The numerous levels of activity of a Construction Safety Manager sometimes make it a little difficult to discern exactly what your safety manager should be doing. Very often, the person responsible for construction safety at the highest level doesn’t have direct experience with the frontline of construction as it were. The real test of a Construction Safety Manager is how they manage the people below them, in order to ensure the best level of safety on site.
The office of a safety manager receives complaints and reports on safety concerns in construction companies. He investigates reports on dangerous working conditions and forwards the report and recommendations to senior management for redress. He coordinates actions to remove any dangerous appliances or chemicals in the company. A safety manager receives reports on workplace injuries, investigates the causes, and may arrange for compensation for victims.
A safety manager visits construction sites to ensure implementation of the correct safety policies and procedures. He liaises with external parties such as government-employed inspectors to facilitate evaluation of construction sites. He reviews blueprints, evacuation plans, designs for disposal systems, lighting and ventilation, and ensures there is no danger to the health or safety of workers or site visitors. Construction workers need to rely on construction safety managers to ensure that the basic structure of their Health and Safety requirements are met, and that they have access to everything they need to ensure safety to those workers on the job site.
Ultimately, that is the only real job of a construction safety manager. They cannot ensure every worker is safe at all times. They cannot inspect every net every week. They cannot be there to catch everyone who falls from a scaffold. No, they have to facilitate safe working practices in construction. In that sense, they differ little from other Health and Safety officials in any other workplace. The real difference is the level at which they work. Any high ranking construction safety manager should ensure high quality safety routines and programs to enable ALL the on-site workers to work without fear of undue accidents. One of the key aspects of construction safety manager jobs is that they require the person in question to take full responsibility for the site safety. They have the responsibility to establish, co-ordinate, monitor and manage any Health and Safety concerns.
Just remember that while your construction safety manager may seem an annoyance at times, his or her job is solely to protect you. If your construction safety manager isn’t doing that effectively, for whatever reason, it is your responsibility to ensure that they are reported.