Peter G. Furst

Peter G. Furst

Organizational & Human Performance Consultant, The Furst Group

Contact Info

The Furst Group/University of California Berkeley
709 Davis Hall 
Berkeley, CA 94720


Peter G. Furst, who frequently lectures at universities, consults with numerous organizations, and speaks at numerous conferences, contributes articles on construction safety as well as quality for

Mr. Furst has almost 25 years of experience consulting to a variety of firms, including architects, engineers, construction, service, retail, and manufacturing organizations. He has provided guidance in the design and implementation of innovative integrated organizational strategic and tactical solutions resulting in efficiencies along the value stream, utilizing Six Sigma lean and balanced scorecard metrics optimizing human and business performance. He has also provided motivational presentations at various organizations to all levels of management and employees. Some of the consulting was with Liberty Mutual Group customers, helping them manage their safety programs more effectively and efficiently, thereby improving business outcomes as well as substantially reducing their cost of risk.

Mr. Furst has more than 20 years of construction experience with a multinational general contractor, Turner Construction Company, serving as estimator, superintendent, and project manager on numerous projects varying in size with some more than $500 million and involving many hundreds of craftsmen and subcontractors. He also had overall safety and labor relations oversight for projects amounting to more than $450 million annually with resultant experience modification rates of under 0.35.

Mr. Furst teaches at both the University of California, Berkeley, as well as the California State University East Bay, in courses related to architecture, engineering, management, and construction, providing students with innovative and challenging perspectives on a wide variety of subjects. He has lectured at Harvard University as well.

He has practiced architecture at various firms in Southern California for approximately 10 years and been involved in design and project administration on both commercial, institutional, and public projects. He has worked with consultants, contractors, and owners to devise design and project delivery solutions with an enhanced sustainability value focus.

Mr. Furst received a bachelor of science degree in construction engineering with honors, a bachelor of architecture (professional degree—5 years) with honors, as well as a master’s degree in business administration with emphasis in management from the California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. He also has taken a number of postgraduate courses.

He is a registered architect with the state of California, Certified Safety Professional, Registered Environmental Assessor, and an Associate in Risk Management. He has published numerous articles in professional magazines and various websites covering such subjects as organizational culture, climate, leadership, management, strategic and tactical planning, process and systems improvement, lean thinking, Six Sigma, organizational scorecards, metrics to drive organizational behavior, sustainability, supervision, performance management, enterprise risk management, human error, quality, and safety.

His affiliations and awards include: Honored Instructor, University of California, Berkeley School of Engineering extension; member, advisory board, University of California, Berkeley Construction Management Program; member, advisory board, California State University East Bay Construction Management Program; and California AGC Safety Professional of the Year. He is a member of various ANSI and ASTM committees, Construction Specification Institute, ASSP, National Safety Council, and the AGC Safety Council, Labor relations. He serves as a commissioner for the state of California, Board of Architectural Examiners. He is a past member of the AIA, San Francisco and Los Angeles chapters, Southern California Industrial Safety Society, and the Western Council of Construction Consumers.

Previously, he has taught (part-time) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Extension, and the School of Safety and System Management, University of Southern California (USC). He worked in the undergraduate programs at the School of Engineering, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and the School of Industrial Technology, California State University, Long Beach, teaching courses in construction organization and management, fundamentals of estimating bidding and pricing, planning and scheduling, project management, cost control, construction materials and methods, principles of management and supervision, safety management systems, facility management, construction safety management, quality management, performance metrics and management, human performance, and advanced accident investigation.

Mr. Furst is a recognized motivational speaker, having spoken at conferences in both North and South America, at some over 10 times, these include the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), National Safety Council (NSC), Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE), Instituto de Seguridad Minera (ISEM) Peru, Industrial Accident Prevention Association (IAPA) Canada, International Risk Management Institute, Inc. (IRMI), Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS), World of Concrete (W of C), Construction Specification Institute Conference (CSI), Behavior Safety Now (BSN), Chicago Safety Conference, World Congress on Safety and Health, American Industrial Hygiene Conference, Utility Safety Conference & Expo, AGC National Conference, American Concrete Institute (ACI), Construct Conference, Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC), Construction Employees Association (CEA), and the NeoCon World Trade Show, as well as various state safety conferences including Oregon, Hawaii, Alaska, Alabama, Saskatchewan, the Canada Safety Council. and Cancun, Mexico. He has also presented at various symposiums, seminars, and over 120 private and public organizations.

Expert Commentary

Date Article
Jan 2023 Work Accident Causation
Dec 2022 Hidden Drivers of Construction Errors and Accidents
Sep 2022 Construction Operational Systems and Their Effect on Project Outcomes
Jul 2022 Construction Safety Beliefs Regarding Hazards and Risk Matter
May 2022 Appreciative Inquiry—a Transformational Change Management Tool
Feb 2022 Improving Construction Productivity with Quality Management
Jan 2022 Avoiding Unacceptable Behavior in Construction
Oct 2021 Implications of Employee Morale
Sep 2021 Measuring the Effectiveness of Quality Management Systems
Jul 2021 Importance of Trust in Construction Relationships
May 2021 Addressing Productivity through Quality Management
May 2021 Error-Proofing Employee Performance
Mar 2021 Craftsperson's Impact on Project Quality
Feb 2021 Impact of Organizational Systems on Construction Safety Performance
Dec 2020 Avoiding Deployment Failure of Safety Change Initiatives
Nov 2020 Effective Subcontractor Management: A Robust Approach to Quality
Aug 2020 Unconscious Biases and Construction Safety
Jun 2020 Culture of Quality in Operations
Apr 2020 The Management of Construction Safety
Mar 2020 Cost of Quality in Commercial Construction
Jan 2020 Safety Practitioner's Interaction with Construction Crews
Nov 2019 Mindfulness in Construction Communication and Management
Sep 2019 The Impact of a Positive Work Environment on Construction Safety
Aug 2019 Managing Expectations: An Important Aspect of Construction Quality
May 2019 Safe Work Execution + Nudge Theory
Feb 2019 Improve Construction Projects with a Quality Management System
Jan 2019 Construction Frontline Supervisor Essential Skills and Competencies
Dec 2018 Employee Engagement and Organizational Performance
Nov 2018 Construction Quality and Partner Relationships
Oct 2018 Ensuring a Safe Construction Work Site
Aug 2018 Construction Failure Causation
Jun 2018 Quality Assurance Management: Ensuring Robust Outcomes
May 2018 Construction Safety Opportunities and Challenges
Mar 2018 Improve the Frontline Construction Supervisor's Impact
Jan 2018 A Discourse on Construction Quality
Dec 2017 Attribution—A Hidden Risk Factor in Construction
Aug 2017 Dealing with Difficult Employees
May 2017 Construction Industry Tolerances
Apr 2017 Managing Complacency in Construction
Feb 2017 Effective Communication in Construction Safety
Oct 2016 Organizational Performance and Employee Reliability
Jul 2016 Managing for Results When Dealing with Difficult People
Apr 2016 The Role of Beliefs in Safety
Jan 2016 Everyone Is Responsible for Safety: The Myth and Solution
Dec 2015 Employee Attitudes and Accidents
Oct 2015 Construction Quality Management
Oct 2015 Human Error Considerations in Construction Project Delivery
Jul 2015 Stop Work Authority and the Bystander Effect
Jun 2015 Organizational Culture Drives (Safety) Performance
Feb 2015 Applying Systems Thinking to Safe Operations
Nov 2014 Communication Insights for Supervision
Oct 2014 The Role of Communication in Effective Supervision
Aug 2014 Normalization of Performance Deviations
May 2014 A Safety Value Proposition
Jul 2013 Construction and Safety Performance
May 2013 Safety Myths and Wrongheaded Beliefs Prevalent in the Construction Industry
Mar 2013 Fundamentally, Safety Is a People Problem—An Overview
Dec 2012 Ineffective Construction Management Practices and Their Impact on Project Safety
Aug 2012 Innovations in Construction Safety—Error Proofing
Apr 2012 Conflict Resolution in the Construction Setting
Jan 2012 The Ten Elements Framework
Dec 2011 Ten Elements of Safety Excellence: An Integrated Organizational Approach to Construction Safety
Aug 2011 Managing System-Driven Incidents—A Business and Performance Approach
May 2011 The Importance of Influence
Mar 2011 Construction Crises: Danger or Opportunity
Dec 2010 Performance Management and the Human Error Factor: A New Perspective
May 2010 Construction Project Risk Management
Nov 2009 Supervisor's Role in Employee Performance
Jul 2009 Construction Injury Prevention through Safety
Jun 2009 Construction Injury Prevention through Design
Dec 2008 Construction Blasting Risk Management
Nov 2008 Construction Blasting Fundamentals
Aug 2008 Enterprise Safety Management: Implementing a Framework
Feb 2008 Truly Improve Construction Risk Management: Reexamine Traditional Safety Solutions
Jan 2008 Enterprise Safety Management: Creating a Framework
Sep 2007 Enterprise Safety Management: Creating an Injury-Free Workplace
May 2007 The Construction Foreman—Working without a Net
Mar 2007 The Injury-Free Construction Site and the Foreman: An Underutilized Resource in the Safety Process
Sep 2006 Managing Construction Risk through Pre-Operational Planning
Jun 2006 Measuring Success—Integrated Risk Management
May 2006 Safety Excellence by Design—Integrated Risk Management