Construction is one of the most dangerous professions. Each year there are thousands of injuries and deaths on construction sites. There are many factors that make construction a risky industry to work. Some of these reasons include the weather, large equipment, hazardous and large materials, and electrified wires. When accidents occur on a construction site they are often life-threatening. According to The United States Labor of Statistics, in 2017 over 20% of work-related deaths were in construction.
In order to reduce the number of injuries or deaths that occur each year, it is important to make improvements to safety protocols. It is easy to become complacent on any job, but the moment you do in construction is when accidents occur. Keeping safety top of mind is key to reducing accidents. Though construction standards have improved, making the industry safer than in years past, it is essential to take precautionary measures to avoid serious injuries. Here are 4 ways to keep safety top of mind!
Talking frequently about safety will keep workers aware of potential safety hazards. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, offers certification in safety training. They offer various training opportunities depending on the level of training required for your position. Online courses are available at osha.com or there are many companies that offer classroom style OSHA certification. Additionally, there are apps that your site supervisor can download that track safety training and topics. In the event of an emergency have a CPR/First Aid certified person on-site at all times. This person can get a life-threating situation under control prior to the first response team arriving on the scene. American Red Cross also has an app that provides information on how to handle common first aid emergencies.
Provide proper safety attire, also known as, personal protection equipment to your employees. This shows the value you place on safety. It also demonstrates your concern for the health and wellbeing of workers. Personal protection equipment can include, boots, hard hats, hearing protection, safety goggles, harnesses, gloves to name a few. Safety gear can protect you from a fall or from equipment falling on you, chemical burn, protect your vision and hearing, and prevent you from being exposed to hazardous materials.
Follow OSHA/Safety Guidelines
Following safety guidelines can sometimes feel unnecessary. However, they are put in place to protect you and your employees. Therefore, you should consider designating an employee to be accountable for safety. This way one person is responsible to monitor training and recertification, stay up to date on OSHA Guidelines, create on-site safety plans, and keep an inventory of first aid kits. Develop a job-site specific safety plan for each project. Keep a copy on-site and require each subcontractor to submit their own plan. Furthermore, evaluate job-sites frequently for potential risks. Review job site tasks and perform a job site safety analysis to discuss the potential hazards with the team. Don’t hesitate to remove someone from the site if they aren’t following guidelines. You can also consider outsourcing to a safety professional. They can develop a job-site specific safety plan, monitor your construction project, and provide a regular safety report.
Technology is a great way to improve your safety culture. There are many apps available that can track safety meetings, incidents, safety discussions and more. iAuditor is an app that is used worldwide. It allows you to create checklists, track inspections, and build reports to name a few. As I mentioned above, the American Red Cross has a mobile app that can provide tips on First Aid and send weather alerts. Weather can play a large part in safety. Extreme temperatures of heat and cold can put outdoors workers at risk. OSHA has a Heat Safety Tool app that will send reminders about taking protective measures. There are many other apps that are available to download for phones and tablets.
Keeping safety top of mind is imperative to reducing incidents and maintaining a safe job site. Train all employees to follow OSHA guidelines, provide the essential safety gear and technology, frequently evaluate safety risks, and make improvements when necessary.