We cannot underestimate the power of managers and bosses to enforce policies that will protect the health and safety of employees, especially in hazardous workplaces like construction sites. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4,764 fatal work injuries in the U.S. in 2020-a number that we can and should try to convert to zero moving forward.
Construction companies need to do all that they can to protect their employees and workers. Here are some safety precautions and measures that should be put in place in construction sites.
Never take shortcuts
Companies and businesses, to cut costs, usually take shortcuts like:
- Opting for cheaper alternatives for equipment, machinery, and other tools
- Finding the fastest way to build structures or to finish a task
- Hiring fewer workers to decrease salary expenses
Taking shortcuts like this can increase the risks of people being exposed to accidents and injuries. For example, if construction companies don’t avail of the highest quality SDLG Motor Grader, they run the risk of settling for a cheaper, less reliable version that can endanger the safety-and life-of the operator. Choosing reputable and proven and tested motor graders can make tasks like load-sensing hydraulics much easier and safer for everyone on-site who’s operating this machinery.
While making an effort to cut unnecessary expenses is necessary for the survival of any business, it should not be at the expense of the health and safety of your workers or employees.
Do not neglect personal protective equipment
Every state and country has rules in place to protect workers in construction sites, and one of them is the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Here are some reasons why PPE is incredibly crucial:
- PPE is a worker’s last line of defense. While there are other controls in place in construction sites, PPE is the worker’s control that defends a person from any other risk that remains, no matter how small it may be. PPE is there if all other safeguards fail.
- PPE helps workers feel more comfortable. Gloves make it easier for workers to touch hot surfaces or sharp edges, knee pads make it more comfortable and easier for people to kneel while doing tasks, and so on. PPE is not just about safety; it’s also about your workers’ comfort.
- Most, if not all, PPE manufacturers conform to specific standards, so we know that the PPE we require is quality controlled.
Do not skimp on PPE. If you are a manager and you have the privilege of supervising, make sure that everyone abides by the PPE policy, for everyone’s safety and the reputation of the company.
Keep your people informed and educated
No matter how professional and experienced your team is, no two construction sites are the same, so you want to make sure that you begin every project with a thorough site induction. In many countries, site induction is required by law to ensure that every worker is fully educated and informed about the operation and organization of the site, and the responsibilities they have to keep themselves, and others, safe. Site inductions include the following basic information:
- Holistic introductions to essential workplace safety, such as the general safety requirements
- A detailed explanation of primary hazards such as restricted areas, work-at-height, site security, electrical hazards, and other potentially hazardous areas and situations
- A thorough description of emergency procedures such as proper use of PPE, where the first aid equipment is located, and the standard operating procedure in case of an emergency like a fire or an earthquake
- Time to verify the employees’ qualifications, such as taking a second look at the workers’ certifications, especially if they’re the forklift driver or heavy-machinery operator
The site induction is also a good time for workers to ask questions, so let it be a time when they can air out their concerns before you proceed.
Maintain organization and tidiness
Everyone who works in construction knows how messy it can be, but it’s no excuse to let trips and slips pass by without a second look. One way to combat accidents and injuries on-site is by ensuring that the space is always tidy and organized. Access and escape routes should remain unobstructed, and if there are wires and flammable materials, those should be properly stored as soon as people are done using them.
Construction employees and workers deserve to feel safe and healthy. Enforce these safety measures and precautions first to protect human life, and second for your company to gain a reputation for workplace safety and putting people before profit.