Safety is something we know we need to “do” all year. Depending on your industry, there may be some parts of the year that the safety pro knows they will be able to carve out some time for the mundane parts of the safety job – written program review.
This part of the safety job is essential, but few look forward to it.
I was one of those weirdos who looked forward to it!
Early in my career, I worked in Southern California. We had a “rainy season” per construction contracts, which was when our Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) Best Management Practices (BMPs) had better be solid! This season, in some jurisdictions was October 1 to April 30. From 2003 to about 2006, I knew I could (almost) count on a complete washout of several of my organization’s project sites around the holidays and extending into January. This was my time that I reviewed our written programs.
I’d do my first few reviews, then divide the written programs up for the safety committee of superintendents, project managers, project engineers, and forepersons to tackle. I would get their real-life feedback, take another pass, and we’d repeat the process through spring and kickoff the busy summer season with fresh policies, some training, and equally fresh binders for mobile sites and trucks.
As climate change began to impact Southern California, rainy season was not so reliable, and my cozy program review time of the winter was fleeting.
When I moved to Minneapolis, I found that winter was the “training season,” and as an independent consultant, could (again, almost) count on January through March being very full of training for clients.
Now, the winter takes longer to set in, so construction crews work well into November outdoors and even on road projects. The spring starts earlier, so the training season is shorter. Or, the training season stretches into the spring or summer as schedules are shuffled around to take advantage of moderate early spring days.
As your crews work harder, safety pros do too! The time a safety pro used to count on is no longer reliable and you need HELP! There’s amazing consultants out there that are ready to take your piles of paper, stacks of binders, and un-email-able electronic versions of your safety policies and get them ready for spring and summer.
If you find yourself needing some help this winter, please reach out!
Stay safe, warm, and productive this winter.
Ask Abby Anything (Safety)
We had a conversation, you picked my brain, was it valuable? Please compensate me for my time and get in touch if there’s anything else we should collaborate on!