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4 construction safety myths debunked


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 991 deaths in the construction industry in 2016, making it one of the deadliest occupations. In an industry like construction, where on-the-job injuries can be fatal, safety is a top priority. Yet many companies have misperceptions of the safety challenges they face, and how to drive fleet safety. Here are four myths around construction safety that we’ve debunked:

Construction safety myth #1
Safety on construction sites is common sense.

Even with common sense safety measures like hardhat policies, accidents are always possible. And while workers have an important role to play in ensuring safety, it’s up to fleet and safety managers to develop a comprehensive safety plan, outline responsibilities and expectations of all staff, and ensure proper driver behavior to prevent accidents. A strong program will establish metrics and framework with which to determine and measure success or failure of fleet safety. 

Construction safety myth #2
All dangerous behaviors happen on construction job sites.

Many construction companies have ignored safety measures for their on-the-road fleets.

While a safety plan should include job-site specific initiatives, most construction companies have drivers delivering equipment and goods to job sites. This plan should include everything from GPS tracking for visibility into speeding and harsh breaking, to in-cab cameras for event replays, to driver fatigue prevention tools. They should also consider including vehicle health and maintenance, as improperly repaired or faulty on- and off-the-road equipment poses a risk to the vehicle operator or driver, other workers and motorists. A specific policy or procedure should be put in place to ensure a regular inspection and maintenance schedule. 

Construction safety myth #3
Incentivized rewards are the most effective tactic for combatting unsafe operator or driver behavior.

While reward programs play an important role in incentivizing employees for a positive performance, the most effective tactic for correcting driver behavior is through consistent coaching, for both on-road and off-road. Performance data gathered through video and GPS tracking solutions are an important resource for measuring driving incidents. It allows fleets to analyze their overall fleet safety, identify those engaging in high-risk behaviors and take corrective action to properly train operators and drivers on safety.

Construction safety myth #4
All companies should follow a standard safety program

While there are important standards created by legislators and industry organizations that all companies must follow, safety programs and initiatives can and should vary. It’s important to remember that – much like companies - not all programs are created alike, and what’s comprehensive for one business may not be a fit for another. The most effective safety plan will be tailored to each company’s size, sector, locations, and, very importantly, all of the assets within its on-the-road and off-road fleet.

To learn more about improving safety in your over-the-road construction fleet, visit: Fleet Safety Solutions

Source: BLS Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, 2016

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