Safety Corner: Signs Help Keep Workplace Safety in Mind
Safety Corner: Signs Help Keep Workplace Safety in Mind
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Safety Corner: Signs Help Keep Workplace Safety in Mind
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Risk lurks in many forms and places on any construction site. A key to avoiding incidents is keeping safety in the minds of all site workers.

Risk lurks in many forms and places on any construction site. A key to avoiding incidents is keeping safety in the minds of all site workers.

Standard safety protocol calls for regular meetings and updates with project workers. Burns & McDonnell goes a step further by developing large banners with simple safety messages. These signs keep the topic in sight — and more likely to be in front of mind. "Those banners are a constant reminder all day long that this is important," says Jamie Butler, Burns & McDonnell safety and health director.

As an example, at one major construction site where Burns & McDonnell is working on a joint venture for Alliant Energy, a series of six large banners is on display. The banners feature brief safety messages, paired with a variety of images. Among the banners:

  • An eagle with an American flag and the words, "Take Pride in Our Goal — No Accidents."
  • A group photo of the craft workers at the job site reads, "Safety matters ... because our brothers and sisters matter."

"Maybe some people's behavior isn't influenced by their brother or their family, but then they would notice because of a patriotic message," Butler says. The mix of visuals is intended to provide enough variety that if one message doesn't catch attention, another might.

Another sign highlights four causes of accidents. "This is covered in a safety training they went through," Butler says. "They got the training, maybe it's been three or four weeks, but they see this banner and it helps reinforce that message."

The banners are hung around the job site, including on the ductwork of the project in progress. There is a large building nearby where the craft workforce has lunch daily, so the signs are displayed on those walls, too.

"Safety is one of our core values," says Jeff Hoefer, senior manager of strategic projects for Alliant Energy. "These banners have helped to promote a valuable culture of awareness and attention to detail at our work site."

For more information, contact Jamie Butler, 816-823-7081.

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