Almost 14 workers die on construction sites daily in the United States. This surmounts to 21% of deaths a year in the construction industry; making it the 9th most dangerous profession in the country.
The importance of providing safety measures to workers has surged as insufficient safety procedures manifest into occupational accidents and health hazards. Businesses face high costs, turnover, and reputational damages, while employees suffer from poor health and low morale. Some major hazards to employees are:
Major issues reported by workers are related to health. Musculoskeletal disorders and back injuries are the result of continuous handling of heavy machinery while soreness of muscles is brought on by repetitive use of vibrating tools.
Improper use of protective equipment can also expose the respiratory system to corrosive substances such as chemicals, asbestos, and dust causing respiratory problems, asthma and lung damage. Additionally, hearing loss may develop due to prolonged exposure to the deafening sounds of loud equipment.
Electrocution, falls from heights, and collapsing structures most often occur due to a disorganization of standardized practices. Lack of or improper training on the effective and safe usage of power tools can become life threatening; and the worst case scenario on a poorly organized site is the death of worker.
Implementation of better safety protocols is imperative to improve safety procedures in this industry. Whether you are a site manager or a construction worker, you can implement these best practices for a safer
Proactive Contingency Planning
Planning in advance is a safe way to tackle life threatening situations before they can occur. A proactive approach helps set better protective protocols in place.
Conducting risk assessment helps introduce safety protocols better suited to the project. Start with assessing the worksite, tasks, safety processes, and equipment. Discuss with the workers the distribution of work load and handling of material. Use this to create designated zones with protective equipment and standards in place.
Check on the quality and maintenance of equipment thoroughly. Ensure its fitness for carrying out the job safely. Asses the risk of collapse and demolitions schedules and update your employees with timely updates. Integrate safety features such as the installation of a fall protection system where there is danger of height-related accidents.
The biggest cause of employee death is a fall, followed by getting struck by an object, electrocution, and getting caught-in between. Inspect and reorganize site areas, ridding them of possible dangers.
Streamlining current and future projects becomes effective when obstacles, as well as preparations to combat those challenges are methodically calculated. This means be open to rotating work schedules that require repetitive use of equipment or limit usage time of tools that may cause muscle stiffness.
The closer the workers are to the action the better feedback they bring to the table. Therefore review with all workers how they complete tasks, and seek feedback on how to tackle limitations or dangers associated with their tasks.
Open Communication Leadership
You want to be able to create an environment of high confidence and trust in the management. Therefore involve your team in the practice of streamlining the construction process.
Conduct company-wide safety meetings, allowing workers to give feedback and a space for their engagement while bolstering them to report potential issues on safety hazards. Develop a simple procedure to report injuries and provide options to report anonymously
Create an environment of trust by enhancing chances of direct communication. Such collaborative efforts yield better results in output. Remember that dealing with these issues must be a collaborative effort where management and workers act as a unit tackling difficult situations.
Provide Work Safety Training
It is mandatory to provide workers with sufficient training and information regarding their worksite, tools, and precautionary measures in case of emergency.
Ensure your policy stresses on providing complete training to the employees on safety protocols and measures. Additionally, conduct trainings on the manual handling of tools and equipment with appropriate method of usage. Make these a regular feature multiple times a year taking feedback to ensure lessons were implemented properly.
You may also use online resources to gather information on how to elevate the standard of safety at your worksite. Virtual reality reconstructs construction sites letting new trainees assimilate in the work environment through virtual interaction with the environment.
Employ Smart technology
Technology allows advantages in preparing your staff for their tasks and assists management gain information on the execution of these tasks.
Exoskeletons have sensors and motors that enable the heavy lifting of equipment with ease, letting workers work for longer with less strain exerted. Smart site sensors allow for the early detection of harmful substances in the air and fire warnings while drones detect maintenance issues to keep workers safe on site.
Smart technology also provides real-time information on the machinery being misused and those prone to accidents in the future. It allows you to observe which workers are shutting or using machinery in unusual ways and provide them with better knowledge on its operation. To ensure that construction companies gain the most efficient use of modern technologies, they must first make sure they are well-equipped in terms of supplies and the expertise needed for a seamless integration of current innovations. Forming America provides its partners with a plethora of well-seasoned professionals and the tools necessary to keep themselves one step ahead of the game. If you’d like to find out more about what we can do for you, contact us today!