Construction projects are always changing, so a safe site must be constantly monitored. Holding regular toolbox talks, for example, helps workers know the safety procedures they need to follow.
Another important consideration is identifying “caught-in” or caught-between hazards, accounting for 7% – 10% of all construction fatalities annually. Keeping an emergency contact list in more than one place is also crucial.
Creating and maintaining a safety plan sets the stage for success on the job site. Workers who are well-trained and familiar with health and safety procedures will be more productive, fewer will call in sick, and accidents will be less frequent.
Workers need training on recognizing hazards, the hierarchy of controls for those hazards, and how to use personal protective equipment. Additionally, they need to know what to do if an accident happens on the job site, including who to report to and how to file a worker incident/accident report.
One way to promote this is to hold monthly 30-minute safety “lunch and learn” programs where workers can hear an expert craftsperson discuss construction-specific health and safety topics. It’s important that the training is in a language workers can understand. Also, ensuring all employees know they can discuss any issues or concerns without fear of retaliation is a good idea.
Employees must follow OSHA guidelines on the construction site. While adherence to regulations may feel like a chore at times, it ensures that everyone in the area remains safe.
OSHA regulations stipulate that companies must provide a workplace without serious recognized hazards. Any violations of these standards can result in fines.
While meeting OSHA requirements might seem daunting, there are ways to make the process easier for your team with the help of construction safety services. For example, safety manuals can help your team understand how to protect themselves on-site. Similarly, regular toolbox talks and internal safety policies allow employees to mitigate risks quickly before they become an issue.
Additionally, you can also rely on OSHA’s offsite consultation programs. These programs are designed to educate workers and managers about workplace hazards, the most effective ways to prevent accidents, and how to report incidents when they occur. They also help businesses meet state occupational safety and health requirements that may be more stringent than federal guidelines.
Job Site Inspections
Safety inspections are a regular part of the job, but they can easily get pushed aside with everything else going on. Having an outsourced safety manager familiar with the industry and regulations can ensure this important service isn’t overlooked.
These safety inspections can look at things like personal protective equipment, power transmission guards, scaffolding, and the general cleanliness of the site. This can help determine compliance with Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) regulations and create safe conditions for field teams.
A typical safety inspection is conducted as a walkthrough, with the inspector noting any issues or hazards found. These can be discussed with managers or company representatives at a meeting afterward and potentially resolved right away. Digital forms are a great way to make this process efficient and effective, with yes/no checkboxes, quick fill-in fields, and the ability to attach photos or videos. This data can also be instantly shared with the entire project team.
While working in the construction industry is highly rewarding, it can also be very dangerous. Having an emergency response plan helps protect employees and members of the public from dangers that may occur on-site.
A safety response plan includes a detailed outline of how employees will notify emergency services and management in the event of an incident. It can also include information on handling hazardous chemicals, the location of first aid kits and instructions on operating building systems such as fire or security.
A good site-specific safety plan will also identify any special hazards or considerations that may be unique to the project, including confined space work, chemical exposure and respiratory troubles. In addition, a site-specific plan will define how safety incidents are reported and by whom. An easy-to-locate list of emergency contacts is essential. This should be kept in multiple places and accessible to all employees.