Ways to Improve Construction Site Safety – The term “time is money” is quite literal in the construction industry. The constant pressure project managers and crews face to meet deadlines and stay within budget often causes safety to fall to the wayside. In 2016, out of 4,693 worker fatalities in private industry, one in five were in construction. Implementing each of these strategies can help improve health and safety in construction on any job site:
Set Safety Expectations
OSHA’s Safety and Health Regulations for Construction: OSHA 29 CFR 1926 serves as a baseline for construction site safety requirements. Safety management in construction must reinforce these regulations and go beyond by continuously leading by example and making safety a priority before work begins. By setting clear expectations for safety from the beginning, managers can set the tone to ensure each worker understands their personal responsibility for safety. This will help everyone work together toward the common goal of preventing injuries.
As a safety manager responsible for construction site safety, it’s important to “walk the talk” when it comes to workplace safety and health. “The example you set, and the way you talk to workers about safety, has a huge impact on the company’s safety and health program, safety culture, and ability to reduce injury and illness,” according to OSHA. When workers are able to recognize the value management has for their well-being, it helps build trust.
Some workers may never interact with senior management. It’s found that these employees are more likely to value and internalize safety messages when they are occasionally delivered by higher-level management rather than passed down in the chain of command. Make it clear that it is everyone’s responsibility to follow rules, procedures, and best practices to prevent accidents on the job site. Incorporate safety language into policies and procedures so it becomes ingrained as a natural part of a worker’s daily routine.
An informal safety talk at the start of each work day can make safety managers’ jobs easier by improving worker understanding of safety expectations, preventing wasted time on inconsistencies, and minimizing chances of error. Toolbox talks continue to be the most effective means of communicating safety to workers. It sparks valuable discussion on general safety and information about safer tools, equipment, materials, and processes.
Utilize OSHA’s website for a variety of topics from emergency planning, tool and equipment safety, ladder safety, personal protective equipment and more to help create or obtain a presentation. Always make sure the content is relevant to your specific work site and feature engaging elements like visuals and anecdotes that workers can connect with.
Promote a Nonthreatening Environment
A survey of 1,500 workers in 22 organization, found 93% of employees say their workgroup is currently at risk from a safety issue that is not being discussed. In addition, almost half knew of an injury that occurred because someone didn’t speak up. Trust and quality of relationships heavily influence the safety and overall productivity of workers.
Always encourage employees to speak up when they see something going wrong; this can significantly help to avoid incidents, injuries, and fatalities. To increase chances of participation, ensure workers feel comfortable to ask questions and raise safety concerns without fear of retaliation or bullying. This will make it easier and quicker to address issues head on to prevent them down the road.
OSHA finds that managers often avoid giving feedback to prevent confrontations. If improvements to a worker’s performance can be made, approach them in a constructive, positive way. Make sure to avoid judgmental statements and criticisms and focus on the behavior itself, not the person and their values or personality.
To improve construction site safety, ensure all prework activities, such as approvals, are completed before work begins. A thoughtful planning process can help the work day start on a more efficient and safe foot. Implement zoning to block off areas where certain tasks will take place, install nets and catch platforms, and apply any other safety measures.
Stage and stock each work area with the necessary tools, PPE, and equipment before the workday begins. This will make it easier and safer for workers to access what they need. Make sure to supply the right tools for the right tasks, and double check that workers understand how to properly operate the equipment they’ll be using. Eliminate hazardous distractions and obstructions by reinforcing consistent housekeeping practices on the job site.
Take Advantage of Technologies
Provide new opportunities to address construction site safety challenges and experience immediate cost savings. Technology can be worth the investment to help bridge time and distance constraints, improving efficiency and safety in the long term.
The growth of digitization in construction now makes it possible to make real-time decisions remotely. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), known as drones, are already in use in the industry and provide a convenient way to conduct site inspections, observations, and safety audits thus improving construction site safety. Managers can use smartphones, tablets, and safety management software to perform inspections and safety audits, report incidents, hazards and near misses, data is instantaneously uploaded from remote work sites to the cloud where management can take appropriate actions. Allowing everyone to have immediate access to the same information eliminates costs of equipment that must be updated and maintained, and it keeps everyone consistently on the same page.
A recent report by Dodge Data & Analytics found that 82% of contractors who use wearable technology see instant construction site safety improvements. Wearable devices like smart watches, glasses, and clothing allow managers to have better visibility of the work site and workers. These devices have the ability to alert managers to activities going on in the field and even improve response time when injuries occur, like the ability to detect when an employee slips, trips, and falls, triggering an automatic alert to designated site personnel, including medics. These devices also keep track of locations of workers and procedures on the job site. Trigger alarms exist to streamline evacuation procedures in the event of an emergency. These capabilities offer immediate safety benefits.
Fire Extinguisher Barcode System
IMEC Inspection Software is an easy to use fire extinguisher barcode system which will schedule, manage, track and report on any type of inspection, including Facility, Equipment, People etc. Use Cases include fire extinguisher barcode system, eyewash stations, emergency showers, equipment or asset inspection system or facilities inspection software. When used as a fire extinguisher barcode system Inspections are performed via the Mobile app which is available on iOS, Android and Windows devices. The user identifies the inspection point by scanning a barcode, or picking from a list based on location. The Mobile App which is part of the fire extinguisher barcode system will then display the list of custom Forms or Checklists. The fire extinguisher barcode system inspections can be performed offline if no internet connection is available.
The IMEC Mobile Safety App can also be used as a Fire Door Inspection App and with the Web based flexible Forms Manager the solution can be used as a Fire Door Inspection Software Solution also. Fire Door Inspection Software is used is large facilities with large quantities of Fire Doors like Hospitals, Universities and also Cruise Ships.
Fire Life Safety Inspection Software Solution
IMEC Inspection Software can be deployed as a full Fire Life Safety Inspection Software solution that can be used to manage an organization’s full range of fire and life safety inspections. The IMEC Fire Life Safety Inspection Software can manage any type of inspection, use cases include Fire Doors, Fire Pumps, Eyewash Stations, Emergency Lights, Emergency Showers, Grease Traps, AED’s and many more. The IMEC Fire Life Safety Inspection Software can manage any type safety equipment or asset inspection. The user identifies the inspection point by scanning a barcode, or picking from a list based on location. The Mobile App will then display the list of custom Forms or Checklists.
Asset Inspection Management Software
IMEC’s Asset Inspection Management Software can be used to manage any type of Asset Inspection. This Asset Inspection Management Software solution can create corrective actions as a result of asset inspection failures for inspections. Corrective actions are allocated to the appropriate persons, with deadlines for resolution which will greatly reduce the time, effort and cost of managing compliance inspections. Implementing an Asset Inspection management software solution, where users using a Mobile App can easily perform inspections in the field aids compliance, reduces risk and standardizes the inspection process within your organization.
IMEC Technologies provides Safety Management Software to increase worker safety and aid compliance. IMEC’s Safety Management Software will manage inspections and audits, provides hazard identification, incident reporting, management of corrective and preventative actions from generation to closure. IMEC provides lock out tag out software solutions that will allow users to create lockout tagout procedures using an intuitive Mobile App and Manage Lockout Tagout Procedures, also the Review and Execution of those Lockout Tagout Procedures using the Mobile App. Annual Lockout Tagout Procedures audits are conducted using a Mobile App. The Mobile Inspection App allow users to perform inspections and audits, for example the system can be used as a Fire Extinguisher Barcode Inspection Software system to manage monthly fire extinguisher inspections and general fire safety inspections and also to record safety observations and manage corrective actions, anywhere and anytime. The solution can be used as a fire extinguisher barcode inspection software system or life safety inspection system to aid compliance in Higher Education, Healthcare, Industrial and Commercial Organizations. Benefits from a Fire Extinguisher Barcode System include the elimination of paperwork and reducing the burden of compliance with regulations such as NFPA, The Joint Commission. The Incident Reporting App allows users to easily and quickly report incidents, hazards and near-misses, these are then sent to the appropriate people for action and are managed to closure. Web Apps provide features such as, setup, management, scheduling tools, analysis, reporting and dashboards etc with the ability to report incidents to government bodies such as OSHA and RIDDOR. HazMat T&T is a hazardous waste management software solution designed for Environmental Service Companies and companies who generate a large quantity of hazardous waste. The solution tracks hazardous waste from cradle to grave aiding compliance, providing accurate waste inventory, increasing waste handling efficiency, reducing risk and also helps manage waste costs. HazMat T&T Hazardous Waste Management Software can be deployed in a number of deployment scenarios, from Large Hazardous Waste Generators, tracking their hazardous waste at their site to Environmental Service and Waste Management Companies using it track and manage hazardous waste at transfer and disposal sites. For more information visit our website www.imectechnologies.com