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    Align | May 4, 2022 

    4 Tips for Creating a Safety-Focused Culture in Construction

    Interview with Safety Reports Co-founder Steve Polich

4 Tips for Creating a Safety-Focused Culture in Construction

Construction is inherently dangerous work so safety must go beyond a checklist to become a cultural norm and priority that remains top of mind across organizations.

How can construction companies engrain safety into their culture?


For Construction Safety Week, Align sat down with Steve Polich, a co-founder of the construction industry's leading safety solution, Safety Reports, to find out. 

During his career, Steve worked with thousands of construction companies and other organizations to deploy and systematize their safety programs. He shared what he learned about how companies can create a safety culture, above and beyond OSHA-driven safety compliance.

Tip 1: Focus on Employee Mental Health & Well-Being

Safety is all about the well-being of your people. Companies that create a strong culture of safety focus on their people, not just their physical safety but their mental health and well-being.

We often don’t associate a strong safety culture with employee well-being, but they are linked.


With today’s tightening workforce, employees work more hours and are under increased pressure to do the job safely and quickly.  When the pressure becomes overbearing, it can lead to stress for some individuals, which studies have shown will negatively impact workers' health.

Making sure employees feel appreciated and valued is key to combating stress.  Creating a strong safety culture will benefit employees' health and increase the organization's productivity, which has a positive financial impact in addition to an improved safety record and overall employee satisfaction and morale

Tip 2: Make Your Safety Program Easy for Employees 

An employer can positively impact the company's safety culture by streamlining key safety processes such as inspections, training, and hazard assessments with EHS management software. 

Employees often feel overwhelmed with the time and effort it takes to implement daily, weekly, and monthly safety tasks.  Simple, streamlined processes will help alleviate anxiety and improve participation.

Using an electronic system like safety program apps (versus paper, pen, and clipboard) to streamline safety tasks is a step in the right direction. 

Digitizing the safety process usually means implementing a mobile solution.


If you’re not using safety apps, consider doing so.  And, if you are using safety apps, ensure they’re easy to use.  The apps need to be intuitive and have a friendly user interface. 

If they’re too complicated, employees won’t use the technology, and it could work against your goal to make safety part of your culture because user adoption will be low.

Tip 3: Utilize Modern Safety Solutions to Appeal to Younger Workers

OEDC data shows that the U.S. workforce has been getting younger since 2005.  Much of this can be attributable to baby boomers retiring and Millennials, Gen X, and Gen Z employees entering the workforce.

Most Millennials, Gen X, and Gen Z workers have grown up using electronic devices.  So, it makes sense for employers to accommodate these younger workers by implementing application processes.  

Giving employees real-time access to a centralized database, one of the biggest advantages of using mobile technology, improves worker productivity and morale.  If you’re not using mobile apps to complete safety tasks, maybe it’s time you start looking. 

Tip 4: Make Safety a Priority, Not Just a Process

A strong safety culture will significantly improve your company’s safety record, and one benefit will be improved compliance with federal and state workplace requirements. This reduces the liability associated with OSHA citations and penalties. So by creating a culture of safety – not just a process of ‘checking the box’ – your organization will gain better compliance and much more.

For example, management gains access to critical data for analyzing and trending safety compliance by documenting safety inspections. New technology makes this easier than ever. Several safety apps on the market allow one to quickly and easily upload hundreds, if not thousands, of safety observations into a database for trending and analysis.

Collecting and viewing data allows you to spot non-compliant areas and take action proactively before a citation or incident can occur.

Unfortunately, there’s no cookie-cutter approach to implementing a strong safety culture.  It will vary from employer to employer and from one industry to another.  However, one way to measure whether or not your company has a strong safety culture is to ask your employees this simple question: “What would happen if you didn’t wear your PPE today?”  

If they answer, “my supervisor would come down on me,” or “I’d get written up,” it’s likely you don’t have a very strong safety culture.  But, when your employees answer like this, “I could get injured,” that’s a good sign that your safety culture is strong and flourishing!

To learn more about Safety Reports and request a free trial of our solution, visit Safety Report's website to schedule a free demo.


Written by: Align Technologies
About Align Technologies

At Align Technologies, we make construction safe, productive, and profitable. As the construction industry's first and most comprehensive operations management platform, Align Technologies’ suite of powerful tools delivers operational visibility and control that drives results. Formed in 2024, Align Technologies is powered by three innovative market leaders: ToolWatch construction management software, Safety Reports mobile safety and compliance, and busybusy time tracking.

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