If you’re the owner of a construction company or are a general contractor in charge of a building project, then your number one priority should be to keep your workers and other subcontractors safe. Construction work can be a very dangerous job, but those dangers can be eliminated by ensuring a safe working environment for everyone.
Create a Risk Management System
A credible construction business will have a risk management system in place. This is the first step to ensure a safe working environment. A risk management system analyzes the potential dangers of each task associated with a building project. Construction jobs that have the highest accident rate should be the first ones analyzed. Once those jobs are determined, they need to be broken down into tasks, and the work involved in these tasks should be observed by a safety manager to detail what is being done, then identify the potential hazards associated with each task.
Following Safety Procedures
All safety procedures are stated at the induction of every construction project. All workers must receive an induction, and then subsequently follow all of the safety procedures to avoid any hazards. Some examples of common hazards associated with working in construction include:
- Falling Objects
- Loud Noises
- Working at Height
- Slips, Trips, and Falls
- Collapsing Trenches
Safety protocols are taught when pursuing furthering or continuing your education in construction, but it’s also important to receive a safety induction before every construction project because every construction site is different.
Keeping a Tidy Site
There are many different tasks that take place at a construction site. Equipment, tools, piles of dirt, etc. can be found all over the site. Keeping a neat site reduces the risk of workers slipping, tripping, and/or falling.
Personal Protective Equipment
Workers must wear Personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times. Even with a risk assessment, an induction, and safety measures put into place, it is still important for construction workers to wear protective equipment. Hard hats, safety goggles, cut-resistant gloves, and slip-resistant steel-toed boots are a few examples of PPE.
Hard Hats and Falling Objects
Since construction workers can build some extremely tall buildings, there is a risk for objects falling from long distances. Of course, this should be addressed as a part of the risk assessment, but accidents still happen. This is why wearing protective headgear is important.
Ear Plugs and Loud, Excessive Noise
Construction sites are pretty loud, and most of the construction equipment can produce sounds over the recommended limit for human ears. This is why it is important for all workers on site to have proper ear protection. This prolonged exposure to loud noises can cause permanent ear damage without proper protection. It is hard to control loud noises, but workers can protect themselves.
Slip-Resistant Boots and Falls
With multiple tasks going on, construction requires a lot of equipment, which is why it is important to keep a tidy workspace to eliminate trips and slips. Working at height also poses a potential risk for falling. Slip-resistant boots, the initial induction, and the risk management system all work together to prevent falls resulting from working at height.
Proper, Working Equipment
It is also extremely important to have the proper work equipment needed to perform each task. Using the correct tools and equipment not only ensures that a job can be done right but also in the safest way possible. Broken and defective equipment should be reported immediately to the site supervisor. Damaged equipment can cause serious injury and they should discard and replace such equipment as soon as possible.
Risk management systems, the proper safety equipment, and the proper working equipment are all very important when it comes to the safety of construction workers. It is extremely important for all workers to adhere to all of these guidelines to avoid putting themselves and others at risk