Without ethics, the construction industry cannot function. Constructors need to strive for a common ethical standard when participating in complex construction works to protect the interests of their company, owners, the general public, and other stakeholders.
The American Institute of Constructors (AIC) understands the importance of ethics in construction, which is why we are focused on helping construction professionals gain a deeper understanding of business ethics, safety issues, and how to deal with ethical situations within the construction industry.
That’s why we created the AIC Code of Ethics to guide our members on how to identify ethical issues, take appropriate action, and encourage other professionals to act in an ethical manner. Specific to safety, it’s important to learn more about safety ethics in construction to help you support others and advance in your career as you seek to manage more involved projects.
Utilize the AIC Code of Ethics to Support Your Career
We believe that it’s important for aspiring construction managers to recognize how to operate ethically in their chosen career path, especially in the area of safety. This is why a significant amount of our Code of Ethics speaks to safety issues in construction.
We want future construction managers to understand how to operate ethically in order to provide a safe work environment for any individuals working with them or for them. Let’s review two important examples that pertain to construction safety ethics.
Maintain a Professional Approach to Construction Safety
– Consider the sixth point in the AIC Code of Ethics: “A constructor shall carry out responsibilities in accordance with current professional practice, so far as it lies within his or her power.”
The construction industry is constantly evolving as new safety innovations come into play. With the introduction of these new safety innovations, the role of a constructor will change. One of the most important aspects of being an ethical constructor is protecting the health and safety of co-workers, supervisors, subordinates, clients, and anyone else present at the job site.
In order to understand the importance of carrying out the standards of professional conduct that promote safety in the workplace, let’s look at an example that could apply to you:
- You have been promoted to the role of construction manager on a large project.
- In an attempt to complete the project faster, a suggestion is made to cut corners regarding safety.
- As the project manager, you remember the Code of Ethics and the importance of carrying out your responsibilities in accordance with current professional practice.
- You opt not to cut corners for faster completion, instead choosing to protect the health and safety of the men and women on your crew. This is the right decision.
Provide Sound Safety Advice At All Times
Other aspects of the AIC Code of Ethics capture the importance of providing sound counsel to employees that rely on your decision-making in the role of a construction manager.
Consider the fourth point in the AIC Code of Ethics: “A constructor shall ensure that when providing a service which includes advice, such advice is fair and unbiased.”
To better understand the importance of ethical, fair, and unbiased advice, let’s look at another example that could impact how you handle safety ethics in construction.
- While serving as a construction manager, a new employee asks you the best way to complete an assigned task.
- The project has taken longer than expected, so you contemplate whether to provide advice to the new hire that includes not following all necessary safety protocols. This way, the worker will get the job done faster.
- Consider what would happen if you chose the unethical path. The new hire, unaware of the danger, follows your advice and is seriously injured while carrying out your instructions.
- Consider what would happen if you chose the ethical path. The new hire, aware of the danger, acts in a safe manner to avoid serious injury.
The decision to offer misleading advice to a worker could lead to the injury of someone that you’re supervising. At all times, you must remember that it is more important to look out for the health and safety of a worker than a project timeline. Failure to treat safety issues with the proper respect could lead to injury to the person, harm to your company, and the derailment of your career.
Safety Ethics in Construction: Appreciate and Advance
The construction industry is one of the most secure options for individuals who are looking for an opportunity to build a long-term career in an industry that will always be in demand. But, it’s also a very demanding career path that requires strong attention to critical issues such as safety ethics.
We want you to have a successful career managing construction projects. That’s why it’s important to understand the latest issues surrounding safety ethics in construction so that it becomes part of your everyday actions, behavior, and thinking.
We invite you to learn more about safety ethics and other ethical topics in construction. You can do so by subscribing to the AIC newsletter to receive valuable information directly in your inbox. Each month, we will provide you with information, resources, and articles to help you advance in your career.
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