Careers in Construction: Safety

Continuing with our Careers in Construction series, this week we’re taking a look at the professionals who ensure construction on Alberici’s jobsites is completed safely.

What do Safety Professionals do?

Alberici’s goal for safety is simple: execute our work in the safest means possible to achieve Zero Incidents on all of our projects. Our team of safety professionals leads Alberici in meeting our safety goals.

Before work begins on a project site, Alberici’s safety professionals develop a site-specific safety plan incorporating Alberici’s SafeRing program, Owner requirements and the specific needs and challenges of the project. Once a project begins, safety professionals take an active role in the field by conducting site safety orientations and safety audits and by observing work in the field to determine if it is being executed according to the safety plan. Construction sites are always changing; work progress may create a hazard in an area that was safe the day before. Safety professionals must adapt to this dynamic environment, constantly evaluating the jobsite for potential hazards.

Safety professionals work with project managers, superintendents, field workers and subcontractors to address safety concerns and to develop best practices to keep everyone on the project site safe. Building relationships is an important part of a safety professional’s job, as conducting effective training and coaching is essential to success in this role.

Building a Career in Safety

Many safety professionals enter the field with a degree in Health & Safety, Engineering or Construction Management. Some also come to the role with experience in the field. Specialized training including Construction Health Safety Technician (CHST), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and First Aid/CPR certification are important for a safety professional as well.

Beyond formal training, safety professionals need to think critically, communicate effectively and have passion for safety. Critical thinking is required to creatively and constructively address safety concerns as well as to analyze and interpret data. Effective communication is essential when developing site-specific safety plans and when communicating with project team members in the field. Passion for safety is vital because safety professionals need to stay on top of constantly evolving procedures, regulations and best practices. Most importantly, this role requires unwavering commitment to the highest safety standards.

When asked about his role as Safety Manager, Kyle Pfundt explained, “there’s no other position where communication is this important.  I can talk with a tradesperson about keeping his/her body out of the line of fire, then head to the client or project manager to talk about metrics or technical aspects on something very specific.  If I can’t talk to all of the people up and down the chain effectively, I will struggle with the common goal:  working safely with zero Injures.  Safety is people oriented.  If I can’t effectively reach a large audience and be persuasive, the safety on a project can suffer.”