Can the Book 'Checklist Manifesto' Help Your Business?

Originally published by the following source: SBC MagazineAugust 22, 2019
by Laura Soderlund with contributions from NFC Staff


Workplace safety is vitally important, and a checklist can be a helpful and simple way for framers to develop a systematic approach to safety. “We really wanted to act on our safety statement and for us that was putting it first,” says NFC member Pedro Loureiro, president of Nomad Framing. “We started a hazardous work checklist that we cover during our daily morning safety huddles so we can plan our day around whatever it takes to limit the risk around those hazards.”

Pedro was introduced to this checklist concept after a discussion with one of his clients, James Caulfield. “We were talking on-site after we had an accident and we were brainstorming ideas. He shared with me a book he was reading and that maybe we could get better with our safety collectively.” The book, called The Checklist Manifesto was written by surgeon Atul Gawande, who discovered that the key to preventing the spread of sickness and infection in operating rooms and hospitals was to implement a checklist, similar to how pilots conduct checks before their flights. “It’s an amazing book that gave me numerous ideas on how to use checklists,” shares Pedro. “Implementing a simple checklist can go a long way.”

After reading the book, Pedro was inspired to start the hazardous work checklist in the daily safety huddles. “I really understood what James was getting at and that’s when our leadership team had a brainstorming session to create the checklist. That’s a little piece of the puzzle for where that book came about,” says Pedro. “We’ve been using the checklist companywide since the beginning of the year and it’s been about 150 days since our last incident.”

Pedro explains that it’s not top-down but that everyone needs to be responsible for safety. “Everyone is owning it. We rotate who runs the safety huddle meeting and goes through the checklist.” Nomad Framing’s checklist is a convenient electric version so employees can fill it out on an iPad or phone but there are also paper copies as well that can later be logged in electronically. “We’ve extended the checklist and morning huddle responsibility to the assistant foreman so they can start owning and learning the process as well.”

Since following through on his customer’s book recommendation, Pedro feels that the hazardous work checklist has been a valuable addition to his team’s safety huddles. “I do believe that based on my recollection of our indict history, that 150 days incident-free is a really good number and something to be proud of.”

For more information on Nomad Framing’s daily safety huddles, please read the article Daily Safety Huddles Highlight Hazards, Keep Crews on Track.

To get started with your own electronic checklist, take a look into using Smartsheet to set it up online.

To learn more about the safety checklists available in NFC's FrameSAFE program along with other ideas you can implement to foster a culture of safety on your jobsites, visit the NFC website.


Check out this extra section in each digital issue of SBC Magazine for additional news, perspective, and advertiser content. Learn more and access 2016-2017 archives here.