Construction sites are some of the most dangerous work environments in the country. The industry accounts for the biggest proportion of work-related fatalities, with falls from a height, flying objects and moving vehicles being the biggest threats to worker safety.
With this danger comes the ever-greater need for proper health and safety precautions. In this article, we’ll explore how construction sites can boost safety efforts for the benefit of everyone involved.
Safety protocols and procedures
Site safety starts with clear protocols and procedures to protect workers, visitors and members of the public. Proper site boundaries should be created with barriers and safety signage to ensure no unauthorised entry.
Rules should also be set out clearly regarding the use of equipment, PPE and expectations on site. This must come from management down, but everyone needs to set an example and take accountability for their safety and the safety of others.
Equipment maintenance and servicing
Construction equipment must be maintained to avoid tools and machinery becoming a hazard to operators and others onsite. Servicing should only be completed by those competent to do the work and must follow regular maintenance schedules in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Where emergency repairs or maintenance are needed, all machinery should be powered down and prepared to ensure no accidents can happen. Downtime can be frustrating from an operational and commercial standpoint, but it’s worth it to ensure safety.
Relevant safety training
Training is a crucial factor in ensuring everyone onsite understands expectations and follows proper procedures. This can be in relation to handling specific tools and equipment, whether it’s using lifting slings or power tools, as well as following site rules such as wearing the appropriate PPE at all times.
Regular sessions can reinforce reminders, but it always helps to make training interactive as well. If your site and induction training fail to hit home, there could be a greater risk of accidents and mistakes.
Management and supervision have an important role to play in construction site safety. Policies and procedures come from the top, but ensuring they are implemented and followed is the responsibility of everyone onsite.
Supervision should also include regular monitoring and continuous reviews to ensure steps are being taken to mitigate hazards. Without a competent site manager, standards can so easily slip.
Reliable supplies of PPE
As we found out during the pandemic, shortages of PPE supplies can wreak havoc in environments where health and safety is a critical factor. Similarly, construction sites need a reliable supply of personal protective equipment to keep workers and visitors safe.
The fundamentals include hard hats, safety glasses, hi-vis clothing and proper footwear, but many sites need certain equipment to counter specific hazards. Ensure your PPE supply chain can deliver what is required when it’s required.