Construction can be a stressful job, not only to meet deadlines while staying in budget but to ensure that all of your workers stay safe. In 2016, out of 4,693 worker fatalities in private industry, one in five were in construction. Here are a few tips that can help improve construction health and safety on the job site:
Set Safety Expectations
Safety management in construction must reinforce the regulations from OSHA 29 CFR 1926, since it is the baseline for safety requirements. They should lead their team by example and make safety a priority before work even starts on any project. This will let everyone know what their assigned tasks are by working together and helping prevent injuries while at work.
Safety managers should be interacting with their workers and make it clear that it is everyone’s responsibility to follow the company’s rules, procedures and best practices to prevent any accidents. This leads to working together towards the common goal of preventing any injuries. When workers are able to see the value in safety and importance of their well-being they are able to build trust in you and the company.
By incorporating safety language into policies and procedures, it becomes part of your staff’s daily routine. A quick 5 minute safety talk at the beginning of each work day can make your safety manager improve communication and relationships with their team and minimize the chance of error. OSHA’s website has a variety of topics that you can use for meeting content.
Promote Your Workplace as a Non Threatening Environment
Always encourage your employees to speak up when they see something that is wrong. This can help avoid incidents, injuries and fatalities at work. Tell them it is ok to ask questions to make sure the issues get taken care of and that they can be prevented in the future. If people are afraid to raise their hand or talk in public offer a suggestion box or email address for them to write in. Make sure your managers give feedback and offer improvements to their staff. Avoid judgmental statements and criticism and focus on the behavior not the person or their values.
Make sure all rework activities are completed before work begins. This can help you get the work day started off on the right foot. Block off areas where certain tasks will take place, install safety nets and execute remaining safety protocols for your employees. Stock each work area with the necessary tools and personal protective equipment (PPE) before their shifts start. Run through how to operate equipment by giving through instructions and make sure that the workplace is always clean.
Take Advantage of Technologies
Technology can be worth the investment to help improve efficiency and safety for you and your employees. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) otherwise known as drones are already being used in construction and help provide a new and convenient way to conduct site inspections and safety audits. Managers can use smartphones and tablets equipped with project management software to share data from remote work sites to their workers and other supervisors. By having access to this information it keeps the team on the same page.
It has been found that 82% of contractors who use wearable technology see instant site-safety improvements. Wearable devices like smart watches, glasses and clothing allow managers to have better visibility of the job site and their workers. These devices are able to alert managers to activities going on in the field and help improve response time when injuries occur also alerting designated site personnel and medics. Locations of workers can be tracked in case of emergency or if someone happens to veer off course. Also, there are numerous free applications you can download on your smart phones for your employees to use.
Easy to Implement Safety Solutions
One of the most important parts of safety is clear and effective communication at all times. Post safety signs around the job site and in the warehouse. Label everything whether it is hazardous or not. Make sure you comply with OSHA and ANSI standards, follow the rules and have open communication to help your workplace stay safe.
Article adapted from: https://www.ehstoday.com/construction/ways-improve-construction-site-safety