7 Tips On How To Improve Safety And Health On Construction Sites

There are many ways to enhance safety and health in the workplace, and it doesn’t involve having to spend a lot of money. Here are 7 important questions that you should be asking to improve the safety and health of your construction workers while on the job.

1.) Do Your Employees All Have The Correct Health And Safety Training?

Construction workers that operate in medium and high-risk environments should acquire adequate construction safety and health training. Each employee needs to be fully aware of any risk linked to their actions when working with machinery, at heights, or in a confined space. Your employees should also have the necessary first-aid training and should be able to administer life-saving techniques when necessary. 

Here is a free guide you can download for “lone worker safety” to find ways to protect your staff. 

2.) Are Your Employees Wearing The Right Protective Gear?

Wearing the right PPE (personal protective equipment) could result in a difference between minor injuries or catastrophic long-term injuries or even fatalities. 

Your employees should be provided with PPE that relates to the work type they carry out. This could include ear protection,  knee pads, hi-vis jackets, safety goggles, and helmets. When the gear becomes worn or is no longer serving its purpose, it should be immediately replaced. You should also ensure that your employees are wearing this gear as soon as they start working. 

3.) Is Your Signage Clearly Displayed On-Site?

Most construction sites represent potential dangers for both workers and the public. Any hazards should be highlighted with posters and signs that warn every person in the vicinity to take the necessary precautions. Signs are one of the cost-effective ways to reduce accidents. They are mainly used for indicating hazards such as the presence of chemicals (or gas), turning large machinery or vehicles, or falling objects. 

4.) Is Scaffolding Constructed Correctly And Maintained?

When scaffolding is erected, there should never be any improvisations or shortcuts. The ground should be stable along with reliable footing to avoid the risks associated with collapse. Make sure you repair or maintain any inconsistencies or damage to the structure. The employees that will be using the scaffolding should have adequate levels of safety training. Falling from heights accounts for 47% of workers’ injuries on construction sites

5.) Are You Making Sure Your Equipment And Tools Are Regularly Inspected?

Construction workers need tools that work efficiently and seamlessly to get the job done right. When tools or industrial equipment are broken or unsafe, the risks associated with serious accidents start to increase. Around 2.8% of workers within the construction industry suffered from injuries from 2019 to 2020. Statistically, this is much higher when compared to any other industry-injury rate.  

Regular inspections should be conducted on all tools and equipment and to make sure there aren’t any equipment defects or malfunctions. The employer and worker both hold the responsibility of highlighting problems with defective tools or equipment. 

6.) Do Your Employees Use Technology Correctly?

In the technological world that we live in today, just about all adults residing in the UK now own mobile phones and most of these devices are smartphones. 

Lone worker safety devices are discreet tools that allow an employer to locate an employee easily and quickly in emergency situations and to send for immediate help. This StaySafe app includes life-saving features such as low-battery reminders, low-signal mode, check-ins, and panic buttons. 

The StaySafe app provides an employer with clear visibility of a location and the safety statuses of lone workers or traveling lone workers, which allows these workers to safely check in once they have completed a session.  

If a worker fails to safely check-in during sessions or activates the panic button, it will alert a monitoring agent in the organization (or an external monitoring service) which will be instantly alerted. They will instantly verify this alert and then dispatch the assistance that the employee needs. 

This app also includes a man-down alarm that is designed to activate an alert and send it through a hub when a worker has not moved for a while. This applies to workers that were involved in accidents and are not able to alert anyone for help. A Lone Worker device is one of the best ways to improve safety on construction sites and to protect employees that work in high-risk sites.

7.) Is Everyone On A Construction Site Communicating Clearly?

Clear communication is one of the main factors to keep employees safe. Workers should communicate with one another or an alternative party when they identify a potential risk. Those that are working on-site need to know about existing potential dangers and be consciously aware of any other dangers. 

HSE guidance has stated that employers should be checking-in with any lone workers and remain in touch. Staff should have a clear understanding of any procedures and systems used that may include:

– When supervisors should be observing and visiting lone workers. 

– Knowing the location of lone workers, using pre-agreed regular intervals of contact with the use of email, radios, phones, etc. 

– Any other device that is used to raise an alarm should be operated automatically or manually.

– Do they have a personal safety alarm when working by themselves. 

– Reliable systems that ensure that lone workers return to a base as soon as the task is completed. 

All emergency procedures and systems need to be tested regularly to make sure any lone workers could be easily contacted when an emergency or problem is identified.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.