To help companies develop or improve their safety management resources and strengthen their jobsite safety climate, CPWR — The Center for Construction Research and Training (www.cpwr.com), recently created the Safety Climate-Safety Management Information System or SC-SMIS (www.scsmis.com). The SC-SMIS is a free online tool that lets firms of any size measure their current jobsite safety climate, find safety management resources to address low-scoring areas, and develop plans to put resources into action.
HOW TO USE SC-SMIS
Although large construction companies may have the resources to pay for a safety climate assessment and develop safety management tools to strengthen low-scoring areas, many small- and medium-size firms lack the personnel or financial resources to conduct continuous safety climate and safety management improvement. CPWR’s goal was to make available an easy-to-use, interactive web-based system that construction companies, regardless of size or available resources, can use—at no cost—to engage in these important activities.
To ensure the SC-SMIS would be valuable to contractors and safety professionals, CPWR engaged safety professionals from small- and medium-size construction companies around the U.S. to join a User Development Team that provided feedback on the new system’s design, features, and functions. We also asked safety professional partners at large companies to share policies, procedures, guidelines, and templates they currently use to strengthen safety climate so we could include them in the safety management resource repository. After working together with our industry partners and web-developers for 2 years and conducting a pilot test to get feedback from initial users, the SC-SMIS was ready to be shared with the construction community beginning in January 2022.
From the SC-SMIS homepage, companies can create an account and then use four key features to improve their safety management systems and strengthen jobsite safety climate on an on-going basis.
1. MEASURE COMPANY’S JOBSITE SAFETY CLIMATE
On the Safety Climate Assessment Options page (www.scsmis.com/learn-more), users can read a brief description about and download English and Spanish versions of CPWR’s reliable and valid Safety Climate Assessment Tool (S-CAT) or the Safety Climate Assessment Tool for Small Contractors (S-CATsc). The S-CAT measures safety climate maturity across eight leading indicators identified by construction industry stakeholders. The S-CATsc is based on the original S-CAT but is designed to be a needs assessment rather than a maturity survey. To get started, a company’s SC-SMIS administrator schedules one or more groups to take the S-CAT or S-CATsc. Once the groups are created, the system sends the administrator group-specific emails containing a link that employees in that group must click on to take the survey. When enough employees in the group have completed the survey, the administrator can run reports, review the group’s safety climate scores, and compare scores across groups.
2. FIND SAFETY MANAGEMENT RESOURCES
With the scores in hand, the administrator can go to the Safety Management Resource page (www.scsmis.com/resources). There, she can review, select, and download any of the 90 different evidence-informed safety management policies, procedures, guidelines, and templates designed to strengthen low scoring safety climate indicators. All resources in the repository are available in English and Spanish and they are formatted as either Word or PowerPoint documents so users can tailor them to their company’s needs.
3. DEVELOP ACTION PLANS
Once the desired resource(s) are downloaded, the administrator can begin implementing them by developing an action plan including setting goal(s), creating action steps, identifying who will carry-out the step and when they will start, and finally, specifying what information will be collected to know the goal has been reached. Once created, the plan is listed on the Active Action Plan page and can be edited as the status of each action step moves from pending to in-progress to completed. When all the action steps have been completed, the plan automatically moves to the Completed Action Plan page.
4. SCHEDULE REMINDERS
On the Completed Action Plan page, the administrator can see all the resources that have been implemented to date and also schedule reminders to conduct future safety climate assessments and implement more safety management resources.
Since the SC-SMIS launched, more than 325 companies from around the world have already created an account, and safety management resources have been downloaded over 17,000 times. The SC-SMIS homepage includes a link to user testimony about its value, as exemplified in the following quote from a medium-size specialty contracting company in Washington state: “For what a contractor would expect to pay for a comprehensive safety climate evaluation and mitigation plan, the Safety Climate-Safety Management Information System is a valuable tool available for (free) to all. As a mid-size general contractor, we have been able to supplement our own systems and approaches with industry tested, scientifically backed resources, and enhance our organization’s overall safety program.”
About the Author:
Since the 1990’s, Dr. Linda M. Goldenhar has been conducting construction-related research on topics such as tradeswomen’s safety and health concerns, worker perceptions on working overtime, job stress and injury outcomes, jobsite safety climate, and safety leadership. As director of research and evaluation at CPWR, she has led its safety climate research and research to practice efforts including projects that created the popular Foundations for Safety Leadership (FSL), a leadership training module for frontline supervisors, the development and reliability testing of CPWR’s climate assessment tools and, most recently the creation of the Safety Climate-Safety Management Information System (SC-SMIS). For more, visit www.cpwr.com or www.scsmis.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, September 2022
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