Construction site work has to be one of the most challenging and dangerous jobs in the world. Safety during construction projects is an often overlooked aspect that results in fatal incidents. Project managers face the constant pressure of work and site safety while meeting the budget's project deadlines. The construction industry has over 3 million jobs, and due to the nature of work, exposure to labor is dangerous. The construction site has high risks of falls, machine malfunctions, electrocution, structural collapses, and others, to name a few. As a construction company, you might feel like cutting costs. However, with workplace incidents, avoiding safety is not in the best interest of anyone.
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Worker safety at a construction site should be the top priority for an employer or construction company. They can save ample money due to lost hours or incidents and have smooth progress. It is a viable option as it increases workers' morale and keeps the construction on schedule. Accidents at construction sites are fatal, but you can ensure it remains minimal with adequate precaution. You can consider a few safety tips to maintain safety at a construction site.
Before setting foot at a construction site, ensure that everyone, including workers and managers, has the awareness to practice safety. Ignorance of hazards, accidents, and other issues is the leading cause of workplace incidents as unknown mistakes put everyone at risk. Understanding of perils at hand and keeping a level of awareness is the best way to prevent site accidents. Ensure to have safety checklists placed everywhere to create awareness among workers. Every person who sets foot on the site needs a proper understanding of the risks and ways to prevent them.
Create a Safe Perimeter
Before the commencement of any construction project, inspect the area, and set safety perimeters. Have foundations support to reinforce scaffolding or use crowd control barriers to set the limit for approaching workers. Do not use any improvisations or shortcuts when erecting scaffolding. Set it on solid ground for a stable footing and reduce the risks of collapsing. Similarly, designate an area for the debris and limit the footwork of workers. These are some examples of setting a safe perimeter for workers. You can use mesh nets, iron railings, and other equipment to make a safe construction worker area.
Ensure Workers Wear Safety Gear
Ensure that workers use proper safety gear during their work activities. Have them wear eye goggles or helmets at all times. If they are working with abrasives, invest on a sandblast helmet for each worker as it has features especially made for this specific job. They also need gloves and boots that protect them from oil or acid pills and hooked cables if working on heights. Wearing the correct personal protection equipment (PPE) saves the workers from a minor or fatal injury. As an employer, encourage your workers to maintain safety and wear protective gear.
Many of the skills construction workers develop during their construction projects. However, safety assurance is a skill that a worker has to learn before commencing a project. Construction safety authorities and other organizations regularly publish safety manuals for employers to train their occupational safety workers. These manuals help managers prepare new workers and update existing ones regarding safety practices during construction projects. Experienced workers need to refresh themselves on safety methods and handling any emergency. These training practices range from simple PPE wearing major incidents like fall protection or first aid for injuries. Once workers receive training sessions, they will leave with knowledge about implementing adequate safety measures. Workers need on-site and off-site safety training to prevent workplace injuries that result in downtime for the project.
Do Not Encourage Risky Steps
One wrong action on a construction site can produce fatal results for workers and employers alike. As a manager, you need to set up a good safety example for others and discourage risky actions. A construction place is undoubtedly accident-prone, and even the slightest mistake means loss of life, time, money, and reputation. Everyone is responsible for their behavior, but encouraging someone to improvise or take risky steps to cut time is not a wise choice. Make sure everybody follows safety regulations throughout the project.
Place and Follow Safety Signs
Placing safety signs at critical areas is a necessary part of keeping the project and workers safe. However, placing signs is not enough. Have everyone on-site follow the indications on the signs strictly and do not let them deviate. Teach the workers about safety signs and their importance during project briefing and ensure risk assessments for the activities. Make sure everybody understands the value of safety signs and follow them at all times.
Report Defects or Issues
If you notice any defect or a problem, take immediate steps in reporting them. Do not ignore even a minor issue as it may lead to a more massive, uncontrollable hazard. Tell your workers to immediately inform any indication and do regular maintenance reviews on your own. Use whichever procedure is in place for site issue reporting and adhere to them. Actions are only possible if the supervisor has an awareness of a problem to resolve. Early reporting means lesser chances of potential incidents.
Do Not Temper with Equipment
Never, under any circumstance, temper with the machinery and construction equipment. If something does not work or looks right, use the process and report. Tempering of equipment will not only delay the project but also creates safety hazards. Do not try to make repairs on machines unless you have the training and authority to take action. Never remove railings or scaffolding guards and make any changes unless you have the necessary authorization. Let the concerned person handle equipment fixing under proper circumstances.
Have open communication on all levels for immediate reporting and their contingencies. Accidents can happen anytime, and effective communication will cut down on surprises and harmful situations. Construction companies should employ equipment such as walkie-talkie, smartphones, and headsets to ensure an uninterrupted communication channel for all. Clear communication not only makes the construction process smooth, but it also keeps everyone well informed. Making sure everybody plays their part and appropriately communicates is the key to workplace safety.
Safety during construction projects is a necessary aspect of project completion within due time. Unnecessary hindrances and fatal accidents cause a project to halt and costs the company its reputation. Use adequate safety measures to ensure everybody remains safe and the work commences smoothly. Take heed of the points above to provide the best safety protocols for the construction site.
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