While no job is 100% safe, construction work is one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Sadly, construction also results in the most accidents. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 20% of all deaths from accidents at work occurred within the construction industry. This means that one out of every five worker deaths in 2019 were construction workers. As the data shows, it is imperative that construction companies not only create a safety plan but rigorously maintain it to avoid tragedy.
In addition to safety, construction companies must maximize their productivity to meet deadlines and deliver results. Productivity is the ultimate necessity for the success of any construction company.
Tips to Improve Safety
Sacrificing safety for productivity is extremely hazardous and creates unnecessary risk for workers. Fortunately, the idea that productivity cannot increase on a safe worksite is simply not true. Below are three tips to improve construction site safety with attention to productivity:
- Create checklists. A thorough, up-to-date checklist posted prominently at a worksite can help maintain a focus on safety. When well crafted, this checklist will help construction workers remember to perform routine equipment checks, guide the workers to inspect the job site itself for safety and help workers ensure that they are not skipping steps in safety protocols.
- Develop a safety plan. Safety plans are an excellent way to help workers navigate safely through construction areas. Successful safety plans may include the following:
- Job-specific plans. Each unique construction site has its challenges, pitfalls, and potential safety hazards. A new plan should be made for each new location.
- Clear instructions. Convoluted or vague language will not effectively communicate the details of a safety plan to workers. The language should be clear and to the point.
- Remain up to date. Distinct phases of a construction project mean different risks. Reassess the plan every time a new phase of the project starts.
- Leverage expertise. Construction workers on job sites are often the best people to pinpoint hazards that builders and management might overlook. Ensure you are listening to your employees.
3. Secure the latest technology. New, innovative technologies and equipment are continually undergoing development. These technologies can keep a worker safe while at the same time improving productivity. Things like robotic exoskeletons can help keep workers safe from stress and strain from heavy lifting while increasing their productivity but allowing them to safely lift and manipulate heavy objects and equipment. Safety and productivity can increase with one device.