5 Best Practices to Ensure Safety at Your Construction Site

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Every accident happening at a construction site is a profound indication that something is wrong with the methods, men or materials used.

The results of the survey on causes of construction fatalities, conducted by Occupational and Health Administration examination (OSHO) it was found that 39.9% of fatalities in construction were caused by falls, 8.4% were struck by objects, 1.4% were caught in between incidents, and 8.5% were electrocution.Click To Tweet

Every year a significant amount of money and time is additionally spent on construction projects for the cause of accidents happening at construction sites. Read on to know the 5 best Construction Safety Tips to ensure safety in a construction site.

 

Best Practice #1:  Set a “Zero incident goal”

Safety officers at construction sites have to set “Zero incident campaign” as the goal throughout any construction project rather setting injury management & injury prevention as goals. The first step towards achieving this goal would be to see people as an integral part of solutions rather as part of the problem.

When workers are seen as entities that are meant to be controlled to ensure safety, you begin limiting their choices and behaviours or by placing constraints. These conventional methods have proven to be very less effective which is why it’s high time to start seeing workers as potential resources to harness.

construction safety tips

How do you initiate this change in safety culture?

  • Define and communicate the need for change: Making workers realize the need for a change can prove to be much more effective than imposing on them. Management and safety officers have to ensure that the workers realize how the changes are going to be beneficial for them.
  • Survey and assess the safety culture: Give workers their space and encourage them to pitch in their ideas and give back feedbacks to them, make them realize safety is a responsibility rather a liability.
  • Strategic planning: Prioritize the issues identified in the survey and develop goals and objectives that are aligned with the overall mission statement of the corporation.

 

Best Practice #2:  Invest in the right equipment for fall prevention

The most common serious accidents happening at any construction site are the falls from heights. A recent study conducted on accidents from heights showed that approximately 60% of deaths from falls occur from heights less than 5mts.

construction safety tips

Simple tips to ensure safety at height

  • Use elevated platforms: Use elevated work platforms fitted with handrails. At any point of time having a passive protection can be greatly effective because all the worker has to do is to stay within the railings. The moment he/she steps out of the railing you have a bigger problem to face.
  • Use the proper PFAS: Invest the right amount of time and cost of choosing the appropriate PFAS. For example, a welder working at heights must need a Kevlar vest, a nylon vest would be the worst choice on can make. That’s why it is important to do proper research on what you really need.
  • Have a clear idea on the fall distance: Wear all the cozy and safe harnesses and misjudge the falling distance, this can be the amalgamation of the stupidest decisions. This may sound like a simple “Commonsense” factor but you may find it hard to believe how many people lack the common sense factor. Ensure that you have a clear idea on what the falling distance is and tighten the harness as required.
  • Use ladders properly: You may find this pretty hard to believe but trust me just because you have a ladder at home and you have used them pretty often doesn’t make it safe. It doesn’t take much when you are on a ladder for things to go wrong. Even a simple toolbox you are holding in your hand or reasons like the A-Frame of the ladder was not in place can end your day in catastrophe.

 

Best Practice #3:  Embrace the modern construction methods like BIM & VDC

Incorporating the advanced planning and coordination tools BIM and VDC offers, primary causes of job site injuries and fatalities can be minimized to a great extent. BIM can be the one-stop solutions to all the agonizing safety concerns construction sites are facing.

construction safety tips

How can BIM help with safety?

  • Smarter prediction of risks: it is always a great idea to go with the “Safety by design” concept rather going the other way round. Implementing the BIM technologies in the early stages of a project can gain one the strategic advantage in terms of safety. For example, BIM models could provide you with ways in which a worker can complete a job with minimum exposure to danger.
  • Enables deep safety awareness during the project: The combination of the vast amount of data along with hassle-free of information among different parties involved in a project allows for better monitoring of a project. This enables one to identify any possible dangers on a site.
  • Hazard Simulation: The greatest advantage of having a BIM model is that one can simulate any stage of a construction process. The “virtual safety tour” feature enables a virtual walk around the construction sites to check for any possible hazards and find ways to prevent them.

 

Best Practice #4:  Be cautious with Electricity

Every construction site will typically need a lot of electrical installation which draws in very high voltage levels. Special care has to be taken when operating this equipment.

construction safety tips

Ensure the following:

  • All the insulating cables are intact.
  • The ELCBs and MCBs are all functioning.
  • Proper earthing is done as per the safety guidelines.
  • Keep all the electrical tools protected from coming into contact with water.
  • Do not overload any heavy hoist electrical equipment beyond its rated capacity.
  • Electrical safety classes have to be conducted.

 

Best Practice #5:  Prevent Fires at the earliest

Fires can turn out to be disastrous in a construction site because of the presence of combustible chemicals, wood, and so on. It is mandatory to conduct fire and safety classes for all the workers and managerial level employees. Every single one of the employee should be made capable of taking the necessary action in the event of a fire.

construction safety tips

Tips for safety:

  • All the fire hoses are in the right place and are functioning.
  • Maintain optimum pressure in the fire extinguishers.
  • Store the combustible materials in a cool and fenced environment.
  • Access to flammable objects should be restricted to trained professionals.
  • All the fire exits are accessible and are not blocked or locked.
  • Conduct fire drills on a regular basis.

 

Conclusion:

Regardless of how big or small a construction site is safety has to be given predominant importance. Imparting the safety awareness among the workers can be beneficial to a company in a variety of ways. For example, proper safety training can reduce insured losses, administrative penalties/fines and litigation and attorney’s fees.

An adequate amount of time and money has to be invested in safety no matter how looming the monetary and time constraints are. Safety officers have to ensure that every worker and managerial staffs attend safety classes on a regular basis which in turn will keep them aware of the importance of safety.

 

“Stay safe, live healthy”

 

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Author Bio: K. Shakti Prasad is a budding content writer working with Advenser engineering services. He has more than 5 years of experience in working as a freelance writer for various blogs and websites. Apart from writing he is a travel enthusiast and has a keen interest in music.

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