Trends to Improve Construction Operations and Safety Performance

The hazards and challenges that the construction industry faces are widespread due to the magnitude of diverse workplace locations and scopes of projects. These factors contribute to the overall safety performance of the construction industry. According recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the construction industry has incurred an increasing amount of workplace fatalities since 2012. In 2012, there were 849 construction related workplace fatalities as compared to 985 in 2016.

The construction industry has taken great strides to improve the working conditions and management of construction hazards. Organizations that have top performance in safety management deploy many practices to ensure safety is properly established, implemented, and monitored. A few of the latest improvements include the incorporation of technology, enhanced communication techniques, and specific safety programs designed for unique workplace hazards.

The incorporation of handheld technology into the construction industry has more of an effect on contractor performance than one may imagine. Field personnel are beginning to have instantaneous access to work plans, hazard mitigation techniques, training material, safety policies, and so much more.

One organization performed a return-on-investment study and found that having workplace materials readily available on a mobile device improved their project performance by more than 25 percent and improved field personnel efficiency by more than 30 percent. Tasks that were traditionally performed in an office or away from field operations are now being completed at the project location. This has allowed key personnel to stay more in tune with work processes, provide enhanced oversight and monitoring of work practices, and improve communication requirements such as scope of work changes.

Contractors that are questioning the validity of incorporating mobile technology and designing project specific safety practices into their day-to-day operations will soon find out this is more than a trend, but a necessity for the construction industry.

Ensuring safety policies are adequately designed and effectively implemented comes after ensuring your project and company have the right safety personnel support. The selection, hiring, and promotion of credentialed safety professionals is a must-do for top safety performing construction companies. Ensure safety staff understand the latest requirements, profession updates, seek professional certification, and demonstrate the appropriate level of competency through formal education or work experience.

To learn more about safety professional competencies and the credentialing leader for the safety profession, please visit the Board of Certified Safety Professional at

Treasa Turnbeaugh is the CEO of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.

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