Every day, construction workers are under tremendous pressure to meet deadlines and stay on budget. Unfortunately, this can put construction site safety at risk. In recent years, working in the construction industry has become one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. 20% of workplace fatalities in the private sector occur on construction sites. Thus, increasing safety at workplaces should be a top priority for every builder.
How can you protect the construction workers?
The results of the research allowed us to identify important aspects that have the greatest impact on ensuring occupational safety in construction companies. Such aspects were: cooperation and communication between the general manager and workers that carried out their work as subcontractors, employees’ awareness of hazards and risk assessment, proper training of workers, and the presence of an experienced supervisor on-site. In relation to these identified aspects, we have a couple of proposals for actions that could improve occupational safety in small construction companies.
There are a couple of steps that you might take in order to boost the safety of your employees:
Construction companies and site managers are responsible for ensuring that everyone follows strict safety protocols before arriving on-site, during shifts, and after leaving the site. By hiring a qualified construction manager, you can ensure that workers and visitors are following safety regulations, such as wearing helmets. Any unsafe situations, construction accidents, or other risk factors should be reported to the site manager, who will immediately take appropriate steps to mitigate the risk.
The employer should ensure that each employee completes a 10 hour SST training and acquires the relevant knowledge and skills with the certificate. Training topics cannot be general and must be tailored to employees’ occupations. Particular attention should be paid to the training needs of workers in higher-risk groups such as young people, temporary workers, and those just starting out in the construction industry. You should also check the competence of training providers.
The coordinator’s primary task should be to reach out to every small construction team working on his site. The supervisor should communicate the health and safety requirements systematically to his workers, support them and at the same time enforce the expectations. As soon as the changes appear, they must be presented to the employees.
Often in small companies, the employer is also the contractor and supervisor. In such cases, it is advisable for him to have a SST course for persons in charge of employees, and even receive the appropriate qualifications and construction certificates. The same applies to those who supervise the construction site in his absence.