The construction industry has long had a reputation of notoriety due to hazards and accidents that occur on site. These tragic events, apart from being life-threatening, bring forth various financial problems, operational setbacks and HR headaches. Yet, things are moving in the right direction: we have stricter regulations, higher awareness and sophisticated safety tools at our disposal. There are no excuses for both workers and employers not to uphold safety standards and principles. Here are some basics tips on how to put together a safe workplace.
General health and safety rules protect workers from being forced to spend time in unsanitary, hazardous, and unhealthy surroundings. Therefore, they must be aware of safety risks and measures in place and in the know when it comes to day-to-day tasks and goals clearly. Not only that, employers are to provide training related to specific job tasks and safe operation of equipment. Other key measures involve giving them protective gear and carrying out a thorough inspection of job sites.
Upon finding non-compliant tools and equipment, employers must decommission them. After all, construction standards and rules put forwards by Occupation Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) always have precedence over general industry regulation. It is also of utmost importance to obtain necessary licenses and permits before the work commences. Once these basics are in place, we can move on to specifics, where we find several burning issues.
Staple safety measures
One has to grasp all hazards and risks that lurk in the construction site environment. Falls are a major cause of serious injuries and deaths, which is to say that implementing a fall protection systems like personal fall arrest is paramount. Furthermore, it is advisable to keep a close eye on surfaces with unprotected edges that are six feet above the lower level. Make sure workers are not susceptible to falling into holes like skylights, elevator shaft, and excavations.
Likewise, note that 65% of all site employees work on scaffolds regularly employees and they are exposed to an even higher risk. Elevated work platforms face them with hazards such as falls, electrocution and falling objects. Thus, opt for a reputable scaffolding rental service and consider measures like guardrails and safety nets. Workers must be protected from falling objects with hard hats whenever working on, under, or around scaffolds. Finally, keep a close eye on the maximum load of these platforms.
A holistic approach to hazards
In case there are hazardous chemicals in the workplace, extra caution is prescribed. Some of the chemicals that are commonly found are lead, silica, asbestos, treated wood, mercury, zinc and cadmium. When handling them, workers should wear personal protective equipment (PPE). What is more, clean up spills and dispose of these materials in a timely manner. These measures are typically instituted by a written hazard commutation program that includes a detailed inventory.
This brings us to the concluding point. At the end of the day, it also comes down to committing extra resources to safeguard workers. So, to see all your policies though, assign a supervisor responsible for monitoring and enforcing safety standards without any exceptions. Embrace innovation. Keep up the pace with shifting industry standards, as well as novelty technologies and systems for improving site safety. Be transparent about risks and measures you use to tackle them.
Doing so might be costly, but it is linked to various benefits. Just to name a few, you should be able to improve your reputation, worker satisfaction, and ultimately the bottom line. In other words, rich rewards wait for those ready to step up in the safety department.
Stay on the safe side
In the construction industry, throwing caution to the wind is never an option. The job of a construction worker is still one of the most perilous ones there is. So, familiarize yourself with looming hazards and come up with prevention policies and safety programs. Address leading causes of injuries and fatalities like falls first. Ensure workers have protective gear readily available. Minimize the risk of hazards with the help of training and education. Be prepared to go the extra mile: do everything in your power to provide a safe work environment for employees.