Tragically, over 5,000 workplace fatalities occur each year in the US. In the potentially dangerous construction industry, workplace safety is one of the best ways to prevent accidents and serious injury.
However, is your construction company as safe as it should be? Over time, it’s easy to let safety standards slip, putting your staff at risk.
Luckily, it’s never too late to make improvements. This construction site safety guide can help prevent accidents, injuries, and illness.
Make Safety a Top Priority
Profits mean nothing if your company isn’t safe, so creating a workplace culture of safety should always be your number one focus
You can do this by leading by example. If the business owner and management team are focused on safety, proper use of machinery, and doing everything correctly, this is something your employees will notice.
On the other hand, if a manager doesn’t seem bothered by following procedures, filling out forms, or taking precautions, then it’s likely your employees will notice and think that the rules don’t apply to them either.
Over time, all employees will know exactly how to protect themselves, and their colleagues, while they’re working each day.
Hold Regular Training Sessions
You know job site safety is important, but how do you ensure it’s a reality and not just an idea?
It all comes down to training and education. You can’t just expect staff to know what to do—you need to train them on a regular basis, so that their skills and knowledge stay current.
Training is essential for all aspects of the workplace, from how to use construction equipment to what to do in case of a fire.
One thing to keep in mind—training doesn’t need to be boring! You can try to make educational sessions fun by offering coffee and donuts, turning it into a social event as well.
Most construction sites also do shift briefings. These are short huddles before the shift starts to educate staff on anything urgent they need to know before starting their work.
Update Your Equipment
Workplace accidents are often caused by faulty or old equipment or machinery. Not only is outdated equipment dangerous, but it makes it harder for staff to do their jobs properly.
Avoid this by replacing machinery and tools once they’re no longer working properly. If you’re in the forestry industry, for example, hiab.com/en-us/ is a great place to find the equipment you need.
You also want to service your current machinery regularly, making sure it’s in top working order. Keep a logbook with the date of each servicing and any issues you found, to help other staff members.
Encourage staff to speak up and notify management if they notice even small issues with their equipment or tools, as this can help prevent a problem in the future.
To make your work location safer, you need to document everything when it comes to an accident or injury. Not only is this a requirement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for many industries, but it’s also good practice.
Keeping records allows you to observe trends over time. For example, if an accident is happening repeatedly in a certain area or when a particular employee is working, those issues require further investigation.
Records are also essential for both insurance and legal purposes, if you ever need to prove that the company handled the accident correctly.
Have Trained First Aid Staff On-Site
While serious emergencies also require help from 911, it’s also a good idea to have a trained first aid person on-site for each shift.
They’ll know what to do right away in case of an emergency, plus they can help with more minor issues like cuts or burns. Even work sites with a lower risk of accidents, like the company office, should still have a first aid person, as injuries can happen at any time.
Acting fast in an emergency can save a life, so encourage your staff to attend a first aid course, paid for by the company.
Make Use of Positive Reinforcement
It can be tempting to penalize a staff member when they do something reckless or stupid, but what does this achieve? Sure, major issues that put safety at risk need to be addressed, but often, positive reinforcement is the best way to create a safe workplace.
When staff members demonstrate exceptional health and safety abilities, praise them! It feels great for staff to be rewarded for doing a good job.
Plus, it’s motivational to other employees and can help create a culture of positivity in the workplace.
You can even gamify it a bit, offering small bonuses or rewards to employees who have the best health and safety record over a period of time. Safety is a serious topics, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be enjoyable.
Improve Your Construction Site Safety With These Tips
If your business could use some improvements, this construction site safety guide should help. Use it to conduct an audit on your current procedures—what are you doing well and what could be improved?
It might take some time to implement changes and make your site a safer one, but it’s worth it. Not only will it help keep your staff safe, but it also helps you stay productive, reducing downtime due to accidents.
Did you find this article helpful? If so, please read on to find more informative tips.