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Promoting A Culture of Health and Safety on Construction Sites: 6 Tips to Keep in Mind

by Aishwarya
Promoting A Culture of Health and Safety on Construction Sites

The construction sector employs a big number of people nowadays, but it is also an extremely dangerous industry. During 2019-2020, there were over 81,000 cases of work-related sickness or injuries just in the United Kingdom. This demonstrates that construction workers are frequently exposed to dangerous scenarios that increase their chances of getting hurt, developing an illness, or even dying. Falling from great heights, defective equipment, electrocution, building failures, and falling items are just a few of the dangers these workers are exposed to every day. 

Some businesses may believe that by employing old technology or failing to provide enough training to their employees, they may save money. However, when you consider that workplace-related injuries account for 2.6 million missed work days each year, you will quickly realize that it is in your best advantage to emphasize safety. You will not only be able to safeguard your employees’ lives, but you will also be able to protect your business financially. 

Luckily, this is not as difficult as some believe, and improving safety and health concerns in construction sites can be done with minimal costs. To help business owners out, below are some tips that will improve worker safety on construction sites. 

Develop a solid workplace safety culture

Implementing a proper health and safety work culture needs to start from the top of the hierarchy. This means the entire management team, owner included, must understand and practice workplace safety before imposing it on the workers. 

How favorable the outcome of your health and safety program will be is inextricably linked to the dedication of leadership and management. Employee mindset and actions regarding construction site health and safety are significantly impacted by strong leaders who understand and explain which types of behaviors are recognized and accepted within the workplace, as well as the ones that are penalized. After all, it’s better to be viewed as a stringent employer because you care about employees than pay the genuine cost of a personal injury claim, which can really impact a company financially and reputationally, according to the experts at UKLaw.

Provide protective gear for employees and enforce usage

Wearing the proper protective equipment on a construction site can turn a devastating accident into a mere scratch, so make it a point to emphasize how crucial it is for your personnel to wear their personal protective equipment.

It becomes the employer’s responsibility to supply proper equipment to all of its employees based on the sort of task they must do, but employees must also be encouraged to wear the equipment. 

A personal protective equipment set will often comprise a helmet, safety glasses, ear protection, knee pads, a hi-vis jacket, and, in certain cases, footwear. However, simply providing all of these materials will not be enough if your employees refuse to wear them, therefore don’t be afraid to enforce this requirement and even penalize the ones who do not comply. Tolerating risky conduct also makes you a party to any future incident. 

Teach employees to use proper scaffolding

Falling from great heights accounts for 47 percent of construction site incidents, thus it is critical to ensure that the scaffolding is correctly placed if you want to avoid this. The scaffolding must be raised in accordance with the safety rules, which implies there will be no improvisations, no shortcuts to get the task done faster, and no excuses as to why the scaffolding was not properly erected.

The scaffolding should be erected on firm ground so that it is as robust as possible and does not collapse. After the scaffolding has been installed, it must be inspected and maintained on a regular basis. Any damage that is discovered must be repaired as soon as possible so that it does not pose a safety concern.

Instruct your staff to report any irregularities or potential dangers they notice. Additionally, ensure that all staff who will be utilizing the scaffolding have been adequately taught about the hazards and understand them.

Offer health and safety training for all employees

Construction workers are frequently required to handle dangerous machinery, which means they must be properly trained in order to utilize these types of machinery as safe as possible. They must be knowledgeable and aware of the risks associated with their professions, especially while working on scaffolding, with hazardous machinery, or in areas that restrict their movement. They should be taught basic first aid as well so that they are able to execute basic life-saving measures if necessary. There have been several cases where a coworker was able to save an employee’s life by performing first-aid procedures.

Training sessions should include more than just how to handle certain gear; they should also cover various health and safety issues related to their professions. Construction employees must learn how to navigate the site while keeping in mind their safety and the safety of the ones around.

Place signs in hazardous areas

Construction sites may be hazardous to both employees and other individuals who happen to enter the premises. To avoid unintentional mishaps, any hazardous areas should be properly marked with signs and posters, urging everyone nearby to take precautions or stay away if they do not have the requisite training.

These signs are also relatively inexpensive, making them a cost-effective option for reducing accidents by highlighting possible hazards such as falling debris, the presence and usage of large vehicles or machinery, or potential toxic chemicals. In certain cases, you may be obligated by law to put those signs up, so be sure you understand and follow local regulations.

Ensure all equipment works properly

Injury rates for construction workers are statistically greater than for employees in any other industry, and this is mostly owing to inadequate equipment.

Construction workers rely largely on their tools and equipment to operate effectively and perform their responsibilities. Major events, including devastating injuries, are more likely if the equipment is defective, old, or incorrectly set up, thus this should be addressed.

In order to ensure that there are no errors or difficulties, equipment should be inspected on a regular basis. It is both the worker’s and the employer’s obligation to bring defective equipment to the notice of everyone on the job site, so make sure your staff is aware of this as well.

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