Currently, the construction industry employs approximately 11.2 million people in the United States of America. It is a fast-paced industry, heavily reliant on bulky machinery and equipment. Workers have to work with bulldozers, excavators, trenchers, and tower cranes, making it a pretty dangerous job. After all, what if the machinery malfunctions or a worker falls from the scaffolding?
As a contractor, it could be enticing to cut corners to save costs, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of worker’s safety. You have to implement safety measures and protocols to reduce the likelihood of accidents and create a safe working environment for workers. Perhaps, you can provide safety gear to workers or offer extensive training to close doors for mistakes. Likewise, you have to inspect equipment and tools to ensure they work properly.
Removing safety concerns and hazards from the site will increase productivity, expediting the construction work. If you don’t know how to go about this, have a look below. Here are six ways to keep workers safe on construction sites.
1. Provide Proper Accommodation
Most contractors hire workers for a project and arrange accommodation on site. It saves the costs and time spent on traveling from one place to another. If you are thinking of something similar, make sure you provide proper accommodation. Setting camps on-site might seem like an inexpensive option, but you have to provide a space where workers can relax. Only then would they have the stamina and energy to work the next day. Therefore, try finding suitable accommodation nearby your construction site.
It doesn’t mean you have to look for hotels or resorts; instead, search for man camp housing designed for workers. It will have similar amenities to that of a hotel but at super affordable rates. In addition, it may also offer temporary housing and lodging leases if the project is several months long. Hence, you can determine what fits under your budget and accommodate your workers in the best possible way.
2. Offer Health & Safety Training
Regardless of the project’s nature, every worker gets exposed to a high to medium-risk environment. And to work smoothly in such an atmosphere, every worker should have proper health and safety training. You have to ensure the workers are proficient and aware of the risks involved in the construction site. In addition, they should be well-acquainted with the risk linked with their actions, mainly when working on high-rise buildings.
Besides, workers must have a proper awareness of first aid and should be able to administer standard life-saving techniques. For all this, you have to launch safety and training programs on-site. Otherwise, you can encourage the workers to acquire a construction certification explicitly designed for health and safety courses. Having a fully aware and competent team of workers can automatically reduce the risk of hazards.
3. Inspect Tools & Equipment Regularly
The entire construction industry relies on tools and equipment to work efficiently. If machinery is dangerous or wrecked, there would be higher chances of severe accidents and injuries. Therefore, ensure the supervisor inspects the equipment regularly and fixes glitches immediately. If you notice any faults, always report them to the management and authorities instead of ignoring them.
For instance, if you hear strange sounds from the tower crane, fill out a near-miss report or inform the supervisor. These minor signs indicate more significant problems; hence, address them as soon as possible. Moreover, never tamper with equipment or machinery. Usually, workers think they can fix the machinery by removing guard bails or scaffold ties, but it poses a greater risk. Hence, leave such matters to the experts and ensure workers don’t wander near the equipment unnecessarily.
4. Use Clear Signs
Undoubtedly, construction sites are full of potential hazards and dangers. Sometimes, the wires hang loose, while the structure isn’t strong enough to hold the pillars. These things pose substantial threats for the staff, increasing the chances of accidents. Since you can’t fix these problems immediately, you must display signs to restrict entry into high-risk areas. It will warn everyone about the danger ahead, encouraging them to take precautions.
You have to place yellow boards with signs all across the construction sites to limit entry to dangerous areas. Similarly, you can even indicate dangers such as falling objects or the presence of chemicals through these boards. It is one of the most economical ways of reducing accidents and ensuring on-site safety. Besides, you can include an emergency contact or map directions on the boards so that workers know who to call if things go wrong on the site.
5. Leverage Technology
Many people think the construction industry has been slow in adopting technology, but that’s not true. From high-profile cranes to bulldozers – technology made its mark in the construction industry a long time ago. Now, it is helping contractors improve safety on the site. You and your team have to download mobile construction applications to gather live observations from the construction field. It also offers lone worker monitoring with life savings features.
For instance, if any staff member is in an emergency, they can immediately press the panic button to alert everyone else. Likewise, the application sends non-movement alerts and low batter reminders, allowing managers to keep an eye on staff. Hence, one could say that leveraging technology is an excellent way to monitor staff’s safety and manage projects efficiently.
Some are also using a health and safety system to make things easier and more efficient without sacrificing the quality of safety.
6. Provide PPE to Employees
Have you seen workers in yellow caps? That’s one part of the construction gear which every worker should wear on the construction site. The yellow cap protects workers from head injuries in case something falls from above. Besides the cap, every worker has to wear protective shoes and clothes to avoid any damages. The protective gear has a thick material that protects the skin from abrasive scratches and marks that occur while lifting heavy materials.
Moreover, the workers should wear protective glasses when working with electricity. After all, the sharp rays of light can damage the vision in no time. In short, wearing suitable PPE could make the difference between long-term and minor injuries. Therefore, ensure every worker enters the site in their safety gear.
Construction site safety is a growing concern since accidents on sites are rapidly increasing. As a contractor, you should implement top-notch safety measures to ensure workers aren’t risking their lives to get the job done. You have to provide the proper training and a safe working environment. Likewise, you have to inspect equipment and keep the site tidy to reduce the likelihood of injuries and work-related accidents.