Maintaining a safe construction site requires constant diligence, from the planning stages to the final cleanup. Many construction companies develop a culture of safety in which managers and workers cooperate to create the safest workplace possible. This is possible when there is adequate communication and respect onsite. To create a culture of safety on active construction sites, three steps are critical – present, prepare and protect.
Presenting the case for a safety culture in your construction company means to make sure that each employee is aware of not only local, state and federal safety regulations, but any additional measures which your company takes as well. This should take place not only in initial training sessions, but periodically throughout the year. Should there be a site or job which has specific safety hazards unique, training should presented prior to the groundbreaking for all employees who will be working on that site.
Preparation goes beyond simply discussing the safety plan and having emergency plans in place. Sites should have back-up equipment if possible, be cleared of debris regularly, have all safety equipment and gear available for each employee as well as an extra set or two for any visitors, etc. Additionally, the site should have safety plans in effect to protect the area surrounding the site – streets or sidewalks if overhead work is necessary, fencing, signage, etc. Some sites have designated safety zone inspections or an employee who is designated as the safety supervisor for a particular zone. This gives added accountability and assistance for the members of your team and helps them to create a safer workplace.
Protecting your workers, the public and environment is a minute to minute occurrence and need on a safety culture minded construction site. Employees need to watch out for themselves, their co-workers, the general public, their equipment and the environment when working. Sometimes haste and being behind schedule can cause a critical safety step to be skipped or missed. Other risks to construction site safety include complacency – one works with the same equipment or doing the same task so much that their familiarity might cause them to be lees vigilant in regards to safety practices.
Using common sense and creating a culture of safety for your construction site can save both time and money for construction companies facing an uncertain future. The financial outlay of providing a safe environment in which your employees can function is minimal in comparison to time and money lost from a serious accident.