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The Importance of Construction Site Safety and Seven Ways to Reduce Workplace Accidents

Construction work is a hazardous land-based job and it includes many hazardous tasks and conditions such as working with height, excavation, noise, dust, power tools and equipment.

The leading safety hazards on construction sites include falls, being caught between objects, electrocutions, and being struck by objects. Failures in hazard identification are often due to limited or improper training and supervision of workers and use of improper equipment. Failure in any of these areas can result in an increased risk in exposing workers to harm in the construction environment.

Construction site safety is one of the most overlooked things during a construction project. However, at construction sites, accidents have the potential to be life-threatening and for that reason, extra attention must be paid in order to avoid such accidents.

Construction safety involves any safety procedure that is related to the construction industry or construction sites. Construction safety aims to ensure that a construction site or the industry as a whole is not the cause of immediate danger to the public around a construction site, or the workers at a construction site, as well as making sure that the finished product of construction meets required safety standards.

Below are seven ways construction businesses can reduce workplace accidents and promote construction site safety.

1. Awareness

Before any worker — no matter his or her role or experience level — can set foot on a construction site, he or she must be fully aware of the possible hazards. Ignorant workers are perhaps the biggest dangers in any industry, as their unknowing mistakes put everyone else at risk. Understanding of perils at hand and sustaining a perpetual state of alertness is perhaps the number-one best way to prevent accidents. Every single person that steps foot onto a construction site should be aware of the risks associated with the job and how to prevent them with their knowledge of construction site safety. If the workers have no concept of construction site safety, they shouldn’t be allowed on the construction site.

2. Training

Though most of a construction worker’s skills can be gained on the job, safety is one skill set that is best learned before works enter the construction site. Experienced workers should be expected to refresh their knowledge of standard safety by attending regular training sessions throughout the year. These training sessions can go over simple things such as fall protection and proper use of ladders, but the goal is to make sure everyone is adequately trained. Leaving these training sessions, workers should know what safety measure to do in the case of an incident.

Practicing construction site safety training skills on-site will force workers to practice these skills in an environment where safety is essential and will make sure they are trained. Without the proper training, construction workers can be easily injured or even killed. In such an environment where injuries and fatalities are highly likely, training is necessary and will prevent things like workplace injuries that will hurt you ethically and economically.

3. Documentation

To enforce construction site safety, you have to make sure you have proper documentation of everything that is going to be done on-site. It is essential that all proper registrations and licenses are earned before work begins. No construction worker wants to work for a construction firm that doesn’t put its worker’s safety first. Implementing measures to practice construction site safety methods prevents falls and such things from happening. For falls, there are a number of factors including the failure or misuse of protection equipment, unstable working surfaces, and human error.

4. Communication

Accidents are more likely to occur when workers are unsure what to expect. Direct discussion of the day’s goals and activities will cut down on surprises that could cause bodily harm.  Without proper communication between everyone on the construction site, workers won’t know what to expect. Clear and concise communication with everyone not only makes the project go by faster but also helps keep each person informed. Informing the staff and making sure everyone is doing their job is a proper way to communicate and make sure they understand construction site safety.

5. Proper Equipment

To create a culture centred around construction site safety, you need to give workers the proper equipment and adequate work area for the job at hand. Without the proper equipment, you can’t have construction site safety because there will always be an opportunity to get injured using the wrong equipment. Construction workers equipped with improper gear are bound to make fatal errors. Not only should each piece of equipment on the job site be ideally suited to the task at hand, but all machinery and material must be well maintained.

6. Supervision

Ideally, construction workers would fully understand the ramifications of inadequate safety precautions and thus act in a manner to ensure site-wide well-being — but this is not a perfect world. Every site must have a strong supervisor who is willing and capable of enforcing safety standards with no exceptions. This foreman must keep tabs on all employees throughout the day and correct those who fail to commit to proper construction site safety procedures.

7. Transparency

People understand that accidents happen, and as long as contractors are doing their best to foster a safe environment for their workers, any accidents that do occur will only contribute to the growing need to augment modern safety techniques. Transparency, along with the other six practices on this list, will help construction as a whole become a safer industry in which to work. A safer construction industry is an industry of fewer injuries, fewer workplace accidents, and fewer deaths. A construction industry that fully utilizes its construction site safety practices is the kind of industry we should be working towards.

Conclusion

The ultimate goal for the construction industry is to reduce workplace accidents, injuries, and fatalities to zero. The fewer accidents there are, the more popular the construction industry will be. The only hope of reducing the number of accidents is to keep workers aware of safety issues, train them on these issues, communicate and discuss ways to improve these safety programs and concerns, and documenting these issues. In addition to these steps, workers must have the right equipment, must have proper supervision and must be transparent if such a problem does occur. There is no set way to reduce the number of accidents to zero, but following these seven construction site safety practices will help pave the road to get there.


Sources:

1. https://esub.com/improve-construction-site-safety/
2.https://www.safeopedia.com/definition/3970/construction-safety
3.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Construction_site_safety

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