Accidents at work are typically a hassle for both employees and employers. However, accidents at construction sites have the potential to be fatal, not just for the victims involved, but also for the business. Despite population growth and rising demand for new structures, the construction industry gets less alluring with every new report of environmental catastrophes, earth-rocking explosions, and stranded workers.
While employers certainly have a responsibility to reduce safety risks for construction workers, employees also have a responsibility to take a lot of safety precautions when working in such high-risk environments. Here are seven strategies construction companies can adopt to decrease workplace accidents and establish safer worksite practices.
1. Hold Site Inductions for Every New Project
Inductions are a legal requirement on construction sites. Upon beginning a project, workers are given a safety induction at the construction site. It explains to workers the hazards they might encounter, the safety regulations and measures in place, and how to do their jobs safely on the job site.
Inductions shouldn’t be one-time sessions held only for new recruits to the site. To improve safety on your construction sites, you should hold inductions regularly, especially whenever you begin work on a new site. Every site is unique, and because construction workers move from one site to another frequently, they might not be familiar with hazards peculiar to a particular site. Explain the risks and hazards your crew may encounter on the site, as well as the site regulations and safe work practices. This opening explanation will probably reduce the possibility of any unpleasant situations occurring in the future.
The good thing about site inductions is that they are cost-saving. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on them. They will only cost you time, and time spent on safety induction is an investment.
2. Incorporate Toolbox Talks
On-site health and safety issues might be brought up through daily or weekly toolbox lectures that cover pertinent site hazards and activities. Both employees and management benefit from these brief health and safety meetings because they provide everyone the chance to ask questions and offer feedback.
Your toolbox discussions should serve two purposes: to keep health and safety at the forefront of your team’s minds, and to provide a welcoming atmosphere in which the issues brought up may be examined and handled. Each session should cover a specific topic on health and safety, and focus on delivering important health and safety information to your staff on site.
3. Proper Documentation of Site Activities
It is best practice to document all activities taking place on the site, as this will help to enforce construction site safety. The majority of construction companies have some legal requirements to fulfill before they can start working, thus it’s necessary that all necessary registrations and permits are obtained before any construction work starts.
Before starting work on the job site, supervisors and contractors who will be in charge of specialized or high-risk operations need to present documentation of their qualifications. This safeguards the construction company from legal action and public scrutiny in addition to preventing mishaps brought on by inadequate training.
While paperwork by itself won’t increase safety, having safety protocols will, and often these protocols need to be documented. Formal signing-in sheets, induction sheets, checks, and inspections will enable convenient retrieval of information, its dissemination to those who need it, as well as provide a record that you’re adhering to your legal obligations.
4. Near-Miss Reporting
Near misses are incidents that might have caused an injury, but thanks to quick thinking or a lucky escape, nobody was hurt. If a near-miss is disregarded, an accident will probably happen later. In other words, an unattended near-miss is an accident waiting to happen.
By requesting workers to report any near misses to the site manager and using a straightforward near-miss report form, you can set up a near-miss reporting system. You could make the process easier by adopting technology. Develop a digital system for employees to report near-misses online without having to physically obtain and fill hard-copy forms. You can reduce the likelihood of a similar situation happening again by analyzing near-misses and putting preventive control mechanisms in place.
5. Provide the Right Tools
You should provide employees with the right tools and a suitable workspace for the task at hand if you want to foster a culture that prioritizes construction site safety. Ensuring construction site safety would be challenging without the right tools because there is always a chance that someone will get hurt when using the wrong tools.
Construction companies and site supervisors must ensure that all equipment and materials are kept in good working
order. This is in addition to making sure that every piece of equipment on the job site is perfectly matched to the task at hand. Environmental factors such as light, should be considered as well. For instance, the workplace should be properly illuminated to allow workers to have a clear view of what they’re working on.
As important as it is for workers to have the right tools for their job, it is even more important, especially for heavy equipment, that only trained personnel be allowed to handle them. Accidents can occur when an unskilled worker is left to man technical equipment with or without supervision.
6. Use Visual Aids
Construction safety culture is expressed through posters, warning signs, and even hand gestures. By putting up posters and warning signs as visual reminders, you can keep employees reminded of their dedication to workplace safety. Hand gestures allow them to communicate with one another and give them a way to alert people to danger when they are unable to be heard above the noise of construction equipment and ongoing work nearby.
7. Conduct Periodic Risk Assessments
Whether you are a business or a sole proprietor, performing risk assessments on building sites is required by law. The goal of a construction risk assessment is to determine the hazardous elements and potential risks in construction projects. The three critical sections of a typical risk assessment are: identifying risks, analyzing and evaluating risks, and controlling the risks.
The baseline risk assessment is usually carried out first. A baseline risk assessment establishes a benchmark for the possible dangers that might surface during a building project. It also seeks to identify existing risks, rank each liability, and determine whether or not they can be effectively managed using control measures that are currently in place.
The value of a safety culture in the construction industry cannot be overestimated. It’s nice to go to work and return with a handsome paycheck. It’s even better to return in one piece. For employers and construction managers, ensuring worksite safety is one way to reduce unprecedented expenses. Notably, the less accidents occur on a construction site, the more people are willing to engage in the work.
When it comes to workplace safety, employers are constantly on the lookout for workers who understand their role in improving and maintaining the safety culture of their construction company. Employees, on their part, also look for construction companies with a great safety culture. This is where TradeLink Solutions comes in. We match the right talent to the right organization. TradeLink Solutions provides talent acquisition services for companies in the construction and engineering industries. Having been in the business for over 15 years, you can bet that we are good at what we do. Contact us today for all your hiring services.
This content is powered by Mission.