Safety Standards

Maintaining Safety Standards During the Busy Season

Safety is always the top priority for anyone involved in our line of work.

As the busy season is upon us, it’s critical to maintain strict safety standards, regardless of workloads, deadlines, or client demands. Those who skimp on basic safety to save time, certainly face a risky future.

According to OSHAthe frequency of fatal work injuries on jobsites increased 7% in 2018. Sadly, 5,019 people died on the job, compared to 4,836 in 2017.

Below are the top six construction hazards workers face on a regular basis. Consider all of these issues at every worksite.

Scaffolding
About 2.3 million construction workers perform their jobs on scaffolds. Protecting these employees from scaffold-related accidents would prevent an estimated 4,500 injuries and 50 fatalities each year. When scaffolds are not erected or used properly, fall hazards — and deaths — can occur.

Fall Protection

Falls consistently account for the greatest number of fatalities in the construction industry. Unstable working surfaces, misuse or failure to use fall protection equipment and human error are the leading causes of worksite falls. Studies have shown that using guardrails, fall arrest systems, safety nets, covers and restraint systems can prevent many deaths and injuries from falls.
Excavations
Trench collapses cause dozens of fatalities and hundreds of injuries each year. Trenching deaths rose in 2018.
Ladders
OSHA estimates that there are 24,882 injuries and as many as 36 fatalities per year due to falls on stairways and ladders used in construction. Nearly half of these injuries were serious enough to require time off the job.
Head Protection
Serious head injuries can result from blows to the head.
Hazard Communication
Failure to recognize the hazards associated with chemicals can cause chemical burns, respiratory problems, fires and explosions.”
Solutions

Never lose sight of both training and the necessity of daily site inspections and safety meetings.

Properly training your workers is the easiest way to help improve your company’s safety culture. It shows your workers that you are committed to keeping them safe and healthy.

Training shouldn’t be a one-off event. Safety training should be a continuous and ongoing effort to help reinforce best practices. Ongoing training will help your workers better retain what they’ve been taught, and it keeps safety at the top of their minds.

Doing the bulk of your training in the slow season, interspersed with site-specific training during the busy season is so important. Training employees efficiently and effectively would all but eliminate the top six hazards discussed above and ensure that everyone makes it home safely.

No matter how busy things get, or how crunched the project schedule gets, never lose sight of the absolute necessity of daily site inspections.

Jobsites should be inspected before and after each workday to address any safety concerns such as tools left lying around or damaged equipment. Jobsites should also be inspected throughout the day to identify any potential hazards and monitor workers to make sure they are working safely.

If safety personnel are unavailable, these site inspections can be addressed through training site superintendents or supervisors to conduct site inspections. It’s not a must that daily site inspections be conducted by safety personnel, but these inspections must occur. These simple steps will create a safety culture and will all but eliminate the leading construction hazards we’ve addressed.

I guarantee that your company has a safety culture, but there’s always room for improvement. Having a rock-solid safety culture means making the commitment to put safety first.

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