Engineering and construction can be dangerous. That’s why safety should be a top priority on any job site. It’s not just about having a checklist of safety protocols to adhere to—it’s about fostering an entire culture of safety. It’s easy to think of safety as a measure of protecting your people and property. However, it’s also deeply intertwined with quality. Anyone in the industry can tell you that a high standard of quality opens doors to new opportunities, and without fostering a safe job site, you won’t reach those high standards.
Haste Makes Waste
We’ve all heard this adage, but have you stopped to consider its implications? It’s profound yet simple in its meaning. If you’re moving too quickly, you’re not going to do your job effectively. In an article titled “The symbiotic nature of safety and quality in construction: Incidents and rework non-conformances,” researchers from the Department of Civil Engineering in Australia partnered with the University of Technology Sydney and explored the relationship between safety and quality.
“Using an exploratory case study approach, the statistical characteristics of incidents and NCRs (non-conformance reports) requiring rework experienced by a tier-one Australian contractor over a 31-month period are analyzed and their relationship determined. A significant association between incidents and rework NCRs was revealed (p < 0.05). The skewness and kurtosis values of monthly incidents and NCRs are computed to determine if the empirical distribution of the data follows a Normal distribution.”
They found a direct correlation between safety incidents and the need for “rework.” To sum their findings up into simple terms: The more unsafe a job site is, the more mistakes are made, making the job run over-budget due to missed deadlines, broken equipment and property, and worker injuries.
We Make Safety Pervasive
At BFW/Marcum, we understand that safety and quality are inseparable. Our approach to safety is ingrained into our company culture and starts from the bottom up. Danny Dowell is a Project Engineer and Construction Inspector. He spearheads all of our safety efforts.
“We take safety very seriously. We have weekly safety meetings where we come together to discuss any accidents or near misses that were encountered or witnessed in the previous week. We also discuss topics that are relative to our day-to-day tasks. We strive for each employee to look out for others, even if they are not employed by BFW/Marcum.”
Without weekly meetings, it becomes easy for best practices to begin to slip away. Having an ongoing reminder that forces everyone to meaningfully engage with each other around the topic of safety and quality increases individual accountability. We are able to maintain a high level of productivity after our meetings because everyone leaves feeling inspired and motivated.
Our Clients See Our Safety as Our Greatest Asset
Jobsite liability is a serious component of our business. Clients want to know that we’re doing everything the right way while minimizing our mistakes. Although wasted time is wasted revenue—it will also erode our integrity. Liability and accountability make up the foundation of integrity. Without that, clients will refuse to invest in you. Our company ensures that these investments turn into something tangible for everyone involved. It’s our prerogative to ensure everything runs smoothly and with the utmost professionalism. Danny has found that clients aren’t just tolerant of our high standards—they’re advocates.
“Our clients respect our safety policies and are very understanding of our requests when we state that a task can’t be completed until ‘proper safety measures are in place.’ Our clients, just like BFW/Marcum, want a safe and productive job site where each person gets to go home in the same condition that they arrived to work, that morning.”
We’re Builders of Integrity, First and Foremost
We’ve been around long enough to understand that it’s easy to be known for your mistakes rather than your achievements. Our integrity is our most forward-facing asset, and it brings us the hard-won success we’ve found over the years as an engineering and design firm. It’s also intrinsic to our ability to manage the relationship between safety and quality. Without one, you’ll never have the other.
Our clients understand this duality when they come to us. They aren’t just looking to get some work done. They come to us to hand over an idea and an investment with the understanding that those efforts are in some of the best hands in the business. Taking safety seriously and sustaining a high standard for quality is what we’re known for, but it’s also been our key to success. Integrity is slow to earn and quick to lose. That’s exactly why we’re a respected figure in the industry.