We asked our partner Daan Bergwerff this question at a construction site with a lot of people working and a lot of busyness. Daan works as an independent to assist construction companies, hospitals and laboratories to get a better grip on risk scenarios that they might come across, how to prepare themselves and how to verify if they will be doing the right thing or not.
Daan’s tip for safer operations
”You have the most influence in the engineering phase (as early as possible in the project). There you can influence safety, because you might run into limited resources, limited space, limited time and maybe limited people to do the work well. If you have prepared yourself and are able to show which scenarios you must tackle, or that you might want to have a better solution than your competition, then you must be mature as a safety professional. ‘Mature’ as to be risk-minded, but also business minded and to understand the guys that are pressured to do this project well (pointing at the construction site workers). In time and in budget.”
How do we get to that maturity level?
”One of the tips is: Use powerful models. Of course, I am a big fan of bowtie because it brings clarity to semi-complex things. You can bring everything and everyone to the table. You can invite the guys who do the work, but also the engineers and everyone involved in making this project a success, and just make use of the expertise of everyone that is working on a safe and successful operation.”
In order to be mature, to work as safe as possible, you should be involved from the starting phase, from the drawing board and involve multi-disciplinary teams in order to know the ins and outs which have influence over the way you practice safety.
Daan’s bonus tip
“We don’t tend to learn well where we lacked, but also where we are strong. If you have a structured way of combining all these learnings into your body of knowledge for the organization, you will be better prepared and in a better position. It is my firm recommendation that you do that in your project evaluation and store that in your registers.”