National Work Zone Awareness Week is dedicated to the safety of our workers, roadways, and drivers. As part of our commitment to safety, I Build America – Ohio is giving safety managers the spotlight to share why safety is so important to our crews and our communities — and how the public can do its part. Check out the profile below for a first-hand look at why safety is important today and every day!
Name: Nick Conti
.Company: Shook Construction
Title/Position: Regional Safety Manager
Years Working in Construction: 9
How did you begin your career in construction?
- It all began when I had time off from high school and college.
- Began in the oil and gas field working for pipeline construction contractors, well pads, pump stations etc.
- Worked for multiple construction outfits as a craft hand while still attending high school and college
- Continued attending college and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Safety Management
- Going on just a little over 5 years as a dedicated safety professional
How do you contribute to the overarching safety of your company’s workforce?
- Work experience in construction as a former craft worker
- Knowledge, education and experience from studying safety in college and applying to real life scenarios
- Safety resource and point of contact for our guys in the field
- Assisting and guiding company employees, subcontractors etc., on safe work practices
- Frequent jobsite visits, audits and conversations on job progress, safety concerns or anything that the safety department can help on or provide
What does your company do to ensure safety on the job?
- Ensures the right people are in the right positions to guide and direct employees in safe work practices
- Quality safety managers spread among regions to provide full coverage of all ongoing projects
- Safety trainings, toolbox talks, jobsite walkdowns and positive safety audits showing both at risk behaviors as well as what has been done to correct them
- Clear lines of communication from the top-down regarding the safety culture and what we can do as a company to have a strong safety minded workforce
What is one thing you wish the general public knew about safety in construction?
- The stigma and general mindset around safety professionals being labeled as safety cops always out to bust people
- Safety professionals are put in positions to help and to act as a resource to guide and direct employees in a safe and positive manner
How can the public help keep construction workers and work zones safe?
- Shortest and simplest answer is to be able to read and understand signage
- Stay away from all fenced off, coned, taped or barriered construction zones. Signs are posted warning to stay out
- Highway work zones:
- Follow the posted jobsite speed limit, usually is between 35mph-50mph, depending on work zone and location
- Stay off the phone and focus on driving, lanes maybe skinnier than that of normal traffic lanes, especially during highway construction
- Stay in designated lane outlined usually by solid white lines until out of the work zone