Safety should be the number one concern for construction companies of any size. It is your responsibility to keep employees, onsite contractors, and visitors safe at all times regardless of the project or location of the job site. Failing to keep people safe can lead to a wide range of negative consequences.
A construction site is home to a variety of enhanced and unique hazards including the heavy equipment, unstable working surfaces, potentially dangerous heights and being a generally loud and noisy environment. There are countless opportunities for injury and exposure to harmful substances with more than 10 million U.S. residents employed within the construction industry.
You can keep your job sites safe by offering consistent training, developing of a positive safety culture, and being committed to providing a work environment without preventable hazards and conditions that lead to them.
Building a culture focused on construction safety
Knowing the true value of safety for all employees inside the office and out on the jobsite can help minimize the risk of workplace accidents. Many accidents are a result of a lack of knowledge or a failure to adhere of safety protocols. A successful safety culture rests on two major pillars: a respect for abiding by the rules and having strong understanding of them.
It's easy to train workers and send them on their way, but they are likely to push back when they don't fully understand the importance of a safe workplace. Similarly, workers can be encouraged to buy into the idea of a safe job site. However, that surface level understanding that may not protect them from harm if they don't know how to funnel that enthusiasm into following rules and best practices.
How to establish a safe workplace on the job site or in the office
- Make job site safety a priority by emphasizing it as soon as possible. Whether it's in a job posting for new hires or during the first discussion with potential contractors, be crystal clear about safety as a top concern.
- Explain why safety matters to individual employees and to the company. Emphasize all major points, from the difficulties of being injured and out of work for staff to job slowdowns and damage to projects for the company as a whole. Make it clear that a lack of commitment to safety hurts everyone, while a commitment to it provides widespread benefits.
- With the value of safety established, give workers the training and support they need. Provide job- and equipment-specific education, with occasional reviews and additional sessions when new equipment arrives.
- Let them know they can always ask safety questions and point out potential hazards without fear of consequence.
- Tell workers that doing things the safe way won't ever be penalized or looked down upon, and follow through on that commitment.
- Make these commitments and requirements clear to contractors and tell them what you expect in a clear, up-front way.
Utilize construction safety and heavy equipment resources
There is a wide variety of useful, practical guidance available for the construction industry. With effective training, an emphasis on promoting a safety-first culture, combined with adhering to safety best practices and regulations, your construction company can enjoy a safe workplace.