During a construction project, construction site safety is often overlooked. With construction work listed as one of the most dangerous professions, employers must prioritize safety at construction sites. Most accidents occur on construction job sites, which is why workers have to be aware of hazardous conditions and why employers have to do everything in their power to mitigate safety hazards. In most construction workplaces, accidents are potentially life-threatening. Stories about trapped laborers, earth-shattering explosions and environmental disasters make working at construction sites less appealing, despite the rising demand for new structures.
What is construction safety?
Construction safety is a significant concern in the construction world. It involves any safety procedures related to construction sites or the construction industry, and it aims to ensure that the industry as a whole does not cause danger to workers or to the general public. It also ensures that the finished structure meets all required safety standards.
According to BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), construction work is the fourth most dangerous profession in the U.S. So, what can you do to improve the safety conditions of your commercial construction project?
- Safety equipment
Construction workers need an adequate work area and proper safety equipment for any job assigned. Without adequate safety equipment, the risk of workers getting injured will always be present. Construction companies must make sure that all material and machinery are maintained and that each piece of equipment is suited for its corresponding task on the job site. An often overlooked precaution is making sure workers have plenty of water and shade on site to prevent dehydration and exposure-related illnesses.
- Hazard awareness
All workers must be aware of possible on-site hazards, no matter their role or experience level. Regardless of which industry we’re talking about, ignorant laborers can be the biggest danger, not only to themselves but to everyone else on site. Their senseless mistakes can put others at risk. Therefore, understanding immediate dangers and sustaining a state of alertness is probably the best way to prevent construction site accidents. Every person that walks onto a construction site must have proper knowledge of construction site safety so they can be aware of risks and how to prevent them. Construction managers are responsible for making sure all laborers are aware of the perils that come along with working on construction sites.
- Proper documentation
You must ensure that all on-site operations are thoroughly documented to enforce construction safety. Thanks to mobile technology like the Cloud, documenting work is much easier today. Most construction sites tend to jump through various legal hoops in order to start building as soon as possible, but getting all necessary licenses and registrations are essential before beginning a project. Contractors and supervisors, who oversee the most challenging construction tasks, should provide evidence of their certification so that accidents due to improper training can be prevented. Providing a certification can also protect the construction company from public scrutiny and legal action. If a construction firm receives terrible media coverage, construction workers will avoid applying for work at that company, since the public perception is that they don’t prioritize their workers’ safety.
- Training on construction site safety
Organizations like OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) publish valuable resources to help construction firms train new workers on standard security and safety practices. Construction workers gain most of their skills on the job, but when it comes to safety, it’s best that they learn safety skills before they enter the building site. Workers can learn with the assistance of training videos, worksheets, pamphlets and even on-site training. Even if the workers are experienced, they should be refreshed on knowledge of standard safety through regular training sessions. These training sessions aim to teach workers about safety measures they should undertake in case of an incident. They can cover the simplest things, like the proper use of ladders and fall protection. Without proper training, construction laborers can be injured or even killed. Workplace injuries can hurt construction firms both economically and ethically.
- Construction site supervision
We don’t live in a perfect world where all construction workers understand the consequences of inadequate safety precautions. Every construction site needs an experienced supervisor who is adamant about enforcing safety standards without exception. They must keep track of all employees on the site and correct the ones who fail to follow proper safety procedures.
Accidents are more likely to happen when workers don’t know what to expect. To prepare them and to cut down on potentially harmful surprises, construction managers and supervisors should engage in a direct discussion of the day’s activities and goals. Construction companies should equip laborers with headsets, walkie-talkies or smartphones to enable efficient and fast communication among team members. Without clear communication on the construction site, providing efficiency and keeping everyone informed will be a challenge.
Trying to cover up accidents is the worst thing a construction company can do for their reputation. Everyone understands that accidents happen, so being transparent about them will help the construction industry as a whole to become a safer place to work. As long as you’re trying your best to create a safe environment for your laborers, accidents you make will only contribute to improving modern safety techniques.
If it weren’t for those in the construction industry dedicated to keeping their workers safe, the construction site accident rate would be even higher than it is. By investing extra resources in innovating, we can develop new ideas for improving safety at construction sites. Reducing workplace accidents, injuries and deaths is the ultimate goal for the construction industry. Be mindful of these construction safety practices, always keep track of the latest OSHA resources and safety guidelines and make sure that your workers have proper supervision and equipment.
When it comes to safety, there is no such thing as too much preparation. Thanks to our extensive safety precautions, our ARC Construction professionals have successfully managed all of our commercial construction projects.