Employee Safety In The Construction Industry

Despite the emphasis on safety standards in all construction sites, the construction industry still contributes in excess of 20% of all fatalities resulting from work place injury. While greater collaboration among government, company owners and the employees could lead to substantial improvements, personal responsibility remains the most effective way of ensuring safety of different player. But what strategies could construction company owners use to minimise workplace injuries for their employees as well as enhance a safety culture?

working at height solutions

Working on raised grounds and areas presents a greater risk of fall among workers. However, there are different working at height solutions that minimise the risk of injury through preventing falls and minimising the speed and therefore the impact of the fall on the body.  The use of high-quality scaffolds while working on the building structure, the incorporation of secure railing on dangerous edges and the use of properly secured harnesses are some of the solutions that companies can pursue.

Personal protective equipment

Any individual entering a construction zone must be in full protective gear. The necessary protective gear will vary based on the kind of construction work going on. For example, the construction of a high-rise building will require different gear compared to a site that deals with electric power connections. The protective gear includes construction boots, high quality helmets, reflective jackets, construction clothing, gloves and protective eye wear. In the face of an accident, the impact on the body will be minimal and therefore there will be fewer resultant fatalities.

Employee training

Without proper understanding on the use of different safety equipment and solutions, construction workers are still at a high risk of injury despite having the latest protective gear in the market. The construction companies must therefore take it upon themselves to educate their employees on the proper use of all the safety items provided. The training should be mandatory and conducted on a regular basis to ensure that all employees fully understand why it is important.

Safety champions and committee

It is human nature to follow the rules when superiors are watching and since the employer may not always be around, the appointment of safety champions may have notable improvements with regards to site safety. The safety champions can be selected on a rotational basis and recognised for their efforts in reminding their colleagues to prioritise their safety. The safety champions could also be used in delivering peer to peer training on different safety measures, rules and regulations.

Your company can go a notch higher by convening a safety committee that includes members of staff from different levels in the company hierarchy. These will meet regularly to discuss the site safety and brain storm on additional ways of ensuring that everyone stays safe. The committee could also come up with incentives to enhance site safety.

Employees who feel safe and appreciated have the tendency to work harder and therefore your company's performance will improve over time. Investing in the safety of your employees not only prevents adverse legal suits but it also minimises costs- compensation costs, hospital expenses and the opportunity cost of lost time all decrease as safety improves.