Safety in the workplace is by far the most critical, massively important piece of the overall business. Whether it’s providing adequate tools and protective equipment or just educating your team, it’s vital that everyone in your business is on the same page regarding safety. Construction is one of the most dangerous lines of business there are. With heavy equipment, potential falling debris, and the large likelihood of injuring heads, hands, and feet, you need to make safety a high priority. Today we’re going to cover four simple ways to put safety first.
Create a Safety Plan
The first step of putting workplace safety first is crafting a plan. A safety plan consists of the equipment, tools, weather, and emergency plans. It is important to build a unique safety plan for each job or site. This ensures that you’re always prepared for the unique aspects of your job. You’ll need to identify the potential hazards that come up throughout the project and site. You’ll need to take several things into consideration: equipment hazards (rollovers, hitting workers), weather (rain, sleet, hail, snow, heat), falls, shocks, and tools (misuse, malfunctions, worker injuries). After you’ve determined what could go wrong, you need to make action plans for each scenario. Say it’s going to be 90 degrees during the entirety of the project, there will be lots of work being done at heights up to 10 stories, and you’ll be working with electrical tools (power drills, sander, power saws). You’ll want to make sure the safety plan details that if someone gets cut by the power saw, there are several steps that need to be taken: turn off the saw, call 911, notify the site manager, etc. You’ll need to make sure all of the workers, managers, and anyone else on the site knows the safety plans. You can have a handout at the beginning, and you can have a binder that has the plan inside for easy reference.
Find the right Safety Gear
Using your safety plan, figure out what safety gear will be best for the job site. From helmets, to safety apparel, to safety gloves, and accessories, you should take the hazards that you laid out in the last step and prepare for them. If you know there’s a likelihood that your workers could get hit from fallen debris, you should have a hardhat requirement. If they’re working on roads where they need to be seen by drivers, hi-vis safety gear is a must-have.
Stage Your Site for Safety
The next way to improve your safety in the workplace is to stage your site for safety. While most sites know to have a first aid kit on-site, but you can also have a designated spot to keep all of your PPE organized and easily accessible, ensure that your have adequate space around the hazardous tasks on job sites (saw tables have a good amount of space so that other workers don’t get too close and potentially get injured), and block off dangerous areas where workers don’t need to be. You can avoid a lot of mishaps by staging your site for safety.
Stay on The Same Page about Safety
Hosting safety meetings and toolbox talks regularly to ensure that everyone is one the same page about safety. These meetings serve as a great way to train your team, improve understanding of certain safety procedures, and answer questions that your team may have. You can set the expectations for job site safety by explaining PPE requirements, following rules about the safety staging, and detailing the tasks of the day.
Utilizing these four steps can greatly improve your job site safety and reduce worker injuries.