For the sake of both your workers and the timely completion of your construction project, safety on the site is paramount. As such, we have prepared a guide on the best practices for long-term construction site safety.
Hire a construction project manager
The first of the practices for long-term construction site safety we can recommend is hiring a construction project manager. This is also one of the most important steps you can take to ensure safety on the site, too. You see, whether you are planning for construction projects or are already in the middle of one, a construction site manager can provide more help than you’d expect. They have rich professional knowledge, which lets them anticipate and eliminate problems ahead of time. They possess experience that allows them to deal with unexpected scenarios. Even helping sort out issues between workers or managing their shifts optimally is within their ability. They will ensure that every part of your construction project proceeds smoothly and with minimal hiccups. Thus, they will help make the work environment safer for everyone involved.
Identify risks ahead of time
Of course, even if a construction project manager can help with some risk prediction, it is always best to do as much as possible. Identifying risks is among the most necessary practices for long-term construction site safety because, with enough time and resources, you can reduce the number of accidents to almost nothing. The process is relatively simple and relies more on good sense than anything else. For example, when discussing shipping construction goods, you do not need to be familiar with the process to know that trying to move too many at once would be dangerous. You also do not need to be a genius to figure out that your workers might try it if they are in a hurry. As such, just organizing a storage facility close to the location eliminates this temptation and makes it easier to access the materials in one move.
Make sure there’s clear communication
You would be surprised how many workplace accidents are caused by poor communication. Something as simple as asking a coworker to turn off electricity in the grid you’ll be working on can end in death if they don’t properly understand what you said or simply mishear you. To say nothing of messing up part of the build due to lacking communication. This can result in both accidents and expensive repairs. Again, having a construction project manager will help here somewhat, but it will also be crucial for you to insist on good coordination of work and exacting communication.
Enforce wearing the compulsory equipment
If they are not wearing protective equipment, then your workers should not be at a construction site at all. Period. Yes, wearing a helmet and a protective vest can get very annoying and tiring very quickly. They make you sweat like crazy when it’s hot outside. And they are almost as big a nuisance during cold weather. Still, by forcing your workers to follow the safety regulations, you are potentially saving their lives. No matter how much they might try to avoid it or grumble about it.
Insist on safety and quality as the preferred work approach
The way you organize your workers is the way their attitude will shift. If you obviously prioritize a quick and hasty build, they will try to follow through and fulfill your expectations. However, if you care about their health and well-being, it is better to discourage this behavior. Just like when choosing building materials to ensure the integrity and safety of the build, it is essential to lay the proper groundwork for maintaining safety on your construction site. As an additional incentive for choosing this approach, the quality of the finished building is typically higher if the workers take their time and do everything by the book.
Keep the entire construction site tidy and clean
Interestingly enough, one of the best practices for long-term construction site safety is plain old cleaning and tidying! Why? Well, imagine this: how many times did you trip over something in your room when you left it messy and unkempt? In that scenario, you’d stumble a little and maybe bump into something earning you a minor bruise. On a construction site, however? The best you can hope for is a nasty fall. If you are holding or using some of the equipment, then you can easily cripple or even, in extreme cases, kill yourself in such an accident. At the same time, all you need to avoid this is to show diligence in keeping your workplace in good condition.
Do regular equipment inspections
When it comes to equipment, all of it must be kept in pristine condition. One of the first things you’ll learn about construction is that projects live and die on the quality of the equipment used to carry them out. Of course, this isn’t to say that you can’t do a construction project without top-quality equipment. Still, doing so opens up your workers to many more chances for accidents. A tall build requires much more scaffolding without a crane, and much more risk put into the work, for example. At the same time, poorly maintained equipment is prone to breakdowns and malfunctions, which can easily cause accidents.
Have a plan for emergencies
The final of the practices for long-term construction site safety you should implement is simple: have a decent set of procedures in place if an accident does happen. Once an accident has occurred, floundering and hesitating to act can sometimes cost people their lives. If injuries are not handled quickly and the right actions are taken, the consequences to your employees and your construction site will only grow more grave. Simply by ensuring everyone knows what they should do, you are doing a lot to mitigate the damage.
Keeping the best practices for long-term construction site safety in mind, you can prevent the majority of accidents from happening. And even if something does occur, you’ll be able to minimize the effects of the accidents to the utmost.