Many construction companies still address safety at the point of contact - in the field. However, safety does not begin in the field; it takes planning and forethought to be effectively implemented in the field. Therefore, it is important for the safety manager or department to be involved at the procurement and pre-construction phases of projects. Additionally, the safety team can have a positive impact on the procurement process as well as on the company as a whole if the planning begins at the corporate level, even before procurement activities are initiated. Planning and goal setting as a means to affect positive safety performance at the project level must take place on both the corporate and the project levels. This paper will address goal setting and planning on the corporate level, safety's input during the procurement and bidding stages of a project, issues that must be addressed before project mobilization, project safety planning, and daily planning activities.
Planning and goal setting work hand-in-hand in the business world. Goals help encourage growth and identify where the company should focus their energies. Goal setting on the corporate level involves understanding the company's strategic plan and developing safety goals that correspond with that plan. Goal setting should also be incorporated into the project in order to achieve attainable project-specific safety objectives.
As a safety professional, it is important to identify corporate goals and understand how they relate to safety. What are the long and short-term goals of your company? Do you work for a small company looking to grow? Does your company plan to seek work in another facet of construction? Does your company plan to increase self-performed work or delve into the construction management arena? These goals should be identified by the company's executives and disseminated through the company's strategic plan.
So what does this have to do with safety? How does this affect safety planning and behavior on the job? Understanding where the company is going and what type of work the company plans to pursue has an enormous impact on the safety professional. A company may decide that they can make more money if they increase the amount of work they self-perform. This could mean an increased need for safety training, a need for additional money within the budget to spend on personal protective equipment, possibly a need for additional safety staff. If the company plans to expand their horizons and acquire work in a different state or outside the US, then some research needs to be conducted to identify potential issues such as stricter safety regulations and different insurance requirements.