Ways of Improving Construction Company Safety Culture
Out of all the private industry related fatal injuries in 2015, 21.4% of them were in construction.
62.4% of those deaths were from falls, electrocution, caught-in-betweens, and those who were struck by an object. Within the following year, safety protocols which would have easily eliminated these deaths were frequently cited by Federal OSHA.
Having a safe environment to work in is every employee’s right. Having a safe environment also lowers your company’s insurance rates.
If you run a construction company and are looking to improve your safety culture, here are five ways
The safety of your employees is important to you. Which is why one safety seminar a year isn’t enough.
A seminar held by your construction company that includes every single employee should be held either monthly or weekly. Have employees who deal with the safety hazards on a daily basis hold some of the training.
Make sure that safety policies are readily available and easy to access. Place them on the intranet so that everyone can review them as needed.
Communicate best practices and safety procedures. Don’t forget to include the expectations that your construction company has in maintaining the safety of everyone who works there.
Create an environment where all employees feel comfortable communicating their ideas and concerns. The more everyone is involved and feels they can freely speak, the better chance safety protocols will be followed and understood.
Always Be Training Your Employees
One seminar isn’t going to be enough. Training should be ongoing through the year.
The more training that is provided, the less likely an accident will occur. Employees won’t forget key safety points because it’s being drilled repeatedly into their minds.
While communication is a key element to training, learning by doing is also a great way to ensure employees understand how to handle a problem or hazard when it arrives.
Having a walk-through to inspect an area which all employees have to be present for is one way to ensure everyone can spot a potential problem. It also ensures they know how to handle it if another hazard occurs.
Committing to ongoing training also shows that your construction company is committed to safety. If leadership takes training seriously, the workers will too.
Part of the training should be checking to ensure your workers are pre-qualified for safety. Another aspect of the training process should be to conduct an audit and review OSHA recordable rates.
Conduct Daily Site Inspections
Things change daily within a construction company. Conducting daily site inspections helps to prevent problems and tragedies before they arise.
Conducting daily site inspections also helps keep the workers engaged in ensuring their own safety. They now have a better idea of what to look out for.
Problems are reported and fixed in a timely manner. If anything does occur, review the accident or the near-miss.
Investigate closely what caused the problem. Then use that information not only to fix the problem but to train and educate all employees so that it can be avoided in the future.
Write out a site inspection safety report so that it’s on record. Have an inspection process that has been written down and is accessible to everyone.
Use a checklist that each worker uses to inspect their own area. Even if they work in shifts, at the end of the shift, each worker should inspect their own area for any potential hazards or problems.
Those problems or hazards should be reported immediately.
Hold Everyone Accountable
At a construction company, everyone, from the boss to the janitorial staff should be held accountable for the conditions.
Safety rules should be clearly defined and posted in all areas. Everyone who steps foot onto the construction site should immediately understand that they are just as liable for problems as the next person.
Workers should realize that their actions could put their co-workers in jeopardy. They should also understand there is a true cost to being careless in the workplace.
There should also be a drug and alcohol policy put in place. Those who are caught violating that policy should be immediately escorted off the premises.
Employees should also be empowered to speak up if they see unsafe conditions. They should feel comfortable reporting a co-worker who is not committing to creating a safe work environment.
Those employees who are seen as adhering to the rules and policies should be rewarded. Those employees who speak up and report unsafe conditions or other employees not adhering to the policies should also be rewarded.
Every employee should have the power to order a work stoppage if there’s a need to address or correct a safety issue.
Get the Workers Involved and Invested in Your Construction Company
When a worker feels like they’re just a hired hand, they probably won’t care much about the job. They also won’t be as invested in ensuring job safety.
They probably won’t think there’s much in it for them. This is why it’s so important to show your workers how valued they are.
They need to know and understand that their work is appreciated and that their safety is your number one priority. Put together a safety committee that has employees at all levels included.
Have them review and update all policies. They should be involved in the beginning stages of any construction project as well.
Have them put together job site-specific safety plans for each new construction project, from the beginning of the project until the end. They should be identifying potential hazards and safety concerns.
These members should also put into effect a corrective plan of action but all employees should be allowed to include their own input. Then make sure everyone is aware and fully understands the plan.
Every job site should have a team of employees who have first-aid training to act as an accident response team. There should be a step by step procedure in place that is taken in the event of an injury to avoid existing hazards so no one else gets hurt.
The more workers feel they are involved in the process, the more seriously they’ll take it. Employees are also far more likely to communicate concerns when they feel their input is valued.
Learn How to Keep Employees Happy and Healthy
Happy and healthy employees mean a construction company with fewer accidents. It also can translate into larger profits.
Learning how to invest in your worker’s health and happiness isn’t difficult. Keep coming back to our site to learn new ways to create a happier, healthier, more productive work environment.