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Kelowna  

Motivation to be safe

There were more than 146,000 workplace-reported injuries in B.C in 2014.

It's that astonishing stat that prompted local app developer Ryan Gallagher to improve safety culture in high-risk industries, such as construction, manufacturing and mining.

“A lot of the businesses we talk to really know that complacency with the workforce is a key issue and they want to find a way to improve safety culture,” said Gallagher.

He explained it may seem easy for a job site manager or foreman to ask if an employee wore a hard hat or safety glasses, but it is more difficult to get the workforce to care about a safety culture.

“We make it more efficient for the safety leaders to drive that message and have it resonate and acknowledged by the foremen or superintendents, so that we see an improvement in engagement,” he said. “We have to change people’s work habits when it comes to safety.”

Through MotivationEngine, a platform was created to measure safety engagement and to improve the effectiveness of two­-way communication about the safety needs on every job.

“People get daily cues and reminders on their daily work routine and the hazards that exist. It is very simple for the worker or foremen, and it reinforces some of the key behaviours that are necessary for their work role, team or crew,” said Gallagher.

Gallagher gave the example of a construction Safety Director who addresses his team leaders automatically through the platform by asking if they have completed key safety routines and tasks. The foremen or managers can then check in with the safety leader during the day, via an app on their smart phone, tablet or computer that they carry as part of their job.

“Every day, the Safety Director may want to ask, ‘Are there any issues I need to be aware of on the job site?'" And normally the foremen or supervisors might simply respond ‘No'. In the case where an answer to a question should trigger a follow-up however, the Safety Director is immediately notified and action can be taken much more quickly."

BT Mancini Co., one of the U.S.’s largest specialty construction contractors, recently won a major US award for improving workplace safety and the company acknowledged MotivationEngine for their help in achieving the accolade.

“In this company, we really do pride ourselves on having a good safety culture — that is something I say out loud,” said BT Mancini Co safety director Harvey Peelle. “This is one more way for a guy to showcase him doing a good job. They want to do a good job and ME (MotivationEngine) allows them to document that they are doing it right.”

Every day there are people killed or injured on the job from preventable accidents resulting from complacency or small lapses in awareness, said Gallagher.

“We are working to change this.”



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