Labor-Contractor Dialogue Transforms Worksite Atmosphere

by Marie A. Casey, Communications Consultant; St. Louis, Mo.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1983, Vol. 53, Issue 11, Pg. 64-68

Document Type: Feature article


In a climate of three-way communication between management, contractors and labor, the project owner saved money, increased productivity, cut down on time off the job for illness and injury and improved overall job atmosphere. New means for productivity gains resulted from adopting and applying changes and modifications that craftsmen and foremen suggested. The cooperative spirit created under Craftsmen Helping America Maximize Productivity (CHAMP) program fits in with top management's committment to safe job sites in an industry where work-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities occur at a rate that is 54% higher than the rate for all injuries. The CHAMP program revolves around formalized communications that foster creative thinking and make full use of craftmen's technical expertise. Craftsmen are no longer instructed to keep quiet and build the project as it is drawn. The resault is a dramatic improvement in construction efficiencies. The CHAMP program begins with an orientation slide/tape presentation that provides the same job site introduction to every craftsman on the job. Program awareness is also promoted through a monthly newsletter and CHAMP posters displaying project information, announcements and slogans about safety and productivity contributed by everyone on the job. A labor management committee and worker delay surveys of foremen tell how the CHAMP program works. Craftmen's reactions to the program substantiate study results indicating that the freedom and tools to do a job well serve as motivators.

Subject Headings: Accidents | Labor | Productivity | Diseases | Occupational safety | Climates | Contractors and subcontractors | Project management

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