Construction often makes the top 10 of most dangerous jobs. As a matter of fact, it has been estimated that a whopping 20% of all fatalities in private industry in 2019 were in construction. While the construction business will always have a component of risk, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do something as a business to keep incidents to a minimum.
Let’s take a look at a few safety tips every construction company should follow.
1. Make Safety a Central Part of Your Culture
One of the most important things is making safety front and center in your company. It has to be part of your culture. You have to make sure that employees coming in understand from the first minute that safety is very important to you. You’d be surprised at how valuable this is for many employees, and how many employees will refuse to stay with a company that has lax safety standards.
Also, make sure that you hold regular briefings. There can never be enough safety meetings. If you can, you should have those at least every week.
You should also start having toolbox meetings if you aren’t already. These are casual yet important and can be held at any time. These will usually be held by a supervisor or foreman. These could be used to reinforce old procedures, introduce new regulations, or time-sensitive subjects like cold weather safety, for instance.
2. Provide Adequate Fall Protection
Slip and fall accidents are one of the leading causes of deaths in construction and there were over 7,000 citations for lack of proper fall protection in 2019 alone. These accidents often happen because someone falling through wall openings, ladders, floor holes, or roofing.
Unprotected edges are another common cause of slip and fall accidents. The OSHA recommends that companies use things like covers, safety nets, restraint systems, and fall arrest systems to reduce the chances of death and injury from falls.
3. Scaffolding Safety
Most workers in construction will have to work on scaffolding, and a large portion of slip and fall and various accidents involve scaffolding. These can be difficult to prevent, but there are still things that you can do to reduce them.
As an employer, it is your responsibility to make sure that the scaffolding is built by someone who’s competent. Scaffolding should also be inspected regularly. It should be built on solid and even footing, and at least 10 feet from power lines. It should have toeboards, mid-rails, and guardrails to protect those working on and around it.
When it comes to employees, anyone working on or under scaffolding should wear hard hats at all times. They should be wearing solid non-skid work boots. They should also make sure to check any fall protection equipment for signs of tears. All equipment should be secured using tool lanyards to protect those below.
4. Hire the Right People
It’s also important that you hire the right people. Try to quiz them on how important safety is to them. Try to put them in different scenarios and see what they would do. Ask them about previous experiences they had on job sites and if they noticed any safety issues where they worked.
If they draw a blank when this question is asked, it could be because they don’t pay too much attention to these sorts of things, which is bad news.
These are all tips that you should be implementing in your organization. Making sure that your employees are safe will not only ensure compliance and reduce incidents, but also play a major role in boosting employee morale, efficiency, and retention.