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consciously safe and consciously angry

lucas van der wee

Last week at the office, we focused on health and safety on construction sites and in our working environment. This was loosely planned around 'Bouwend Nederland's Conscious Safe' day, where chain responsibility is a key component.Construction is high on the list of most dangerous work environments. Our projects too have seen serious incidents during execution in recent years. In design, we will have to do everything possible to contribute to a safe construction and maintenance phase. Above all, this requires awareness from my entire team. Partly for this reason, we visited a number of construction sites and completed projects on our Consciously Safe Day, in addition to a substantive programme. Such a visit provides understanding about working conditions and the scope of equipment beyond the virtual world of modelling and drawing programmes.

For the architects and engineers at consultation tables and behind computers, immediate safety and health recommendations do not extend much further than good posture, controlling work stress and holding stair railings. Yet there, on another level, my team is also exposed to unsafety. Particularly during the execution of a design, intensive collaboration occurs between people with different backgrounds and sometimes shared but frequently conflicting interests. Generally, you work together on good terms, despite discussions in work and construction meetings. Once in a while, however, you encounter a project where a project director or work planner finds it necessary to repeatedly shout, intimidate and engage in personal attacks to 'talk'.

The cause may be various - lack of arguments, stress in the project, arguments at home, impotence. Perhaps it is a learned figure of speech after a course on 'consciously angry and functional bullying'. Either way, handling screaming interlocutors has our attention. So that everyone can focus on really important matters, such as safety on the building site and the quality and progress of a project.

ronald schleurholts

architect-partner cepezed

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