The construction industry has a reputation for providing one of the most injury-prone career paths. In working with heavy machinery, large structures and dangerous materials, construction workers put their safety on the line more than most average employees. In fact, one out of every 10 construction workers is injured per year according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In order to curb alarming statistics such as these, there are several steps managers and employers can take to create a culture of safety and greatly reduce the risk of injury.
To sustain a particular culture within a company, it is crucial that ideas are successfully passed on and maintained by incoming members. One effective strategy is to hold required safety orientation meetings for all incoming recruits. This ensures that they are made aware of the expectations and values held by the company regarding safety. Additionally, the installment of "buddy systems" between more experienced employees and new workers can help to reinforce this transition.
Incoming employees aren't the only ones who should be receiving training. In fact, every worker from the top to the bottom needs to be consistently reminded of key safety features and procedures. These can be easily implemented into the work day through monthly safety programs held during scheduled breaks. This reinforcement will keep safety at the forefront of your employees' minds and greatly decrease the chances of risky behavior.
In the construction industry, falls amount to the largest number of fatalities each year. According to OSHA, studies have shown that using guardrails, fall arrest systems, safety nets, covers and restraint systems can prevent many deaths and injuries from falls. Employers should implement policies that require each site to incorporate appropriate fall protection materials for the structures being used. These may include safety nets, harnesses and even guardrail systems. It is also essential to verify the efficiency of your current equipment, such as cranes, scaffolding, ladders, etc. The best way to ensure a standard of quality is to purchase these items from well-established providers.
Equipment malfunctions are another key contributor to injuries and fatalities. In addition, to proper fall protection, it is critical that equipment is routinely inspected for stability and durability. These inspections should be scheduled before any work on the equipment begins so the necessary changes or modifications can be made. The inspections should also be performed by experienced individuals who know what kinds of weaknesses and dangers to look for.
Because of the nature of the industry, it may be impossible to completely eradicate injuries and fatalities. However, there are several policies and procedures that can be implemented to protect workers while establishing a safe and secure work environment. After all, your employees are the most important asset of your company, and their health and safety need to be protected.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family, being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities. She recommends enlisting the help of companies like American Equipment Inc. for safe, durable equipment operation. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.