Preventing accidents is critical for any construction company. Though these tips may seem commonsensical, following them can help prevent injury and costly mistakes that can negatively impact a company’s success and longevity.
Wear Proper Attire
It is imperative your crew is equipped with the proper safety attires. Depending on the construction site, they may need any or all of the following: eye protection (either sun glasses or workman’s glasses), head protection (hard hat), vests or other items with reflective strips, gloves, hearing protection, safety harnesses or tool belts, holders, etc. If your workers are laboring in areas where visibility is an issue, it is necessary to take precaution to be visible. Reflective clothing can help with visibility, as well as lighted accessories in dark areas that can help the crew see and be seen. Enough warmth to protect during the cold, and proper steel-toed boots ensures foot safety. Regardless the environment, ensuring your crew is adequately attired is essential to ensuring their safety and preventing many unnecessary injuries.
When In Doubt, Check It Out
Ensure your crew is reminded of everything safety-wise, and be sure that there is a crew supervisor available to double check details and ask/answer questions. Crews need to understand what they are doing, need documentation on the project and resources to seek guidance when in doubt. This seems like a simple tip, but countless accidents can be prevented by just asking a simple question to clear up any confusion.
Avoid Excessive Or Overexposure To The Elements
Because your crew’s health is critical to their ability to complete their jobs, it is essential for you to avoid excessive exposure to the elements. Whether it’s the sun beating down or a cold/snowy environment, the heat or cold can prevent your crew from completing their tasks and encountering health risks. Keep cooling towels and thermal blankets onsite, and also make there that there is a properly stocked first aid kit. Training your crew to recognize symptoms from heat exhaustion or stoke, or hypothermia will keep them safe and prevents unnecessary injury. In the long run, this keeps your crew safe and your projects closer to on track.
Provide Enough Breaks
Rest, hydration and nourishment are all critical to a healthy and focused crew. Ensure you provide your crew with a proper break schedule so they can remain adequately focused on their tasks. Providing a break room or mobile for them to relax and eat their meals will help them keep much needed focus.
Regular Safety Training
There are regular and constant changes to safety regulations. Keep your crews up to date with the latest training, whether that means specific, formal certification training or informal shift meetings. Simply put, it’s critical that your crews are informed and focused. To reinforce safety messages, post hazmat and OSHA notifications in employee gathering areas, and if using time cards make sure they are where employees can easily punch in and out, such as bulletin boards and entryways. Of course, keep safety notices around hazardous tools or machinery.
Ensure Proper Steps Or Stable Ladders/ Climbing Structures
Many crew members are injured while they climb in and out of heavy machinery or while they traverse high construction elements or beams. Regularly check these items to ensure safety for your crew members. Ladders and scaffolding should be checked for stability and ability to withstand set up and break down.
Keep The Work Area Safe
Given the hazards of many work sites, construction work sites pose additional safety requirements due to the unique working conditions. With this in mind, it’s essential to perform regular checks on any tools or heavy machinery utilized by your crew. Check that all electrical cords are safe and adequate storage is provided. Also, having employees trained in first aid and CPR will ensure assistance if needed while waiting for first responders to arrive onsite.
Though these tips may seem rather intuitive and logical, it is important to remind crews of these items to ensure safety for employees and avoid unnecessary accidents — and ultimately excessive costs — for your construction company.
Written by Kent Murdock, owner of Randy Adams Construction in Columbia, MO. Randy Adams Construction is one of the premiere commercial construction companies Columbia MO has to offer.