While each workplace has some degree of possible dangers associated with the work being done, the construction industry is arguably one of the most dangerous occupations of all. For those workers that must operate and interact with heavy machinery and equipment throughout the day, there are a number of ways that injuries and fatalities can occur.
To help stop the instances of workplace injuries and fatalities, the industry and management responsible for construction projects must work together to promote safety and to follow through on rules as well as provide adequate training and tools to keep everyone involved out of harm’s way.
Here are just some of the challenges faced by the construction industry related to safety and what can be done to overcome the risks.
Unpredictable Work Environments
Since many construction projects take place outdoors, the weather and environment workers will have to work in can change quickly. In some cases, these environmental changes can also alter safety protocols. Extreme heat, slippery wet conditions and icy, snow storms can all create situations that aren’t favorable and will require protective equipment and extra cautious to avoid injury.
High Employee Turnover Rates
The construction industry is a unique one when it comes to employment longevity. Many projects are based on contracts or seasonal work. In other cases, employees who don’t feel safe on the job typically quit, so the turnover rate is typically high. This can create safety issues as new workers without the same level of training and experience working on a job can easily make a mistake that puts themselves and others at risk.
Lax Enforcement of Safety Rules
One of the biggest problems when it comes to employees taking safety rules seriously in many worksites starts from the top down. Once management is relaxed about whether or not employees are following the policies put in place, there will be an issue of non-conformance to deal with. In a place as dangerous as a construction site, this factor can be the difference between successful project completion and one that ends horribly. Ensure that management, as well as employees, are communicating safety requirements and working together to make each day a safe and successful one.
Training employees on how to do a job and do it safely just one time are not sufficient enough to ensure that safety measures are always being taken at a work site. Ongoing training that provides refresher courses for workers and that continues to include new tactics and rules with everyone’s safety in mind is critical. Investment in safety training and tools will go a long way in protecting a business for the long run.
SoCalFirstAid is a provider of van delivered first aid kits for disaster preparedness and workplace safety in Southern California. From OSHA-compliant protective gear to on-site training for CPR, AEDs, HAZWOPER and more – we can help!
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