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7 Tips for Increasing Construction Site Safety

    By nearly any standard, construction is a risky business: Construction labor is not only one of the most dangerous jobs but also has one of the highest business failure rates of any industry. In 2019, the construction industry was responsible for almost 20% of all work-related fatalities in the United States. Because this line of work carries a higher risk of injury or death than others, contractors must take extra precautions to ensure that work zones are safe and workers are protected.

    In this post, we’ll look at the most prevalent workplace safety hazards – and what contractors can do to improve safety for everyone.

    Common jobsite safety risks

    In 2019, over three out of every hundred full-time workers were injured on the job, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In the same year, there were 1,061 construction-related fatalities.

    OSHA developed the Focus Four effort to identify the four most common workplace risks based on a history of site inspections and recorded injuries:

    • Employees are sometimes harmed when they fall through unmarked or unguarded holes in walking surfaces, and slips and trips can occur due to items or tools that need to be correctly arranged across the workplace.
    • Caught-in or between Injuries or fatalities can occur when loose clothing becomes caught in belts or pulleys. In addition, heavy machinery and foundation walls present immovable things that can crush or suffocate an employee.
    • Struck-by accidents are expected when building materials are unloaded overhead by cranes or booms.
    • Electrocution: During construction, contact with overhead power lines and electrical power boxes poses risks that can result in severe injury or death.

    Unsurprisingly, the ten most common OSHA violations correspond to the Focus Four risks: In 2021, 60% of the top breaches were related to fall protection, ladders, and scaffolding.

    Contractors prioritize employee risks, and threats to health and safety aren’t the only cause for concern. Unsafe practices on the job site could result in construction delays, legal expenditures to defend infractions, and contract breaches if safety issues are not following contract conditions.

    7 best practices to improve construction site safety

    Here are some of the finest practices contractors may take to maintain construction site safety and compliance standards.

    1. Make safety a priority

    Organizational safety begins at the top. Owners and business executives must prioritize security in their company culture. Everyone participates in safer operations when compliance and accident prevention are integrated into everyday communications and work routines.

    Keep in mind that any safety program’s success depends on periodic messages and constant involvement with employees.

    2. Create a comprehensive site safety plan

    A thorough and proactive safety plan will assist in meeting regulatory criteria and reducing risk on the job site.

    A quality safety plan will, at the very least, include the following:

    • A description of each project, including its scope and location, as well as general site conditions
    • Identification of hazards on the project Jobsite
    • Essential safety and emergency personnel contact information
    • Procedures and protocols for dealing with common safety concerns and crises
    • A description of local, state, and federal safety rules.
    • Reporting instructions for safety accidents or risks, including “near misses.”
    • Feedback instructions for the plan itself Contractors should routinely examine and update their safety plans.

    3. Conduct regular jobsite safety training

    Once a safety strategy is in place, training is the key to avoiding disasters. Therefore, training recruits or people who have never worked on a construction site is vital. Similarly, training should be regular for senior construction workers, as safety reinforcement would aid the cause.

    4. Service and update equipment regularly

    Old, worn-out equipment and tools might malfunction or shatter, resulting in damage. The advantages of new ergonomic tools and equipment are twofold.

    Modern trade tools can boost production and reduce bodily strain, leading to musculoskeletal ailments. This investment can also help minimize struck-by and caught-in events, two typical workplace risks.

    5. Keep open lines of communication

    After assessing a Jobsite for potential risks, disseminate information throughout the organization to ensure that all stakeholders and employees are aware of any bad situations. Smart gadgets and construction management software, among other things, enable real-time communication between the office and the job site.

    6. Document & track safety incidents

    “You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” as the phrase goes. So to manage and reduce safety, contractors must keep meticulous records of injuries and near misses.

    Modern construction software platforms include tools for recording and reporting on safety occurrences. Regular safety reports assist managers in identifying the root cause of prevalent dangers and mitigating their future impact. In addition, proper and detailed documentation may make a difference in a legal case where liability for an accident must be identified.

    7. Work with your insurance provider

    Contractors frequently carry many insurance policies to safeguard their business from financial damage in the case of a mistake or accident on the job site. Your insurance carrier is vested in lowering claims, and they can frequently provide tools and advice to lower workplace risk – and premium costs.

    Keeping your construction personnel healthy and safe is essential in and of itself. However, safety is also a critical commercial practice for construction firms.

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