Construction is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. Every year, construction accounts for more deaths than any other industry in the country. As a construction site manager, employer or worker, you have the power to improve the safety of your workplace. Use these five safety tips at your next construction site to minimize the risk of worker injuries.
Do not underestimate the power of proper worker safety training. If every worker and staff member at a construction site has been through a rigorous safety training program, they will all know how to identify and prevent injury risks. Develop training for all potential risks at a worksite and teach workers to prioritize safety from the start. Have regular safety training updates and crew safety meetings. Conduct safety audits at the construction site regularly to search for and address any new hazards.
A construction site should work like a well-oiled machine, with every worker obeying the same set of strict safety and security rules. There should be no room for careless workers, cutting corners or safety violations. No site manager should ever rush workers or encourage them to skip safety precautions to save time or money. Employers should implement safety protocols that everyone must obey, such as:
These basic safety and security measures can protect workers from common causes of construction injuries, such as falls, transportation incidents, exposure to hazardous substances, struck-by object accidents and acts of violence. Any worker who violates a safety protocol should be penalized to set a standard for the workplace.
A construction site that is disorganized, cluttered and poorly maintained increases the risk of worker injuries and deaths. Those in charge of the worksite should properly maintain all equipment, regularly inspect ladders and tools, replace outdated or faulty equipment, and maintain safe and organized workspaces. All workers should be aware of their surroundings and able to clearly identify hazards in a clean, orderly workplace.
Falls were the number one fatal event in the construction industry in 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data shows that 1,102 lives were lost in the construction industry due to falls, slips and trips (37.9 percent of all worker deaths). Most of these deaths were from falls to lower levels. Many employers and site managers in construction fail to provide adequate fall protection to their workers to prevent these deadly incidents. OSHA reported that the most frequently violated safety standard was fall protection in construction. Employers should provide workers with personal fall protection systems and ensure safe walking surfaces to prevent fall accidents.
Preparation is a critical part of keeping a construction site safe. Overall, the manager of a construction site should be able to recognize potential hazards and injury risks and take proactive measures to prevent worker injuries. Common risks include electrical hazards, vehicle accidents, contact with equipment and machinery, acts of violence by people and animals, and slip and fall accidents. Preparation also means identifying and planning for adverse environmental conditions. Being proactive when it comes to construction site safety could save a life.
If you do suffer an injury while working on a construction site, consult with an attorney about a potential workers’ compensation claim. You may be eligible for financial compensation.