Using the New Safety Climate Tool for Home Construction

We wanted to give a shout out to the BC Construction Safety Alliance and Travis Robertson for helping to facilitate the safety climate tool survey for us. The process was super simple, fast and FREE.

We were able to get some great feedback from our team on how to improve our overall operations and safety performance.

You can view our Safety Climate Tool – Benchmarks results (in PDF format).

Safety Climate Tool Highlights

Some of the highlights were positive comments around our commitment to safety at RDC and our overall program structure which was fantastic to hear. But what we really wanted to find out was where our team wanted us to focus our improvement energy.

The survey was able to pinpoint our tops areas for improvement, which were noted as:

  1. Improved project planning
  2. Usability of procedures
  3. Group accountability

Through follow up discussions with the team we realized quickly that the backbone of the improvement required for our safety program are highly aligned with our LEAN the practices we have been working on implement. (Check out RDC Fine Homes president Bob Deek’s blog from last week highlighting LEAN Construction practices followed by RDC Fine Homes)

Here is our Safety Learning loop that we mapped out. We need to improve our planning process and our ability to implement our lessons learned.

Safety Learning Loop - Increase Our Capacity

Improve our planning process and our ability to implement our lessons identified.

Construction Safety Learning Loop

Improved Project Planning

  1. Design process captures all details - this is probably one of the hardest but most influential item for overall project success, and improved capacity for safe operations on site.  Last minute changes and missing details cause enormous stress and pressure for our site teams.
  2. Site developed labour burns - Ensuring the people doing the work are setting the schedules, allowing them to account for all safety procedures.
  3. Last planner construction scheduling - This is a bottom up approach to scheduling starting at the last critical item that needs to be accomplished and working backwards. This helps identify key milestones and handovers.

Usability of Procedures

In residential construction everyday is different, every site has unique requirements and rarely are you doing the same task in the same conditions. Having step by step procedures is rarely possible. So we are shifting some of our step by step procedures to a standardized review process.

  1. Standardize review process ensure the correct people are involved, the job requirements are reviewed and we can document the best approach for the specific tasks at hand.  This allows some flexibility on how to complete a task while still achieving a safe outcome.

Group Accountability

RDC's goal has been to foster a flat organizational culture where anyone on the team can speak up to anyone else and provide a friendly reminder that there might be a better way to do a task or that an improvement needs to happen.   Having hard conversations is tough but the sooner you have them the sooner you could be preventing an unwanted occurance.

Here are some principles around safety that we have been working to share with the team. 

Human & Operational Performance Overview (HOP)

Safety Differently Principles

Human Performance Principles

  1. Safety is not defined by the absence of accidents, but by the presence of capacity.
  2. Workers aren’t the problem; they are the problem solvers.
  3. We don’t constrain workers in order to create safety, we ask workers what they need to do work safely, reliable and productively
  4. Safety doesn’t prevent bad things from happening, safety ensures good things happen while workers do work in complex and adaptive work environments
  5. Human error is normal
  6. Blame fixes nothing, or Blame stops improvement
  7. Learning is vital
  8. Context drives behavior
  9. How you respond to failure matters
  1. Human error is normal
  2. Blame fixes nothing, or Blame stops improvement
  3. Learning is vital
  4. Context drives behavior
  5. How you respond to failure matters

We want to thank all our amazing team members for their dedication to engage in this exciting program!

Posted: Friday, June 12, 2020