There is a significant amount of risk for workers in the construction industry. And as such, there are loads of occupational health and safety standards to follow. To ensure projects always maintain the right safety standards, construction teams generally rely on a safety coordinator.
A safety coordinator is different from the person in charge of a project’s operations - the superintendent. However, by working together, these roles can boost safety and ensure that all projects follow the relevant health and safety requirements. This will help minimize risk and keep everyone involved safe.
Below, we explore these two different roles and discuss how they can work together to improve safety in construction.
What Do Construction Superintendents Do?
A construction superintendent is in charge of the daily operations of any construction project. They carefully watch over the project and manage its progress. They make sure that everyone on site is doing their jobs properly, and that the project is running according to schedule.
Being a construction superintendent requires a great deal of industry-specific knowledge and experience. There are superintendents who specialize in different areas of construction and different types of projects.
A superintendent works from the planning phase of the project until its completion. Some roles of a superintendent include:
hiring construction workers
keeping track of their hours worked
creating work schedules
reviewing budgets and estimates
tracking project expenses, and
ensuring the project follows the dedicated budget
Another vital role that superintendents play is inspecting all work that is done each day. They need to make sure that all workers are properly equipped, trained, and briefed so that they can follow through with the correct tasks.
Construction superintendents either act as a supervisor to the construction foreman in a project or they also take on the role of the foreman.
The Role Of Safety Coordinators In Construction Projects
In construction, safety coordinators make sure that each project follows all the necessary safety standards.
The specifics of this role can vary depending on the construction company or type of project. However, the main idea is they maintain any relevant government safety policies and company policies.
Safety coordinators make sure that each project complies with the necessary OSHA standards. This is essential for any company to do if they want to avoid large fines and penalties. A safety coordinator also reduces the chances of any possible accidents or incidents. These can harm workers and be costly to the company so preventing them is important.
Safety coordinators need to have complete knowledge of any health and safety regulations that apply to a project or company. It is their job to monitor the project from start to finish and make sure that it meets all these safety standards.
This involves doing things like:
providing the correct training and briefings
giving access to the necessary safety documents
inspecting workplaces for any possible hazards, and
thoroughly investigating and reporting on any accidents
Safety coordinators make sure that a company keeps up with the law and regulations. They also ensure that all work environments and construction projects operate in the safest possible conditions.
How They Can Work Together To Improve Safety
Construction industry projects require the assistance of both superintendents and safety coordinators. While they both perform unique job functions, their roles should also support each other.
Here are some ways that superintendents and safety coordinators can work together to improve safety:
Both superintendents and safety coordinators must perform regular site inspections. Superintendents inspect the progress of the project and ensure that it is in line with the right quality standards. Safety coordinators inspect the site for hazards and make sure that all areas are compliant.
Both roles should do inspections together, and have an understanding of what each person is looking for out for. This makes inspections more efficient. Moreover, it allows for the making of a single site inspection report rather than two.
Worker Observations and Training
Monitoring workers and making sure that they are performing up to standard is something that both roles need to do.
Superintendents and safety inspectors can work together to brief workers. This makes sure workers know exactly what to do and what safety procedures to follow for each task making the overall safety management of the project more effective.
These roles should also work together to create clear training resources and safety programs. This prevents workers from receiving duplicate or disjointed information.
Both roles are actively involved in the planning phase, and both should work together for better results. It’s important that superintendents and safety coordinators are prepared for the site in advance. They should also know what to expect from each other.
By planning the project carefully together, they can minimize the risk of incidents and unwanted events with a risk management plan.
Regulations and Policies
Any construction industry project faces a range of internal and external regulations and policies that it needs to follow. While safety coordinators and superintendents work on different types of regulations, they need to make sure that all regulations are met in line with the other’s requirements.
This means that construction safety plans need to work in line with the schedule. In addition, superintendents need to make sure their plans match all health and safety regulations.
When putting together project workflows and implementing different regulations on-site, both roles need to make sure that these work with the requirements of both parties.
Both roles will be required to create reports based on their specific duties. By working together, safety reports and superintendent progress reports can be made with less effort and more detail. Working together on reporting can also help each party to find smarter solutions.
Maintaining all relevant safety standards is essential in any construction project. Superintendents and safety coordinators each have their own specific duties. However, working closely together will achieve more project success.
By planning projects together, inspecting them side-by-side, and reporting on progress together, any construction workflow will run a whole lot smoother and more efficiently.
So, it’s important to enhance collaboration between your construction superintendents and safety coordinators. Luckily, with construction safety software like SkillSignal, you can facilitate this and more! With access to JSA’s, safety orientation and videos all via SkillSignal’s safety management app, your jobsite crews can work seamlessly together.