Safety Best Practices

3 Ways to Eliminate Risk in Your Construction Business

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Shannon M Farley @sfarley
Safety & Compliance
5 min read
November 2, 2021

It’s well-known that the construction business is one of the most dangerous, and comes with a number of potential risks. Fortunately, however, for as many risks as one can find, there are as many ways to de-risk your construction business. Identifying hazards ahead of time, conducting risk analysis, following safety and health standards, and using digital tools for compliance management can all help make your site safer.

Risk management defends construction workers against incidents that can cause serious injuries or even death. Proper management makes projects less costly in the long run, as failure to manage risks can cost time, money, and—in the worst scenarios—employees.

 

To de-risk your construction site, apply proper safety tools and procedures throughout the project’s life cycle. Consider risk management as matching up with project management throughout each stage. Just like deferring effective project management, deferring risk management can compound difficulties.

From the design stage through the entire project life cycle, risk management involves identifying and minimizing hazards. Risks often develop in the earlier stages of conceiving and developing a project, yet have their full effect in the later stages of execution. Thus, the most effective method to prevent risks involves having accurate and timely information.

Conduct a Hazard Identification and Risk Analysis

Even before starting work on a site, you can identify hazards and analyze risks. The difference between the two is key to understand: hazard is a potential problem like colliding with an object, while a risk is its probability. Knowing what can go wrong offers useful information to lessen the risk of it doing so.

But it takes time and skill to identify hazards effectively. Clients and employees alike will appreciate your efforts, however, and a less risky business is a more profitable business.

Workers face various health and safety hazards, often difficult to see, and just one incident can grind work to a halt and even result in costly litigation. Thus, taking safety measures beforehand, like giving employees protective equipment and training, will always provide a substantial return on the investment. Regular safety training tells workers that safety matters, and that they matter to the company.

Hazard identification and risk assessment are ongoing processes consisting of several stages. One looks for the possible issues, evaluates their likelihood and seriousness, then takes actions to decrease the risks.

For instance, one may see chemical or mechanical threats in an area where construction workers often go. These may pose serious injury risks, so one redesigns relevant work activities. Over time, one also makes any necessary modifications to estimates and processes.

This procedure should include direct information and feedback from all employees. After all, they’re the ones on-site—it stands to reason they’ll have a sharp assessment of its hazards. Also, reports should document hazards, safety measures, as well as any remaining risks.

Given the many risks inherent in construction work, one should not expect to eliminate all hazards. Rather the goal is to minimize them while developing procedures to handle incidents.

Set Up Safety and Health Standards and Procedures

A robust construction safety culture increases worker morale, boosts output, increases regulation compliance, and of course protects what matters most—your staff and site. Establishing clear safety and health standards and procedures can help.

Safety standards and procedures are relatively straightforward. Start by assessing what the minimum health and safety standards are, guided by OSHA and other safety advisories. Then assess your team and site’s needs individually, to see if there are any additional standards and procedures that may be beneficial.

In addition to keeping your people safe, safety programs also contribute to competitiveness. Clear and regular standards allow businesses to deliver projects more quickly and reliably, with workers consistently able to prevent many of the main causes of worksite accidents. A safety culture isn’t just about safety—it’s also about common sense and productivity.

Adhering to regulations and conducting hazard identification and risk analysis makes your construction company more trustworthy. Clients selecting firms consider their reputations. Following safety and health standards bolsters your business’s reputation and decreases insurance costs, making you a safer bet.

One in every five workplace fatalities occurs in construction.

Use Digital Safety Compliance Tools to Help Manage Construction Risks

Considering how, according to OSHA, one in every five workplace fatalities occurs in construction, and nearly a tenth of construction workers suffer from an injury annually, workers have a lot on the line when it comes to their safety. Construction firms need to adopt and all safety precautions it can find.

Thankfully, new tools including construction safety software contribute to an ongoing decline in worksite injuries and deaths. Safety apps like Salus offer features for communication, documentation, and training, all of which can prevent mishaps. Digital construction safety compliance tools offer your firm the smartest approach to managing and mitigating risks. Software manages information far more precisely, and faster, in comparison to paperwork.

Salus’s safety app allows for accurate and compliant documentation of health and safety issues. This also feeds data into analytics to prevent future incidents. These tools give managers and field workers instant data sharing, alerting people to hazards and safety policies ahead of time. Such software can streamline safety training even for firms with hundreds of employees.

Having training and protocol documentation at one’s fingertips ensure that your entire team knows how best to comply with safety and health standards. Rather than operating unwieldily on reams of paper and memory, the mobile app carries all this information around in your pocket. With Salus, you can also set regular alerts for maintenance checks, inspections, and certification renewals, so you’re always ahead of compliance.

Digital safety compliance tools add consistency to a complex activity. With expanding requirements for certifications and other documents, traditional methods don’t cut it. We need modern solutions that connect workers at all levels together with partners, putting information in the right hands. If you’re ready to de-risk your construction firm, reach out and book a demo with Salus today!

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