A safe construction site benefits everyone, from the workers who want to earn a paycheck without getting injured, to the managers looking out for the company’s bottom line. Despite this, many construction sites don’t do everything they can to keep workers safe. This results in violations, injuries and workers’ compensation claims – much of which could have been avoided. Strengthen the safety at your construction site with these tips.
Know the Top Hazards
According to the Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), 21.1 percent of all worker deaths in 2016 were in construction. More than half of these deaths were caused by one of four common issues:
- Falling resulted in 384 deaths.
- Getting struck by an object resulted in 93 deaths.
- Electrocutions resulted in 82 deaths.
- Getting caught in or between something resulted in 72 deaths.
Complying with OSHA standards and guidelines is the best way to avoid incidents. In 2017, the most common reason construction sites received OSHA citations was for violating fall protections – general requirements (1926.501). Read our recent blog post about the top 10 OSHA violations and get tips to avoid them.
Use the Proper Equipment
In addition to supplying necessary equipment, make sure workers know how and when to use it safely.
- Ladders can pose a serious risk. To learn more about using them properly, see OSHA’s resources on ladder safety.
- Consider avoiding ladders when safer alternatives are possible. Learn more about creating a ladders last policy.
- Workers should use appropriate personal protective equipment, including hard hats, safety glasses, gloves and non-slip safety-toed shoes.
Train Your Workers
Training your workers should mean more than having a written policy no one reads.
- Provide continued training when new equipment or procedures are adopted or when issues are noticed.
- Make sure workers know where safety equipment is and always use it.
- Don’t just talk about safety. Demonstrate that it is valued by making it a priority. Remember that cutting corners doesn’t save time or money when it leads to injury.
Check Out These Resources
In addition to the resources linked to above, here are some more that can help you keep your construction workers safe.
- These OSHA videos cover common incidents that lead to injury or death, as well as how to prevent them. Most videos are around two to four minutes long and can be used in training.
- The OSHA worker safety series provides tips for the safety issues constructions sites are commonly cited for.