Construction workers face incredible risks every day. Even though these individuals are essential workers in our economy, we often disregard the fact that they operate around dangerous equipment and in sometimes hazardous conditions. It is crucial for all construction companies and employees to take the steps necessary to ensure a safe working environment. Here, we want to discuss the main steps that can be taken to prevent construction accidents.
Construction Accident Prevention is More Important Than People Realize
Data presented by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicates that approximately 20% of all workplace fatalities during the latest reporting year across this country happened in the construction industry. When we examine the list of the most frequently cited OSHA violations at construction sites, we can see that most of these incidents are indeed preventable. Some of these specific ways that construction employers and employees can help prevent accidents at a construction site include the following:
1. Provide adequate safety training for every employee
Regardless of whether or not we are talking about a new construction employee or a veteran in the industry, every employee should receive adequate safety training on a periodic basis. All workers should understand the safety standards they need to follow as well as any hazards they may face in the industry. The safety policy should be written in a training manual, and all employees should receive in-person safety training.
2. Hold frequent employee safety meetings
Construction companies must have frequent employee safety meetings, particularly at the beginning of any new job. No two construction sites are exactly the same, and the hazards present at one job may be completely different from the hazards present at the next. Workers need to know about any changing safety hazards.
3. Ensure every employee has proper protective gear
Construction companies should always ensure that workers have the proper safety gear to keep them safe. This includes high visibility clothing, gloves, goggles, protective shoes, hard hats, and any other type of protective clothing needed for the particular job.
4. Keep the workplace clean
It is important that all construction workplaces are clean and free of any debris. This will lessen the chances that a construction worker will suffer an injury as a result of a slip, trip, or fall. Additionally, all hazardous material must be properly disposed of as quickly as possible.
5. Maintain all tools and equipment
The nature of construction sites means that there will be many tools and various types of equipment used throughout the day. All tools and equipment must be kept in proper working order. Tools and machinery should be inspected on a regular basis and taken for maintenance if any issue is discovered. Broken parts or malfunctioning gear can lead to significant injuries or deaths at the worksite.
6. Prevent fall injuries
Fall incidents are a leading cause of worker injuries and deaths at construction sites. This includes slip and fall incidents at the same level as well as falls from various heights. All workers should be notified of fall risks and receive adequate training to prevent fall injuries. This includes training on how to properly construct and use scaffolding. All scaffolding must be inspected regularly.
7. Be careful with vehicles
Any vehicles used in a construction workplace should be driven with the utmost care. These heavy vehicles often maneuver through tight working environments, and this, unfortunately, means that it is not uncommon for workers to get caught between a heavy vehicle and stationary objects at the construction site.