5 Tips on Ensuring Workers’ Safety at Construction Sites!Edit profile
Workplace accidents create a no-win situation for both the injured employee and the employer. While the employee has to go through pain and suffering, the employer has to deal with the loss of the injured employee’s contribution.
Establishing and maintaining an injury-free work environment can surely help minimize workplace injuries. However, there are quite a few professions where employees have to work in hazardous conditions, making accidents more prevalent. According to Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys, the construction industry is one such sector that is inundated with worker injuries.
Don’t let this worry you; as an employer, there’s a lot you can do to ensure the safety of your site workers. Here are some tips to help you minimize worker injuries at the construction site.
Plan in Advance
Have a concrete plan in place before you execute a project so as to avoid missteps that could cause accidents. Keep a tab on all parameters of the project, for example- the maximum height at which construction work will be carried out.
Knowing the basics will help you determine the appropriate fall protection materials you need to provide your workers with. What’s more, you’ll also be able to factor these essentials into your budget!
Be Aware of Common Accidents
Being aware of common types of accidents and injuries can be the key to prevention. Here are some construction site accidents to look out for:
- Trips and Falls: Construction sites are busy places and moving about a number of materials and items can lead to the ground being untidy. An uneven ground cluttered with obstacles can cause workers to trip or fall easily. Oil and grease spills can present further hazards too!
- Falling Objects: Workers working at a height aren’t always mindful of what’s going on below them. Objects and debris can fall on unsuspecting workers and cause injuries.
- Equipment Injury: There is increased activity on construction sites along with the use of heavy machinery and big vehicles which can lead to accidents.
- Exhaustion-Related Accidents: Construction site workers are required to put in long hours of manual labor. Exhausted workers can make small mistakes that can cause workplace injuries.
Adopt a Proactive Approach
Take on a proactive approach to safety to eliminate accidents on the construction site. Here are a few things you can do:
- Keep the site clear of hazards and debris at all times. Try to keep the ground level so as to avoid falls.
- Provide conventional fall protection like safety nets, guard rails, and personal fall arrest systems where workers are exposed to vertical drops.
- Scaffolds should be solidly built and fences or barricades should be installed to prevent objects from falling onto workers below.
- Inspect ladders and mark them as defective if you see a problem.
- Observe crane weight loads and inspect moving parts regularly.
- Vehicles should be checked before use, particularly brakes, reverse lights, beepers, etc.
- Slope trench walls at an angle and prevent cave-ins by using trench boxes or other supports.
- Ensure workers use the right equipment and wear appropriate safety gear. Workers should also be provided with high-visibility apparel.
- Forklift operators should be certified. Have workers use the right attachments on forklifts.
- Allow workers to take regular breaks to reduce chances of exhaustion-induced accidents.
- Make sure workers stay hydrated throughout their shift, especially in the warmer months. That’s because dehydration can lead to fatigue and poor concentration.
- If providing mid-day meals, serve light and grease-free foods. Fruits and vegetables are preferable as they don’t cause post-lunch dips and drowsiness.
Conduct Safety Audits
Conduct workplace safety audits to identify potential hazards and weaknesses in fall protection programs. Start with writing a report on the existing safety program, highlighting strengths and weaknesses, and making recommendations for changes as necessary.
Have all documents related to training records, incidents and injuries, and policies in place. Do inspect safety gear and assess practices related to equipment storage and maintenance. Lastly, implement required changes immediately.
Employee training sessions and in-person courses are effective ways to train workers on construction site safety. Make sure the training focuses on proper handling of equipment and vehicles, appropriate usage of safety gear, and company fall prevention policies.
In addition to this, hold frequent safety meetings with workers or consider holding mandatory meetings at the start of shifts each day. Avoid discussing generic topics; provide factual and job-specific information instead. Also provide written information and visual aids to your workers to help them stay alert on the site.
Workplace injuries take place across all industries, but there are some professions where accidents are more common. Given the workplace conditions at construction sites, completely eliminating worker accidents and injuries may not be possible. That being said, minimizing such incidents is certainly doable.
With the information provided here, you now know what you can do to minimize accidents and injuries at construction sites. So get started on doing what’s right to prevent workplace injuries.