Building construction sites are inherently unsafe environments. However, if you run a construction site you are responsible for ensuring the health and safety of your employees (not to mention visitors) as much as possible.
Although there are many risks on construction sites, there are also many things you can do to help to reduce and manage these risks and promote the safest possible environment.
Take a look at these top tips on running a construction site safely to promote maximum health and safety on your site.
Undertake Professional Training
It is important that you are your team are well versed in the site safety best practices. To achieve this, you should make sure key members of your team, such as site supervisors, undertake regular professional training. An SSSTS course (Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme) will comprehensively cover all aspects of site safety, as well as showing employee appreciation.
One of the most important aspects of construction site safety is awareness. Team members and site visitors who are aware of hazards, risks and best practices are much less likely to demonstrate risky behaviour or put themselves in harm’s way. Anyone entering the construction site should be made fully aware of the hazards on site, and how to avoid them. This can be achieved through briefings, checklists and signage, among other methods.
Use the Latest Tools and Technology
Technology is an incredible asset when it comes to health and safety. The tools and technologies which can be used to create a safer construction site these days go far beyond hard hats, safety glasses and steel-capped boots. Modern technologies which can be used in their area range from high-tech work wear which allows workers to move in safer ways, to site sensors which allow early detection of harmful chemicals and gases, for instance in the cases of leaks or spills.
Have Great Communication
Conditions on a construction site can change quickly, particularly in the cases of site incidents or issues. In order to make sure the team can respond rapidly and appropriately to any threats or hazardous situations, put effective communication structures in place. Ensure site workers can easily communicate with each other through headsets, smart phones or walkie-talkies, and have good communications protocols in place.
Don’t Skimp on Equipment
Giving your workers the right tools is not only essential to allow them to do a good job, it is also critical for ensuring safety on site. Many site hazards and risks are related to not having good-quality equipment available, or using equipment which is not perfectly suited to the task. Make sure site workers have all the equipment they need for the tasks they are doing, and that all equipment is well-maintained and immediately repaired in the case of damage or wear and tear.
Have Adequate Supervision
Making sure that all site workers are complying with safety best practices means having comprehensive and constant supervision of all team members. Although training, communication and awareness go a long way, unfortunately some workers may still drop the ball when it comes to safety. Therefore, it is essential that supervisors are overseeing site safety at all times in order to identify broken links or problems, and address these immediately. Demonstrate to your staff that you take site safety extremely seriously by reacting strongly to anyone who breaks safety rules.
Document Your Processes
In a hands-on environment like a construction site, it can be easy to fall behind on paperwork and administrative processes. However, documentation is very important when it comes to site safety. Have accurate, up-to-date documents in place will not only make sure that everything is running as it should (including safe site processes), but this will also cover the company in terms of legal recourse and compensation claims, should an incident occur.
In order to support best site safety practices, it is important for businesses and organisations to have a high degree of openness when it comes to these matters. In particular, it is critical that any incidents or accidents are treated with complete transparency, both within the company and outside of it. Covering up accidents will not only hinder awareness and communication within the team, but also has negative impacts on the organisation’s public image. By being open about site safety, including any unfortunate occurrences, companies can identify the causes of such incidences and have the best chance of making sure similar things don’t happen again in the future.