Construction Safety Programs – The Cost of Poor Supervision
Adequate construction supervision ensures success in ongoing construction activities and tasks. Ignore this important rule of management and risk failure due to use of unqualified, untrained and unskilled fieldworkers. But reliable construction site supervision not only ensures good project delivery: It also promotes a higher success ratio within company construction safety programs.
But supervision and safety is not merely something that affects active workers and site visitors. In fact, the quality level of construction worker supervision directly links to the overall performance and efficiency in all aspects of the construction process. Defective building construction can result in major expenses for rework and operational maintenance. But even more, defective building construction may result in complete failure of a structure. The cost in human safety may be tremendous.
A recent report in The Atlantic details a Mumbai building collapse wherein twelve people died and many more remained injured and trapped within the debris and rubble (The Atlantic, “A Dozen Dead in Mumbai Building Collapse”). In another event, one pertaining to on-site safety issues as reported by Fox News Politics, two construction workers endured serious injury when a crane operator accidentally dropped materials from the top floor of an under construction Queens home (Fox News Politics, "New Your City Construction Workers Seriously Injured, Trapped In Crane Accident").
Time On The Job Improves Supervision Skills
Not all safety incidents are avoidable. Sometimes nature plays a role that overcomes the best efforts of the most safety-conscious construction supervisor and workers. But this offers no excuse for poor supervision or ignorance to existing construction safety programs. On-the-job safety reflects worldwide concerns. Failures in on-site safety often narrow down to three primary causes:
- Workers receive inadequate training
- A poorly defined and loosely enforced safety culture
- AND Either supervisors, fieldworkers or both develop a tendency to cut corners due to pressing timetables and/or job bonuses generate conflicts between projection completion and performance, quality and safety.
The concept of how poor supervision affects quality, performance and safety also plays a major roll on where supervisors place the highest focus. In a recent research survey on "Building Projects in Nigeria," supervisors with over fifteen years of on-the-job experience rated evidence of poor construction site supervision in the following order (Quantity Surveyors Registration, Board of Nigeria, "Resultant Effects of Poor Supervision In Construction Projects in Nigeria"):
- Failure to hold fast to details within drawings and specifications
- Ultimate collapse of the building
- Excessive demand for rework
- Failure to hold fast to existing construction standards
- Lack of adherence to standard construction methods
- Failure to observe governmental statutory regulations
- AND Accidents due to violation of established safety precautions.
Strangely, supervisors with fewer than five years on-the-job experience rated "poor finishing of floors, walls and ceilings" as the number one consequence of poor supervision. "Lousy quality of work" moved to number seven. And "Accidents due to violation of safety culture standards" moved to number four.
Is it possible that the old-timers have learned that holding fast to established specifications, standards, regulations and methods of operation automatically reduce overall violations of established safety controls?
Assignar – Digital Support For Improved Site Supervision and Site Safety
Doing the job right avoids accidents, death, injury, lawsuits and other extended legal complications. Simplify the process. Digitize documentation, certification processes, and safety-focused tracking. Although modern construction contractors use Assignar as comprehensive construction management software, each component of the Assignar construction management software can help your company increase jobsite safety through access to better supervision resources.