There is no workplace that is 100% injury-free. Even in an educational institution, laboratory or office there is a risk of injury. However, there are some workplaces where an injury is more likely. In the construction industry, for example, people work on great heights, operating heavy machinery and work with dangerous tools. This makes injury both more likely and potentially more dangerous. Raising awareness of this is incredibly important but having reminders and controlling whether this awareness is constantly at a satisfactory level is also necessary. Here are several tips to help you raise awareness of the danger on a construction site.
Regardless of how fool-proof your system is, the effects that it will give will be only as reliable as the people enforcing these rules. This is why you need to start by investing in an extensive training effort. Some contractors rush through this process so that they can increase or replenish their manpower at the construction site. However, this is never a wise move and it usually results in an injury-caused absence. In other words, the manpower that you’re trying to increase will not grow and the outcome will be even worse.
Post signs everywhere
People tend to forget important things and, in the construction site, it takes a second of being absent-minded for an injury to occur. The simplest way to minimize this risk is to post signs and labels everywhere. Just think about it, chances are that everyone on the site is aware that a certain barrel or pallet contains dangerous materials. What about site visitors? What about people who walk 50 times per day past this dangerous spot? Will they be on the same level of alertness all the time? Probably not! By printing a simple corflute sign and placing it in the right spot, you can keep this alertness substantially higher. If you use heavy equipment with moving parts like John Deere backhoes, post visible signages in crossing areas and mark parking spots with equipment backing warning signs. Doing so will help site visitors to be more careful when walking on-site.
Think about visitors
People who have undergone extensive training are likely to avoid dangerous areas and handle themselves accordingly. What about visitors to the site? The first thing you can do in order to protect them is to make them wear safety vests. This will make them visible to everyone on the site and reduce the risk of injury. Second, while on the site they should be accompanied at all times. The only way this will work is if they ask for permission before arriving. This needs to be a standard part of the protocol.
A tidy workplace is a safe one
Leaving dangerous tools around is a dangerous thing and you need to make sure that the construction site is as tidy as possible. First, you should regularly take care of debris and not wait until your job is done. Ideally, your staff would tidy up before they wrap up for the day. Second, you should erect a fence around the site to prevent intruders during the night. On the one hand, this will protect your equipment from thieves but it will also prevent injuries to bystanders. These injuries are something that you may be liable for.
At the end of the day, you need to bear in mind the fact that it is never possible for all the dangers of the construction site to be averted. For instance, it’s your job to provide the workers with the necessary PPE and monitor whether they’re following the rules. However, you can’t keep an eye on them the entire time. It also comes down to the personal responsibility of people in your employ but it’s not always possible to know who you’ve hired until it’s too late. Still, just because a 100% rate of success is futile, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do all in your power to make the site safer.