Construction sites are notorious for being dangerous places to work. It is interesting that a majority of people have this conception without knowing any real statistics surrounding the situation. Many people see the large tools, giant buildings and simply assume that the work is dangerous. On average in the United States, two construction workers die because of work-related injuries every day. This number should be appalling for everyone in the country and especially for those working in construction. Here are a few tips for staying safe in a construction zone.
1. Constant Awareness
Having constant awareness of your surroundings is the best way to stay safe on a construction site. While this is a hard skill to teach, every worker must make an individual effort to heighten their awareness while at work. This greatly increases their safety and the safety of others. Managers can help encourage this awareness by preventing workers from wearing headphones, encouraging more communication, drug-testing on a regular basis and by providing regular reminders. As injuries typically derive from minor errors, these can be avoided by more care.
2. Regular Communication
Construction sites are one of the most polluted places to work in terms of noise. From loud cranes to drilling machines, it is difficult to find a moment of silence in these sites. This noise is a necessary part of the job as growth is the main goal. However, the noise can become a problem is communication within the construction team suffers. Constant communication between team leaders and employees ensures that everyone remains on the same page and safe. A great way to increase communication is by holding meetings during lunchtime to update the entire worksite on changes for the day. Larger construction sites could also consider investing in special cell phones for each employee to make it easier to communicate regularly.
When working on a construction site, there are countless different teams completing separate jobs. While each of these tasks may be separate, they are all performed within close proximity to each other. In order to make sure that one team doesn’t interfere with the safety of another, it is important to keep the schedule and worksite organized. For example, having a team work directly above another with heavy tools increases the risk for injury. Managers must be able to organize and structure each task to ensure that the schedule is optimized for safety. This takes some consideration and should be double-checked with the entire team present.
4. OSHA Training
The United States Department of Labor started OSHA in 1970 to increase health and safety standards within the country’s workforce. OSHA stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and creates training programs aimed towards establishing a safer work environment in construction zones. Many companies require their workers to take OSHA training in order to be well-versed in the company’s safety guidelines and rules. Having each employee take the OSHA 10, 10-hour training program, is a great way to help increase safety on the job site overall.
Construction workers have a difficult job that involves a lot of risk. In fact, one-in-five workplace-related deaths come from the construction industry. These four tips can help create a safer work environment for everybody. The key is to ensure that each team member is dedicated to keeping everyone safe. The OSHA 10-hour training program is the best place to start.