There are several reasons why working in construction is risky. It’s important to remember that every construction site is different and may pose its own set of risks. Conditions on the job site are never static like they would be in a manufacturing facility or office. As work advances, new hazards and issues around dust suppression safety emerge. But ensuring your employees are safe doesn’t have to be difficult. You can easily incorporate a safer workplace into your preconstruction planning process and replicate it on all your future projects with the right amount of planning and preparation. By implementing the tips below, you can show that your business is serious about creating a safe work environment for all of its projects.
Due to the unique nature of each construction site, it is essential to develop a custom safety strategy for each project. When formulating your plan for ensuring worker safety, be careful to consider data from similar projects in the past. Determine the risks and hazards that could arise during each stage of the project. Analyze the situation and figure out how to implement engineering controls, a dust suppression system, training, and PPE to reduce or eliminate risks and hazards. As the project develops, you can have more personnel working at height, necessitating a greater emphasis on fall protection, scaffolding, and ladder safety.
Stage for safety
You’ve probably already started staging the construction site for things like storing equipment and receiving supplies. To further ensure everyone’s safety on the job, why not set up a safety zone? Create zones where different tasks and jobs can operate closely together. Store materials, equipment, first aid supplies, and PPE in a central location so workers don’t have to search the worksite for what they need. The risks of falling, being struck by an object, being electrocuted, or becoming entangled in or between things can be reduced by restricting access to certain parts of the worksite. It will also lessen foot traffic in locations where distractions from workers milling about could cause problems.
Safety meetings and toolbox talks
Make sure your employees and any subcontractors have received thorough safety training and can apply what they learned before letting them onto the job site. Holding safety briefings and toolbox discussions can help reinforce training and keep workers alert to potential dangers on the job. Ensure your employees know what is expected of them regarding safe work procedures, PPE use, and accident/hazard reporting. Toolbox meetings can be held as frequently as once a day. Pay close attention to the daily activities, the associated risks, and the engineering controls put in place to keep workers safe. Encourage participation by asking workers questions about their work practices and addressing any issues they may have. Now is also a good time to have everyone check that their tools and protective gear still fit and are undamaged.
Workplace safety is everyone’s duty, but someone has to be in charge of making sure the plan is followed, workers are protected, and risks are mitigated. The safety manager or anyone else in charge of worker protection on the job site must monitor employees throughout the day, but they must be in one place at a time. Technology such as cameras, drones, and wearables can be used to keep tabs on employees on the job site. Consider using a “buddy system” to pair less-experienced workers with more-seasoned ones who have a good safety record. This allows workers to look out for each other and can be used to start a mentoring program for newer staff.
Early preparation and planning for worksite safety will help reduce project injuries and fatalities. Workers should be encouraged to report unsafe circumstances and behaviors to management.