Construction is assumed to be a fairly dangerous job to most people. There are all kinds of aches and pains that can accumulate, not to mention the accidents that can happen. As a manager, it is your responsibility to make sure you’re doing everything you can to tackle the dangers on-site. If you’re not following the advice below, your team is at risk.
Construction sites are notoriously dirty places. But there’s a difference between dust and dirt being shoveled around and the kind of mess than can lead to injury. If the site isn’t logistically set up properly, it leads to trips and blockages.
Assumption is the mother of all disasters, as the saying goes. If you’re not making sure that your staff is equipped to handle the job, then you could be sending them into very risky situations. Looking at their qualifications isn’t enough.
If they’re using tools or machinery you haven’t seen them use yet, then train them. Retrain them if necessary. Don’t let your need for efficiency make you unsure about anyone’s capabilities to perform a task safely.
It’s your job to make sure that you’re providing a safer workplace. But a big part of that is making sure that everyone is doing their bit. Not just in doing their own jobs safely. Train your employees to spot when someone is doing something dangerous. For each part of the job, assign someone as a safety advisor.
Make sure people know how to communicate which PPE is needed for what job and to speak up when they see something wrong. No one wants to ‘tell on their colleagues’. But they need to speak up if health and potentially lives are at stake.
Dealing with heavy machinery
The most critical time to be aware of safety is when heavy machines come into the mix. It starts with ensuring that each vehicle and piece of equipment is fully maintained before it’s in operation. Take the time to refresh anyone working on it in safety measures.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that all the dangers on the site are due to accidents, either. You need to be willing to spot dangers that can lead to long-term harm, too. For instance, don’t let someone use pneumatic tools for too long, due to the risk of RSI. Make sure ear protection is just as prioritized to deal with the threat of tinnitus. Know the invisible risks, not just the obvious ones.
Awareness is the key to safety. Awareness of where things need to be, of who needs to be in charge, and what dangers are lurking. Use the tips above as the basis for your own risk assessments on the site in future.