Top 9 Construction Safety Tips to Follow on Every Jobsite
Unlike other industries, job site injuries on construction sites are often debilitating and even life-threatening.
Safety measures should be observed at all times, but the list of excuses and corner-cutting practices that take place are a mile long. Laziness and carelessness can also contribute to the astronomically high number of injuries and deaths.
So how do you keep your job sites safe? There are some basic safety guidelines that should be followed at all times - no matter how simple or straightforward you may think they are.
Communication about expectations with your staff, and consistent site checks for compliance with these safety guidelines, will ensure that you are doing everything you can to protect your workers.
1. All Workers Should Wear PPE!
This sounds obvious, but forgetting or neglecting to put on your PPE means it cannot protect you! At a bare minimum, PPE includes:
- Hard hats
- High-visibility clothing
- Steel-toed boots
- Protective eyewear
- Protective ear coverings
Ensure that all of your workers are in possession of appropriate PPE, and then make sure they use it. No one should be allowed on the jobsite without PPE.
2. Communicate Jobsite Practices
All new workers should be introduced to each jobsite and all of the rules and regulations of the jobsite. This is a great time to stress the importance of safety, as well as communicate the best way to report any malfunctions or concerns as soon as they arise.
Have an open-door policy so that your workers feel comfortable coming to you when safety guidelines are not being followed.
3. Follow Up on Every Concern in a Timely Manner
Once your workers know they can come to you with concerns, hold up your end of the bargain by immediately addressing any trip hazards or faulty equipment.
Be sure that all mirrors are clean and positioned correctly, and that any backup cameras and alarms are in full working order.
4. Work Clean
Construction sites are full of fall and trip hazards just by nature of the work, but you can minimize these hazards by mandating that job sites are kept clean and tidy. Be sure to schedule time into projects for daily cleanup of the site - it will pay off.
Also, make sure that workers are regularly scraping mud and dirt from their work boots to minimize slip hazards when getting on and off equipment.
5. Provide Training on All Equipment
Even if you have experienced operators on staff, be sure that every worker is trained on proper use of equipment and machinery. Many machines have a Workbook, as well as a video and a quiz that all operators should be well-versed in.
Remember that after what you spent on the machinery, proper training is well worth the additional investment of time and money.
6. Keep Work Areas Clear of Spectators
There should be no one in or around work areas while machinery is being used or loads being lifted - other than the operator and designated spotter. Do not allow other workers to get too close to watch machinery in use.
Tape off areas and be firm that workers should not be spectators.
7. Know Any Limitations
It’s imperative that you know the limitations of your machines, your workers, and your job site. Don’t try to use machines for anything other than what they are intended for.
Don’t push workers to use machinery they are not trained on. And be aware of any obstructions on the job site that could put anyone in danger.
8. Enforce Use of Seatbelts
If a piece of machinery begins to tip over, a seatbelt becomes a lifeline. Seatbelts should be in use on your job sites at all times, no exceptions.
9. Check and Double-Check Clearance
Before starting use of machinery, and before backing up, always check and double-check that no one is close by and could be hurt or killed.
Remind all operators that mirrors and alarms are helpful, but getting out and confirming that no one is in the way is a worthwhile extra step.
Safety on the jobsite is a major concern for construction companies and contractors. Keeping your job sites clean and safe can not only help you retain valuable employees and save you money on workman's comp claims but can save lives and livelihoods.
Be diligent in maintaining safety practices and communicating expectations to your staff at all times.