The Quick Safety Interview Series with Anthony Calderon
Safety Director, PNG Builders
The Quick Safety Interview Series by Kwant is built to raise safety awareness and bring construction industry professionals together. Safety continues to be increasingly important within construction, and the team at Kwant wants to support safety culture by sharing the voice of safety professionals that are making an impact within the construction industry.
We sat down with Anthony Calderon from PNG Builders to talk about safety within the construction and ways to improve. If you haven’t had the pleasure of diving into PNG Builders’ portfolio, I would recommend checking them out. Anthony has over 25 years of experience within the construction industry and safety is his top priority. As a Safety Director, Anthony oversees more than 30 superintendents, leadmen, and project managers and still makes time for his family. After hard work, the true payout is family. Anthony has walked all positions within construction, from coordinator to manager, operations, supervisor, and director. The Kwant team was very fortunate to capture time with Anthony for this interview.
As we discussed ways to improve workforce safety, Anthony mentioned a great point. “We need great safety habits to form.” Great habits on the jobsite create proactive safety improvements without the need to get in the way of your workforce’s tasks. Creating great safety habits needs to start at the core with engaging training, collaborative education, and unified consistency. “Proactive safety habits on the jobsite come from consistency and collaboration around HR, Operations, and Safety working together” says Anthony.
What would you recommend to new management for improving workplace culture?
“Ideally, you want an open door policy to set the right tone with the team so they feel comfortable to talk about anything. Encourage communication but not distraction. Our employees should feel welcome when entering a jobsite because we have their back.” says Anthony of PNG Builders.
One important aspect of safety is surrounding the emotional impact management creates for their workforce. Setting the right example and expectations for workforce safety is a requirement that should not be taken lightly, no matter the size of the project. It was very important to note the way management might approach a task with their worker that may be stressed themselves due to the nature of the job. Approach can either simplify the workflow to achieving a goal or hinder when working directly with another employee on a construction site. That is why setting the right example is very important for Anthony, and he aims to continue to share that understanding of where we are in it together and should help each other out.
Of course, this is one of the hurdles many construction companies continue to overcome, so awareness and education are of great importance.
The first few interactions with a company and a new job is very important for more than one reason. There can be a lot of pressure around onboarding thousands of workers within a short time. Management needs support and the workforce needs a good onboarding experience. Anthony spoke on the importance of having a workflow with HR, Operations, and Safety that benefits the workforce for the job and incentivizes everyone to form good habits.
It is common to have a blend of a newer generation working together with more experienced employees on projects. Anthony recommended using a standard checklist, something more than just PowerPoint and videos, so employees have a great onboarding experience and know their company has their back. Great onboarding is such a crucial part of the safety process that continuously needs to improve for the safety of everyone.
How has the workforce onboard experience changed over the years for jobsites?
“In the past, you were given your gloves and shown where to work with limited communication. The jobsites and technology we deal with today require a lot more knowledge.” - Anthony Calderon
When discussing safety on the jobsite, technology was a hot topic. Anthony mentioned a few notes that were of great importance for implementing and managing new technology. “Having a dedicated person in place to handle and manage new technology and the day-to-days, so everyone is on the same page is crucial to keeping safety standards relevant.” - Anthony Calderon
Anthony notes that it is a constant struggle when it comes to handling workforce certifications and staying compliant. That is why it is important to have the right technology in place with the right people behind the tech. Skilled individuals create smoother workflows and more efficient management when meeting compliance requirements.
Anthony’s recommendations for improving construction safety with technology:
About PNG Builders
Founded in 1959 as a specialty subcontractor, PNG Builders has grown into a well-established general contractor with an extensive portfolio in highly specialized sectors of construction, including medical, aerospace, energy, entertainment, retail, and mixed-use.
In 2010, PNG Builders proudly offered employees a culture of ownership through a 100% Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP). As a company of more than 80 dedicated owners, every individual in the company is encouraged to think, act, and perform like owners. Investing and empowering our team is how we grow and how, together, we succeed.
We have enjoyed success by delivering what is most important to our valued clients: fast-tracked schedules, best value, superior flexibility and reliability, outstanding service and uncompromising quality. We successfully complete high-profile and challenging projects by applying our commitment to service, integrity, and open communication. By this process, we continue to live by our motto: Building Value. Building Trust. Building People.
Check out PNG Builder’s website for more information on the company: www.png.builders
Kwant is a workforce management & safety platform built to accelerate construction through productivity and safety. Using smart wearables and plug-n-play sensors, Kwant connects jobsite data and provides real-time insights & reports. Visit us at www.kwant.ai for more information.