Barton Malow

Moving the Safety Needle at the CSRC

Construction Safety Research Center

Working towards helping industry leaders contribute to better safety performance and reduce accidents, the Construction Safety Research Center (CSRC) was founded in 2021. Since then, it has been conducting groundbreaking interdisciplinary safety research, transforming those findings into adoptable best practices, and converting safety best-practices into effective training programs. Barton Malow joined as a member last year among other companies, municipalities, associations, and agencies with a vested interest in residential, commercial, industrial, and civil construction. Among the founding members are frequent Barton Malow partners like Lawrence Technological University, DTE, Carhartt, and the City of Southfield. Barton Malow Company Senior Safety Manager Tim Tokarz sits on the member board and has been involved in the work it is doing.

Barton Malow’s approach to safety has always been proactive and goes hand in hand with the work being done by the CSRC. While our safety record is substantially better than the industry average, we are consistently analyzing and implementing innovative solutions and new methods that can help bring our numbers closer to zero incidents. Using the research and training being created through the CSRC, Barton Malow hopes to find additional opportunities for continuous improvement to our programs.

Last year the CSRC focused its research on personal protective equipment (PPE) non-compliance among construction workers, releasing their findings in a white paper that was published last year. Among the key findings and recommended measures were the following:

  • Improve leadership accountability by performing a study centered on improved frontline supervisor/worker communication as well as encouraging, incentivizing, measuring, monitoring, and rewarding the use of PPE.
  • Solicit worker input to design and provide PPE that fits better, comes in different sizes/styles, is less cumbersome, and adapts to different climates.
  • Improve frontline worker training by providing information on how to adjust PPE for better fit, how to use PPE in adverse weather, and the adverse risks of PPE non-compliance.

Barton Malow has recognized the importance of addressing similar barriers to PPE compliances and developed programs including updated and varied methods of training; a ‘Good Catch’ program that encourages team members to give feedback, voice concerns, or recognize positive examples; and supporting an entrepreneurial pitching opportunity for team members to develop business ideas that solves a problem in our industry, often resulting in ideas about improved safety products, including PPE.

This year’s focus looks at the frontline supervisor’s role in safety.

“This topic is something we’ve been looking at for some time at Barton Malow. It’s a pivotal part of project safety, and we know that the information and training developed from this research will be useful across the industry,” Safety Manager Tim Tokarz said.

You can find more information about the Construction Safety Research Center on its website.

More information on Barton Malow’s safety program can be found on our commitment to safety page.