How to Put Safely First on a Construction Site
The construction industry is huge, full of people, equipment, and projects. However, unfortunately safety at work culture does not happen overnight, it is something you need to work at consistently with your team to ensure everyone, including members of the public, is kept safe while you work.
“Safety First” should be a mantra on the construction site and also something that is always put into practice. As a tool hire company, here at Mteevan we take safety on site extremely seriously. That’s why we thought we’d share our advice on how to put health and safety in construction first. So, here are the ways you can encourage a safety-first construction work company.
Prioritise Safety Above all Else
While it is important to prioritise the project you are working on and complete it to the best of your ability, safety should be your number one concern. After all, if your workers are not kept safe they will not be able to complete the project without causing injury to themselves or others.
Keeping everyone safe on the construction site is extremely important and if you effectively communicate to your employees that safety is your top concern, this will build trust. Accidents can lead to project overruns, delays, extra costs, and even loss of lives. Therefore, nothing is more important than prioritising the safety of your workers, members of the public, and your construction site.
Train Everyone Thoroughly
When working on a construction site, training is necessary. To ensure everyone is kept safe, train, train, and train your workers until working safely is their natural go-to. Providing your workers with the relevant training will prove you are committed to keeping them safe and healthy while they’re working.
However, safety training is not and should not be just a one-off event. Rather it should be a continuous effort that helps reinforce the ethics and priorities of your company. Regular safety training keeps everyone safe and helps the workers retain what they’ve learned. What’s more, as new workers join your team, it ensures everyone is kept up to date easily.
Create a Safety Committee
Not everyone on your construction team will be thrilled at the idea of safety training or staying safe on the construction site. Some people just come to get the job done and collect their paycheck at the end of the day. And while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it is important to keep everyone involved and invested in good safety practices.
A good way to do this is to create a safety committee with people from all levels on the construction site. Make it the responsibility of the safety committee to review and update all safety procedures on site, crafting job-specific safety plans and helping identify any potential hazards or safety concerns, as well as workers not taking safety seriously.
Workers who are involved in the safety committee will feel invested and part of a team, helping them commit to taking safety seriously. What’s more, they are also more likely to communicate their safety concerns or encouragements when they feel their input is more highly valued.
Everyone Must be Held Accountable
Accountability is extremely important when it comes to safety. Everyone working on the construction site needs to take safety seriously and if they don’t, they should be held accountable. After all, everyone working on the construction site is responsible for the safety of others, it doesn’t just fall to the responsibility of safety mangers or those in charge of the project.
All construction workers should know unsafe practices that put themselves in danger, as explained in safety training. Ensure that everyone on site knows the safety procedures and the consequences for not following the rules. Employees should also feel like they can come to you confidentially to address in safety issues or breaking of rules by themselves or others.
Use Incentives, Such as Rewards
It is a fact that people love working for rewards and incentives are a great way to encourage workers to adhere to safe working practices, attend the relevant training, wear protective gear, work safely, report any problems, and so on and so forth.
By rewarding workers for approaching safety in a proactive way, your construction site should deal with fewer accidents or injuries as a result.
Carry out Inspections and Safety Meetings
Sometimes workers need a little more motivation to work safely, and that’s where safety meetings and daily inspections come in to play. All construction sites should be inspected at the beginning and end of each working day to address any potential hazards, safely concerns, or damaged work equipment and lifting equipment. What’s more, inspections throughout the day help identify any tools left lying around and other hazards, in addition to monitoring workers to ensure they are working safely as instructed.
Briefly, at the beginning and end of each day, hold a safety meeting to address what’s expected, go over the day’s tasks, and announce any additional safety procedures. Always be thorough and don’t forget to praise good practices and encourage good working environments and attitudes from the day before.
Your Company Has a Safety Culture
It is a fact that your company has a safety culture, good or bad. However, it goes without saying that there is always room for improvement. Whether you think your construction site safety is absolutely on point, or whether safety on site is something you barely think about and that often gets pushed to the wayside. We hope this article has been helpful to you and given you some good pointers on how to put safety first on a construction site.
Top Safety Wear in Construction
The construction industry, as Mteevan know all too well, can be a health and safety executive nightmare. Almost every conceivable hazard exists within this constantly changing work environment. However, the hazards of construction sites are well-known and most responsible employers are aware of their duty to care for their employees, visitors and others that may be affected by their activities. Construction sites are not forgiving places and the sheer volume of potential hazards mean that it is imperative for workers to wear the appropriate safety gear.
So, what safety gear is recommended when you work in construction? Check out our list of mandatory construction items.
Head Protection (Hard hats)
The most important safety item when working in construction is a hard hat. Hard hats are an essential form of head protection that will help you avoid risks associated with collapsing structures, falling objects and dropped tools. They will also reduce the risks of workers or visitors accidentally hitting their heads on items such as exposed timbers and low scaffolding. If you’re unsure of the risk work, you can have a risk assessment carried out to make them clear.
Hard hats are specially designed with a gap between the helmet and the head of the person wearing it, absorbing the shock of impact in the event of an accident, reducing the likelihood of injury.
Reflective safety vests are essential when working on construction sites because they alert others around you to your presence, when you may otherwise not have been seen. They are especially compulsory when you are working during the night so that you can be seen by pedestrians and passing cars. Be safe and be seen!
It is easy to forget that our feet also need protecting when we are working on construction projects. When you are not wearing the correct safety shoes, your feet are in serious jeopardy of being injured. Here at Mteevan, we would highly recommend that you wear steel-capped boots. Boots with steel toe caps are vital when it comes to protecting your feet from heavy objects falling to the ground. Safety boots can also be fitted with impact protection and fitted ankle collars to give your feet additional support. To ensure that you have the safest footwear possible, we would suggest adding anti-slip soles to the list.
Protective gloves can help to maximise safety. When working in construction, workers are required to use their hands a lot, involving a level of potential risk. Always ensure that your hands are completely covered with specialist gloves to avoid any injury reported from harmful substances and other hazards.
Hearing protection is always required when working in construction as you may be exposed to excessive noise levels that could damage your ears. Often, there is very little that can be done about excessive noise in construction environments as it is necessary for the work being carried out. However, workers wearing hearing protectors massively reduce the amount of noise reaching their ears, protecting them from damage.
Face protection, such as visors or protective goggles, is essential for construction workers facing hazards in their role such as chemical splashes and flying objects.
Exposure to dangerous chemicals and flying objects on a construction site can pose a serious risk to your eyesight. Please take caution and protect your face from potential hazards in your working environment.
Always put safety first on the construction site and work hard to keep everyone safe. The right construction and design management can help prevent numerous problems.