Mindfulness of Job site Safety,

1/2/15 HAPPY NEW YEAR! An aspect of the changing year is that we tend to look both backwards and forward and contemplate our lives. Some of us look at what should be changed and make New Year’s resolutions. Having tried that unsuccessfully in the past, I would rather make an attempt to simply be more mindful in the coming year. To me, that can be as uncomplicated as saying to myself, when I put down my car keys, “this is where my car keys are.” On a more serious note, mindfulness encompasses all aspects of life and is a currently popular term that can mean “awareness” or “being in the moment,” but since this is building a blog, let’s look at how it refers to our trade.

For those of us who do the actual construction work, being mindful of our safety is one of the most important things we can do. At any given moment on our jobs, we are handling dangerous tools, working in dangerous conditions, and sometimes at dangerous heights.
The use of power tools demands that we be aware of the danger to our sight, hearing, and our breathing and take the proper steps to protect ourselves. Proper placement and use of ladders and harnesses when working at heights is essential. Lastly, being mindful of the safety of not only ourselves but those around us is of equal importance.
Those of us on the administrative side of construction have our own needs for mindfulness and since we’re on the issue of safety, it’s very important for us to take care of our crews and provide them with the tools they need to remain safe. These tools come not only in the form of safety gear but also in the way in which we as leaders stress the importance of safe practices on the job site. Regular safety meetings and discussion of hazardous elements on the construction site are good ways to ensure safety.  All members of the crew are in charge of keeping safe, but on our team, we appoint a safety “engineer” who makes sure our supplies are kept up and whose responsibility it is to keep a watchful eye out for hazards on our job sites.
Obviously, mindfulness of safety extends beyond our jobs, but the focus our work requires provides us with a good tool to take into the rest of our lives. We think of our employees as family and care for them accordingly. Our own family and friends deserve the same care–mindfulness if you will.
Have a safe and healthy year! More wonderful writings by Ted. My favorite “what’s your Favorite Tool,”  Selecting a Construction Company