A construction site is a hazard-prone zone. If you are working in one, you expose yourself to various potential dangers every time you work. This risk is why it is a standard practice in any construction company to have safety protocols to prevent any accidents that may harm or even take lives.
Due to the high-risk environment and potential harm accidents could bring, lawmakers and governing bodies came together to write the guidelines and standard practices for those who work in the industry. It will take too long to discuss everything with its details, so here is a general list of it:
#1. Conduct Site Inspections
There are risks on all building sites, but they are not the same in every place. Someone working at a height, for example, confronts distinct dangers than someone working with electricity. Take the time to assess each location and check for any potentially risky areas. Determine the most effective methods for reducing hazards.
This assessment may entail purchasing new fall protection or erecting railings to assist people in walking securely across slick surfaces. However, inspecting each site before work begins is insufficient. Throughout a project’s timetable, you must also keep an eye on and restrict any threats.
#2. Enforce Safety Rules for Site Visits
It’s also a good idea to implement site visitor safety precautions. Maybe a client wants to see how far a new building is coming along, or a contracting company’s team leader has to examine the job site before committing to supply services for a project. You might have everyone sign in when they arrive and only allow them to move around the area if they have an escort by someone approved.
Another sensible move is to require all guests to have their visits approved before they arrive. Virtual visit software is increasingly popular for allowing people to see construction zones remotely as the COVID-19 outbreak makes it critical to maintain safe distances.
#3. Issue Mandatory Training Before Allowing People to Handle Equipment and Tools
Various construction equipment is particularly harmful if workers don’t know how to utilize them. Never presume that they know how to use the tools and equipment issued to them. There should be necessary training and updated teaching materials to match current processes. Several companies offer certification programs for heavy equipment operators.
Before hiring a candidate, you may request them to demonstrate their certificates. Also, be aware of the dangers to anyone who works near big machinery. Drivers must have instructions to maneuver the equipment slowly and to be mindful of their surroundings at all times.
#4. Conduct a Study to Mitigate the Effects of Fatigue
Fatigue during working hours is more likely to cause physical and cognitive issues, according to research. As a result, weariness may play a role in accidents. Construction labor can be physically demanding, but there are techniques to make it less so. Providing workers with the proper equipment is a fantastic place to start.
A boom-style concrete pump, for example, can transport material to the upper levels of a tall structure, such as an apartment complex. The machine completes the task fast, safely, and without difficulty. It’s also arguably less labor-intensive than using cranes or even buckets to transport concrete in the past.
Additionally, you can also provide adequate tools to speed up the building process and put installations like glass fiber reinforced cement access panels and doors for added convenience and safety. Ensure also to provide adequate break times and days off to avoid overworking and burnout.
#5. Create a System to Improve the Reporting of Malfunctioning Equipment
Provide proper instructions to workers on how to inspect tools and machines before utilizing them. Make checklists accessible so that people may get the habit of knowing what to look for and when to look for it. Discuss why it’s critical never to use equipment that doesn’t pass inspection.
Mention the steps that people should do if they notice an issue. Should they report the problems to a supervisor right away, or should they fill out an official report? Confirming the process in detail removes any ambiguities and encourages everyone to follow a standard approach that is familiar to them.
#6. Require Everyone to Wear Personal Protective Equipment or PPE
Steel-toed boots and high-visibility vests are among the safety equipment available to construction workers. So there are no surprises, spell out the minimal criteria for the equipment a person must have before working. Inspect protective equipment to ensure that it is still in good working order.
If the items grow too worn, they may not perform their purpose. A damaged snap or strap on a hard hat, for example, could allow it to fall off if it struck a person. The most common PPE are hard hats, goggles, earmuffs, gas masks, hand gloves, high visibility clothing or vest, and steel-toed boots.
#7. Install Signages in Critical Areas
Companies can make their worksites safer by posting signs that inform people about current or potential hazards. A section of a building site, for example, where employees frequently utilize loud machinery might have signs instructing visitors to put on ear protection before entering.
Alternatively, a high-traffic region with heavy machinery may include speed limit signs or signs warning pedestrians to be cautious. Ensure that the signage you choose is legible and visible from afar. A combination of text-only and picture-based signage is also effective. This method emphasizes the importance of following the rules.
#8. Establish a Safety Centric Culture
Suppose regulatory authorities threaten to issue fines for non-compliance. In that case, you don’t want future or current employees to get the idea that you care about not paying over the fundamental issue of workplace safety. Make it clear via your words and actions that being safe is a top concern for you. Make it effortless for customers to identify your organization with excellent safety procedures.
Hold monthly team meetings to reward workers for working safely, and encourage attendees to share their ideas for improvement. Many businesses also keep track of how many working hours they have finished without incident. If they notice an increase, it will excite them and emphasize how preventing accidents is a team effort.
#9. Be Wary of Weather-Related Hazards
Many workers in the construction industry are prone to weather hazards because they labor outside for the duration of their shifts. Consistently evaluate seasonal factors when planning work and consider what you can do to improve safety. People who work in hot weather are more likely to become dehydrated, as sweating causes them to lose fluid.
Schedule water breaks and considers how accessories such as cold packs wrapped around the neck or head could aid with the cooling process. Winter has its own sets of challenges to address. Recommend that employees dress in layers and schedule work hours during the hottest part of the day if possible.
#10. Set a Budget for the Latest Safety-Related Tech
People of all generations can benefit from high-tech safety equipment. This fact is exceptionally accurate in a potentially hazardous workplace like construction. Today, some products send out automatic notifications when people fall and dispatch help to their location.
Others track data like a worker’s pulse rate and suggest when they should take a break. Companies have also created products to assist construction companies in dealing with issues like detecting potentially dangerous pathogens. When people are too near to each other for an extended time, these devices produce sounds. They also aid in the tracing of contacts.
Safety is an issue that needs an urgent response. You cannot take things lightly when the risks of potential bodily harm and loss of life are high. Never gamble with any unsafe practice in the workplace, and ensure to contact a licensed professional for additional input and guidance if you feel the need to do so.