternoon and note that the employee is working on a walk-board that’s stretched between two ladders about 15 feet in the air, with absolutely no fall protection. You call up to the subcontractor employee instructing him that he needs to use some sort of fall protection when working at that height.

He answers back “smartly” by saying that if he has to come down, then he might as well leave the job because he doesn’t plan to use any fall protection. You think to yourself, “If this wallpaper doesn’t get installed – there’s no way to finish the job by Monday morning.” What choice would you make?

Take some time here to discuss this question with your group.

Maybe you’ve had to endure a dilemma like this. Did you make the right choice? In this case, the superintendent told the wallpaper installer to come down, which he did, and this person promptly went home. The superintendent then immediately called this company’s management, and a short time later that same management was on the job installing wallpaper themselves – and they were installing it safely.

Safety often means making choices – and some of those choices are “hard” choices. But working safely is always the right choice. Three cheers for all who choose to work safely. More than likely, you’ll finish on time like this project, and no one will get hurt. Make the right choice to work safely – you’ll never regret it

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