Construction is inherently a dangerous job. With the combination of power tools, heavy machinery and long hours, how do you guarantee a safe worksite? While there are many challenges to keeping your employees safe, following best practices goes a long way.
Here is our list of the best practices and tips for putting safety first at the worksite and ensuring that your employees are following proper safety protocols.
Understand common injuries
Before discussing how to prevent injuries, it is important to understand the dangers themselves. According the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “The fatal injury rate for the construction industry is higher than the national average.” According OSHA's website, these fatal injuries include falls, equipment collapse and electric shocks.
While these statistics are grim, many injuries are preventable, and knowing the hazards can help you address them efficiently and appropriately.
Practice thorough onboarding
In construction, almost nothing is as dangerous as ignorance of a worksite and company policy. When your employees begin a project, make sure that they understand all of the risks of the location, the specific type of work they will be doing and any external factors. It is also important to thoroughly explain your company’s safety policies and emergency procedures.
By preparing employees beforehand, you give them the best defense against danger. This also gives your company a strong foundation for dismissing employees if they do not follow safety protocols, endangering themselves and others.
Manage employee shifts
Near the end of a project, it might be tempting to work overtime, or employees may ask for more hours to earn extra money. As tempting as this is, it is also very dangerous. Tired construction workers are much more likely to make a mistake then a well-rested employee. Due to a construction site's inherent danger, it is especially important for all workers to remain alert at all times to prevent injury or death.
Once you have ensured that your employees are familiar with company policies and are not working overtime to the point of exhaustion, it is important to ensure your equipment is up to date. Some employees or managers may prevent simple equipment maintenance to save time or to save money. To ensure that your employees are not working with suboptimal equipment, maintain careful records and perform regular checkups on machinery.
While construction is a dangerous business, there are steps you can take to mitigate the inherent risks involved. Make sure your staff is well educated and provide them with the best tools that you can. By adhering to best practices, you will have a safer and happier worksite.
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