Joanna Marie, Negosentro | Every business needs to follow a rigorous set of health and safety regulations to ensure that their workers are kept safe from harm, but this is especially true for heavy duty workplaces such as construction sites. This is due to the equipment and the processes that are often carried out by employees, which can put them at a heightened risk of injury. You will hear of workplace accidents happening a lot, but that doesn’t mean that all hope of creating a safe working environment is lost. In fact, there are a number of ways you can minimize human error and keep the risk of hazards low in your construction site.
Organize the workspace
The key to having a safe workplace is to organize it so that any trip hazards and equipment don’t pose a threat to anybody working on site. However, organizing a construction site is not as easy as organizing office space, as it isn’t merely paper and wires that need to be cleared away. In fact, you should focus on separating areas of a site to promote order, which you can do so by using expandable barriers. These can also help you keep order during emergencies, where you can cordon off areas where the disaster has struck. Alongside workplace signs, correct equipment storage, and reachable shelves, these barriers will keep your site streamlined and safe.
Buy safe equipment
Sorting equipment safely is one thing, but you should ensure that the equipment you have on your site is safe for human use. You can do this in two ways. Firstly, you should be investing in equipment which is designed specifically for safe practice, which will cost a small amount more in the long run, but which will save you repair money and reparations to employees that cheap equipment can often result in. You should also have your equipment means tested regularly, which will help you clear out any equipment that isn’t safe for use, and keep any that is. It is important to note that if you don’t have it tested regularly, you could be breaching legal requirements.
Follow health and safety updates
Health and safety regulations are updated regularly, which means there are more and more tips each day that you can gain from keeping up to date with change. Failure to do so could result in legal action being taken in the case of an accident, but also means that you are not providing your workers with the safest work environment that you can. Make sure you take some time out of your week to read up on any updates and edit your worker handbook so that everybody is aware of any changes.
Being aware of such updates is one thing but making your employees aware of the same regulations is another. The best route to minimizing human error in the workplace is to implement an effective raining strategy, where workers can be made aware of the dangers they could encounter if they are not safe at work. In this training, you should also include a wealth of tips and advice for safety, and for times when an unavoidable emergency has happened, and they need to take the right action. This is where on the job training is at its most effective, as construction workers will best learn in a practical setting, where they can apply their skills to real-life scenarios.
Wear the appropriate clothing
Another way of keeping your workforce safe is by kitting them out with the right safety clothing. The most obvious part of the wardrobe is a plastic helmet on to keep your head protected, but it can also range from steel-toed boots for those working with heavy boxes and machinery, to protective eye goggles, which stops sparks and debris from damaging people’s eyes. The most important part of the worker uniform should be having fire-retardant clothing so that if there was ever an emergency following a workplace fire, your workers will not be key targets for the fire to jump at. To make sure that workers follow these regulations, you should put in place sanctions for those who don’t comply, but you should also make them aware of the legal repercussions they may face if they are involved in an accident, and they hadn’t worn the right clothing to minimize the risk.
You will be unable to spread yourself into each area of the construction site in an effort to keep workers safe, but you can employ people higher up in the ranks to supervise workers on site, and ensure that they are not acting in any way that could jeopardize their safety. Doing this also means that you have someone else to carry the responsibility of keeping the workplace safe, which will make your job as site manager a much easier task to carry out, and you can focus your efforts on making your site safer, rather than employees.
Carry out drills
Safety training is key to any workplace, but the best indicator of how safe your site is is by having regular drills. This will help your employees fit into a routine of what they should do in the case of an emergency, but it will also help you to figure out which parts of your site are stopping people from making a swift exit from the danger that lies inside. Using CCTV to tape such drills will help you spot any areas for improvement, which will lead to a more organized and safer work space overall.
Take out insurance
Unfortunately, there will be times when accidents happen out of your control, despite extensive training and workspace organization. For these times, it is best for you to have a security policy in place that will protect your workers, and will also ensure you for any damage that happens to your site. This will seem like a large cost in the long run, but it is an imperative safety measure to have if you want to conduct a safe and legal business.