The 3 main ways to improve construction site safety:
1. Requiring safety equipment to be used on-site
2. Ensure workers are trained in correct use of safety equipment
3. Implementing new technology to manage a safer environment.
It is estimated that companies who implement a health and safety program can avoid paying 2.7 times the amount invested in the program in indirect costs, such as time lost due to work stoppage, injured worker downtime, and associated costs. Thanks to stricter workplace guidelines and regulations established by OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), workplace accidents have declined, partially because equipment nowadays must be built to include certain safety features, like seatbelts and guardrail or harnesses to prevent falls.
But beyond machines, there are other actions construction managers can take and policies they can put in place to improve on-site safety. This includes requiring workers to wear safety gear (like head protection, reflective clothing and steel-toed boots), making sure equipment is used properly (like following guidelines around machine weight or temperature limits) and stocking job sites with items that promote health and safety, like a first aid kit, adequate water to prevent dehydration and sheltered break areas. Managers should also put in place daily equipment inspections to be sure all machines are in proper working order, reducing the chance a machine will malfunction or cause injury and drive a proactive maintenance culture.
Construction Site Safety Solution
How do I make sure my workers are adequately trained?
In order to be effective, training must be ongoing and consistent – it’s not enough to require new workers to attend training sessions only when they’re hired or when a new piece of equipment is added to the fleet. Whether this takes the form of classes or implementing regular team safety meetings to discuss incidents on-site, construction companies with strong safety records take the time to remind workers of safety rules and regulations, go over best practices and reiterate what exemplary and poor behavior look like.
What are other ways I can implement technology to improve safety
Construction job sites are generally large and spread out – it is impossible for managers to keep track of everything that’s going on at all times, but GPS tracking devices give managers valuable insights into safety, no matter where their workers and equipment are.
This technology makes a meaningful difference. One-third of companies using GPS tracking devices report fewer accidents since implementing them. That’s because GPS fleet tracking technology can track a number of safety-related metrics, providing insight into where workers are, how fast they’re going and if there’s potential for an accident to occur. For example, on-site speed limits are significantly lower than those of public roads or highways, and violations can cause major safety issues. If an operator speeds, the telematics system notifies managers of violations in real-time. Geofencing capabilities can also be installed to draw a digital speed or location boundary, and managers are alerted in real-time if a vehicle is not where it should be at any given time, suggesting an employee may be in danger.
The construction industry has long faced pressures to do more with less to meet customers’ schedule and budget demands, while also coping with factors beyond their control like rising fuel and labor costs and ensuring workers remain safe. While some managers have shied away from investing in safety technology solutions because they were afraid of compromising profits, the costs of not doing so are far greater. That’s why so many fleets are turning to modern technologies, such as telematics, to improve safety and gain efficiencies.
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