Construction workers endure and survive one of the most dangerous sectors, and their work environment can be quite hazardous. These professionals use various risky tools and equipment, and the numerous risks of getting injured from accidents don’t come as a surprise.
Considering the hazards that workers in this industry face, it’s imperative that employers and senior construction employees do everything to ensure everyone at the site is safe.
Besides worker safety, construction companies can also save about $32,000 for every medically-consulted injury avoided. What’s more, when these companies strive to eliminate the top workplace risks in OSHA’s “Fatal Four, the lives of 591 Americans will be saved every year.
So, what steps should you take to protect your construction workers and save on costs that can be avoided? Let’s explore.
Guidelines for Ensuring Safety of Construction Workers at Sites
You can use several approaches to keep your workers safe at the construction site, and most of these simple approaches won’t cost an arm and a leg. Here is a list of the top ways of maintaining construction site health and safety:
Maintain An Awareness Culture
Every worker must be aware of the potential hazards before they set foot on the construction site, regardless of their experience level or role. Ignorant workers may pose the greatest risk in the construction site. That simple mistake of not knowing could put the entire team at risk, including those who know and follow the safety precautions.
As such, senior construction workers must make everyone understand the perils at hand and create a perpetual state of alertness. OSHA’s safety checklist can guide construction managers to communicate the different risks and teach staff how to avoid and address them using their knowledge and experience.
You’ll have failed in your role if you fail to make your crew aware of the potential risks. Workers without any concept of their safety shouldn’t be at the construction site in the first place.
Conduct Continuous Employee Training
Construction workers gain a majority of their skills on the job. However, safety should be learned even before they reach the site. OSHA and other like-minded organizations have published a wide range of resources to guide construction companies on training their new talents on standard security and workplace safety practices. You can always download the worksheets, pamphlets, training videos for guidance, or even leverage on-site opportunities.
Through continuous training, experienced employees will continue refreshing their knowledge and staying up to date with new safety trends, strategies, and legislation. It doesn’t have to be complicated. The process may go over simple activities like using ladders properly and fall protection, but the main goal is to ensure all construction workers are adequately trained and ready.
They should leave these training sessions with the knowledge of precautions and safety measures in case of an accident or injury at the site.
Insist On Correct Use of Construction Equipment and Tools
Construction workers rely on various tools to carry out their jobs, but most of these come with their dangers and risks. The nail gun, for instance, is among the most dangerous tools at the construction site and can cause lots of bodily harm or even fatalities. Ladders are also among the leading causes of accidents at construction sites.
The incorrect usage of these dangerous construction tools is among the key reasons many construction workers get hurt. Knowing how to use one properly and following the guidelines on appropriate usage will significantly reduce injury chances.
When it comes to heavy construction equipment, only licensed operators must be allowed to use them. Just like the smaller tools, these critical resources must be used correctly to make the work environment much safer.
Finally, you must insist on the appropriate safety gear. From the hard hats to reflector jackets, having the safety gear on would significantly lower the risk of accidents at the construction site.
Leverage Construction Site Safety Apps
Recent studies report a significant increase in the usage of mobile devices at construction sites. According to recent findings, 70 percent of trade contractors and a whopping 96 percent of general contractors acknowledge that superintendents rely on mobile devices for different worksite functions.
Along with the growing usage of smartphones is the rise of vast workplace safety applications suited for different industries. While we can’t make any recommendations on which app will be best for you, here are some popular safety apps you might want to look into:
- Safesite – Allows project managers and their team to conduct inspections and log safety hazards.
- Fall Safety App – It notifies construction workers at heights if a team member has fallen then alerts the emergency contact team.
- iHandy Translator Pro – Contractors and construction workers use this to communicate around the clock.
- Safety Meeting App – It allows project managers to track safety meetings and record employee attendance and accidents.
- Decibel 10th: Professional Noise Meter – Construction workers at noisy sites can use this to monitor noise levels to protect their ears.
All these apps may not guarantee zero injuries, but they can be crucial in optimizing construction worker safety.
Maintain A Tidy Construction Site
Besides being among the worksite with the highest number of injury risks, construction sites are also among the messiest. Trips and slips may not seem to be a major concern than the vast majority of more significant risks in the work environment, but you can never be too sure.
Statistics from a recent HSE study shed light on this. According to the findings, slip and trip accidents accounted for 30 percent of major injuries specified on construction sites.
The remedy for these hazards is simple: tiding up the entire construction site. Employees must always ensure they tidy any mess in their surroundings throughout their shifts. Access and escape routes require more attention since the threat is more significant there.
The risk of accidents at construction sites is high, but you can always ensure your workers’ safety by following the above approaches. Also, accidents may be inevitable, but all injured construction workers deserve the right compensation to ease their pain and aid recovery.