Have you ever heard the phrase that you can never be too careful? Well, when it comes to residential construction sites and labor, that phrase holds even higher importance. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 21 percent of worker-related injuries and incidents in 2015 were related to residential and commercial construction workers. That number is way too high for just one industry. You can hire an estimating consultant to better guide you about the local safety measures to prevent any incidents from happening on the construction site.
With the help of safety measures, precautions, and preventative steps, we can reduce the number of mishaps, tragedies, and incidents in construction sites. By law, any and every employer is obliged to ensure the protection and health of its employees, irrespective of trade or profession. Building staff is especially exposed to such environments which present hazards that need to be addressed beforehand and during the process.
Whether you are a building site planner or project manager, it is your duty to take the required precautions to secure the work site from unwanted risks or dangers. Let’s take a look at some of the steps that you can take to ensure that your workers have a safe environment.
Safe Work Method Assessment
First things first: you have to asses whether or not the environment is suitable for your employees. You can hire a professional agency to do it for you, or you can outsource the job to someone, and they will offer you concrete and conclusive results about the impending hazards in the workplace.
Safe work method assessment also makes sure that you come up with a detailed game plan of how you are going to undertake and finish the job. This will involve coming up with creative ideas of cleaning out any hazardous elements and offering PPE to your employees. It is better to be prepared than to have a lawsuit at your hands.
Perform A Thorough Worksite Evaluation
This step may be similar to the first one, but it is quite different in nature. It is your job to examine the job site periodically to find any possible risks and establish an appropriate approach or strategy to remove those hazards and obstacles. These hazards may include the risk of:
- Electrocution (naked wires)
- Falls (empty and uncovered open spaces)
- Caught-between risks (elevator shafts)
- Struck-by (low hanging or lightly hanging poles)
Moreover, as a manager, it is your duty to manage the workflow and the workers. This means that you have to run a tight ship when it comes to their safety and the protection of your reputation. When staff performs their job without the correct safety gear, highlight and address the issue and let them know that they have to be vigilant and wear their Personnel Protective Equipment at all times. When the staff fails to perform those activities safely, focus the training curriculum on the particular problem.
Use Clear Signage Throughout the Site
Are signs important? Well, of course. Law requires a sign to be put out when the floor is being cleaned, so yes, signage possesses an important value when it comes to residential construction sites.
This is necessary to have consistent signs such that all protection measures on the building site are identified, including a 24-hour ambulance line and specific instructions to the site office. Visible signs allow staff to recall and appreciate the protection procedures that will still be observed. Clear signs for site services, as well as appropriate fire and first aid equipment, will be provided.
Signage lets everyone know about the risks of certain areas involved. Moreover, you can also highlight the high-risk areas, and potentially avoid any injuries or serious consequences by constantly reminding everyone to be careful around these regions. You can also outsource cost estimating services for signage, and get a clear view of how to manage everything.
Eye and Face Protection
You must have seen almost every laborer and construction worker wearing a cool yellow hard hat during the processes. Well, not only are those things cool, but they also serve a very important purpose of saving the had from major injuries or long term consequences.
Now, you have to understand that eyes and face must also be protected. Anything from a shard to a tiny splinter can get into your eye and damage the retina forever. This is why you must inform your workers and encourage them to wear their safety goggles at all times.
Moreover, when it comes to face, they can wear face protection gear around the sensitive areas and protect their jaws and other features from getting severely damaged in the process.
Sand, dirt, tiny bits of flying metal or wood, liquids splashing, arc welding; all may hurt the eyes in a negative way. In addition to ensuring cover for the eye and face, employers should ensure that staff with contact lenses must turn their contact into safety glasses or choose protective eyewear their works over their glasses.
Compliant Chemical Storage
To prevent flames, accidents, asphyxiation, toxic damage, and occupational contamination, materials need to be handled very carefully. To segregate materials and avoid spillage, using high-quality, compatible outdoor storage options such as explosive storage cabins are recommended by the professionals. You must use compliant chemical storage for all your sensitive and hazardous materials.
What if we told you that over fifteen workers lose their lives every year in aerial lifting related accidents? Every year, around fifteen employees die in incidents linked to aerial transport. Most of the injuries are caused by drops from heights, so it is a big risk not to utilize fall safety gear. Operating from an aerial lift allows workers to wear a body belt that is connected either to the boom or rack. Make sure that all aerial lifts are according to the laws and regulations, and use modern technology to securely harness the employees before lifting them.
Moreover, you should also ensure that the aerial lifts used for transporting heavy metals and elements should also be secure. The concrete blocks can easily fall on top of someone and cause life-threating injuries.
Provide Proper Training
Training is an integral aspect of maintaining health at work in all sectors. Most project managers believe all staff is informed of a worksite’s building site protection procedures. Failure to offer instruction to staff, while employed just for a few days or months to come, is one of the leading factors to the increase of construction site accidents and fatalities. You should train your employees for:
- Using the new equipment
- Using heavy machinery
- Wearing Personnel Protective Gear
- Using aerial lifts
The training program will focus on the most prevalent accidents, safety threats, and events you have observed in a given region. The training plan is meant to be easy and successful.
Delivering instruction is one thing, and delivering it in an easy-to-understand way entirely. Staff can become more involved if they appreciate the preparation that you give. If you are providing instruction to fix such deficiencies or protection protocols on building ground on a new development project, you can have instruction in an open and versatile manner.
A learning management framework should be used to provide quick and concise classes that can be downloaded remotely on any computer, and staff can access them anytime and at any time.
Portable Ladders Should Not Be Extended 3 Feet Above the Landing
Approximately 81 percent of fall accidents diagnosed in an emergency department includes a ladder for construction workers.
When the ladder is too low to reach the 3-foot standard, a sturdy brace must be added to the top of the ladder, and the contractor may install a catch rail or equivalent gripping tool to the ladder to aid staff in installing and removing it.
The Bottom Line
Safety and precautions must always be your priority as a construction manager. You can outsource your blueprint takeoff services, but you should try to manage the safety-related training courses by yourself with the help of tips mentioned above.
This requires more than simply introducing a compliance plan or following regulations to guarantee protection for all employees at a building site. Supervisors, project managers, and staff must make a concerted effort to ensuring the protective protocols for the building site are observed regularly, hazards detected, and events reported to hopefully avoid any accidents or injury. Teamwork is essential to guaranteeing health.
At the end of the day, your workers matter more than anything else. Their safety equally boosts the overall effectiveness and productivity of your construction processes. So, ensuring that the workers are not only operating at their full potential but are also safe in the construction environment should be your priority. The points mentioned above will get you started, but you can adapt and overcome according to the initial analysis of the worksite. Safety is the key to a powerful and successful construction process.