How to Increase Safety on Construction Sites
Construction sites are dynamic, high-activity areas and have the potential to be dangerous places to work. In fact, construction work is considered one of the most dangerous professions. From the moment one steps on site, hazards are present. Tools, equipment, machinery, and materials are the standard on any site, and require care when working with and around to prevent accident and injury. In addition to the tools of the trade, the site itself presents constant risks while a project is in progress. To help mitigate problems, reduce incidents, and protect workers, here are five ways to increase safety on construction sites.
Being aware of your surroundings on a construction site is the first step to increasing safety on the job. Being alert to hazards and potential hazards is the best way to prevent accidents. A construction team that is cognizant of the activity in and around their work area and practices situational awareness reduces the chance for error, accident, and injury.
Having the right gear to wear on the job is important for both safety and efficiency. Protective clothing and gear such as construction helmets, safety glasses and face shields for eye and face protection, proper fitting gloves, slip and puncture resistant safety-toed footwear, and high visibility safety vests are all important items that keep workers safe from injury while on site.
To complement safety awareness on the job, training is a vital part of creating a safe environment on a construction site. Proper training on how to safely use equipment, tools, and handle materials in transit and during the build process is an effective way to ensure unnecessary accidents. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and other organizations promote safe work conditions through training, publications, and other resources for both businesses and workers.
Both verbal and written communication and direction help guide workers on safety, site expectations, hazards, and daily activities, providing for a well-informed workforce, which cuts down on surprises that can lead to injury. Other forms of communication include signage indicating on-site hazards and dangers that may exist in certain areas.
Communication devices, like 2-way radios and smartphones, increase communication efficiency and keep workers aware and up-to-date on imminent hazardous conditions.
To ensure a safe working area and safe conditions, safety standards and procedures must be properly defined and enforced. A safety conscious supervisor capable of enforcing safety procedures, keeping an eye on operations, and taking corrective action when a worker fails to follow proper procedures, is at the crux of a safe work site. Safety first management styles help reduce injury and accident on the job.
By taking the time to make safety a priority on the work site, providing the proper tools and equipment, and enforcing safety procedures and standards, workplace safety is increased, hazardous conditions are better managed, and the chance for error, accident, and injury are reduced.