Each week, ICBA’s Jordan Bateman reflects on what we’ve learned as we participate in ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program. This program is free for all ICBA members – check out icba.ca/wellness for details.

We’re on to month 8 of our ICBA Wellness program, and the focus is on Respectful Workplaces. In construction, respect for one another is a huge part of maintaining a safe worksite – our top industry priority.

Our Toolbox Talk this week puts it this way:

“Respect and good communication go hand in hand. When employees feel comfortable going up to a coworker or bringing a problem to a supervisor, safety issues can be addressed quickly… Employees who respect and trust one another can more easily focus on their work. When there is a lack of trust or respect, just seeing a coworker that you view negatively can send your mind racing. Workplaces [like that] can be compromised in safety as well as productivity.”

It’s a link we need to talk about more with our teams. How respect and communication improve both mental health and physical safety.

It’s like a football team. The quarterback – usually the highest paid, biggest star – has to trust his offensive line – usually the most overlooked team members – to do their jobs effectively. The linemen have to talk with one another and respect each other’s abilities; otherwise the quarterback will get crushed and the team will lose. The QB’s safety depends on the offensive line’s ability to work together.

The math is simple: Respect + Communication = Safer Workplaces.

ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program is helping more than 50 companies, and thousands of construction professionals, better understand mental health. The program is free for ICBA members — see icba.ca/wellness.