A good thing to do first is to define construction safety! Safety has three main parts:
- Identifying and recognizing risks and hazards.
- Addressing risks and hazards through workplace modifications and or behavioral precautions.
- Developing consistency in overall loss prevention activity.
Employees need to know what can hurt them. They need to know how to keep these things from hurting them. Consistently doing these things help prevent injuries.
The concept of continuous improvement is central to the following recommended practices. As with any journey, the first step is often the most challenging. The idea is to begin with a basic program and grow from there. By initially focusing on achieving modest goals, monitoring performance, and evaluating outcomes, you can help your company progress over time along the path to higher levels of safety and health. Implementing better practices is a key to conducting safe construction activities.
Here is a list of recommended better practices that highly successful construction companies utilize and consistently do on a daily basis:
- Determine, in advance, the scope of the day’s work activities. Provide the proper equipment at the job site.
- Ensure appropriate PPE is available for the work exposure for the day.
- Supervisors conduct, before work commences for the day, a tool box meeting with the crew to go over work tasks for the day and how protection from injury will occur.
- Supervisors conduct routine observations around the job site several times a day to ensure the safety plan is being implemented.
- Every worksite must have a strong supervisor who is willing and capable of enforcing safety standards with no exceptions.
- Fall prevention systems are in place for all employees before work commences.
- Safety inspections are routinely conducted and corrective actions are implemented to mitigate the hazards.
- Worksite housekeeping is a valued priority and is enforced.
- Ensure new employees receive proper safety training and use a mentoring process for several weeks.
- If an incident occurs, conduct a review to determine the safety “gaps” and take action to address the “gaps”.
- Communicate with the other contractors on the job site to address hazards or situations that may arise out of another trade’s work.
- Take a time-out to reevaluate the safety plan if conditions change.
- Ensure a competent person is on site for all safety hazards that employees could be exposed to.
- If working on a multi-employer worksite determine who is the controlling contractor so safety and health hazards can be resolved promptly, as they have the power to correct the violations or require others to correct them.
- Ensure all jobsites have proper restrooms and hydration stations available.
- Keep an eye on the weather as changes can occur rapidly.
- Make sure employees are inspecting applicable tools and equipment before each use.
- Ensure that an effective Lockout/Tagout system is in place.
- Review the Job Safety Analysis for the day’s work activities.
- Identify foreseeable emergency scenarios and communicate to employees on what to do in each case.