Construction workers are some of the most vulnerable employees. They spend their days working with heavy machinery, climbing ladders, and using dangerous tools. They suffer injury and mortality rates three times higher than those in other less dangerous professions.
For David Rowland, Head of Marketing at EcoOnline, any business person worth their salt will have an in-depth knowledge of health and safety policy and practice. This is because health and safety is not only an end in itself, it is a means to an end towards a more efficient business that has an improved bottom line and greater brand loyalty amongst consumers.
With an increasing number of fatalities on the job each year, we must take steps to keep these workers safe on the job. Here are 11 ways you can help keep workers safe in the construction industry:
1) Create an Injury Prevention Program
Injury prevention programs can benefit businesses of all sizes. These are simple steps that can be implemented in any company’s workplace and can significantly improve safety. Creating a culture that promotes a safer working environment, management is accountable for injuries caused by unsafe working conditions, and workers take ownership of their own safety, resulting in better health and productivity for everyone.
2) Educate Your Workers About Different Workplace Hazards
Standard compliance training not only keeps your company in compliance with OSHA regulations but also helps workers understand the hazards they encounter on the job every day. This knowledge makes the job safer by increasing awareness of potential dangers, and it also protects your bottom line by reducing OSHA fines if you’re ever audited.
3) Develop Effective Safety Rules and Procedures
Safety rules and procedures should be developed for tasks that are performed frequently in your company. These rules can be formal or informal, but they must specify what workers are permitted to do on the job site.
4) Train and Constantly Provide Refresher Trainings About Safety
Training new hires and providing refresher safety training to all workers will help keep everyone safe on your job sites.
The more people are aware of safety hazards and how to deal with them, the better off everyone will be in the event an accident occurs.
5) Establish Written Job Site Procedures and Describe Roles Clearly
In the construction industry, clear and easy-to-understand written job site procedures and clearly defined roles and responsibilities improve both productivity and job safety. Also, there will be fewer safety hazards on your job sites if everyone understands their role and how it fits into the bigger picture.
6) Use PPEs and Other Safety Equipment
Many workers don’t wear protective equipment because they believe they are uncomfortable or don’t look professional, but this judgment could ultimately lead to injuries or death. Protecting workers from ergonomic hazards begins with using personal protective equipment such as gloves, safety glasses, earplugs, and hard hats.
These items won’t completely eliminate the chance of injury on the job site. However, they can reduce it by preventing cuts and scrapes that might lead to further medical problems down the road and prevent severe injury or even save lives.
7) Follow OSHA Regulations & Stay Compliant at All Times
OSHA regulations ensure that all employees are safe from potentially fatal hazards on the job. However, some small businesses choose not to follow these guidelines because they believe it will increase their overhead costs. The truth is, following OSHA regulations can save companies money in the long run by preventing injuries and reducing workers’ compensation claims.
8) Include a “Safety Concern” Box
Creating a confidential safety box where employees can anonymously submit concerns about job site hazards provides another way for employers to stay informed about potentially hazardous conditions or equipment that could lead to accidents if not addressed immediately.
This method of addressing employee concerns makes it easier for them to express their concerns without fear of being reprimanded.
9) Provide an On-Site First Aid Kit
If an unprecedented event requires employees to provide emergency first aid, it will help if there is a fully stocked on-site first aid kit nearby at all times. These kits should include band-aids, gauze pads, tape, and anything else you may need to treat minor injuries before an ambulance arrives.
10) Inform Your Workers About Spills & Flammables Safety
Hydrofluoric acid spills are one of the most dangerous hazards your workers face on a construction site.
Hydrofluoric acid (HF) is one of the most toxic substances used in construction today, and it is extremely dangerous when it comes in contact with human skin. That is why all of your employees must be trained on spills and flammable liquids so that they are aware of the potential safety risks associated with those hazardous liquids.
11) Report and File Accidents as They Occur
Accidents cause delays, workplace injuries, liability concerns, and a bad reputation for the business. While you may not be able to prevent every single accident on your job site, there are some types that you can control – like slip-and-fall accidents caused by poorly maintained floors. Regular inspections will help track these kinds of issues so you can address them as soon as possible.
The importance of safety should not be underestimated. We must ensure that everyone understands how to stay safe while working in the construction industry. With these 12 tips, hopefully, there will be fewer accidents on-site!