Safety Management

Doing More With Less: Construction Safety and the Labor Market

Shannon M Farley @sfarley
Safety & Compliance
5 min read
November 30, 2021

Apart from the completed structure itself, the best indicator of a successful construction project is its safety record. An excellent safety record helps to ensure projects are completed on time and on budget. In contrast, even a minor workplace incident means inspectors and investigations and can trigger costly delays.

When pitching your services to clients looking for a contractor, a great safety record will definitely boost your stock. They’ll know that by getting your services, they’ll be working with somebody who values doing things right the first time. At the same time, workers will also appreciate companies that place a huge emphasis on worker safety.

The pandemic has magnified the labor pool shortage. Many workers, concerned for their personal safety, packed up their tools and went home. How bad is it? Well, according to a US Chamber of Commerce study, 42% of contractors experiencing hiring problems had to refuse projects as they lack the necessary manpower. According to the Home Builder Institute, there is now a 2.2 million shortage of workers in the construction industry.

In the next three years, the industry will need a steady supply of around 61,000 new workers per month in order to keep up with current demand. Now, companies are competing for the same shallow pool of workers. Offering higher pay and bigger benefits can attract experienced workers. However, a bad safety reputation can negate these. After all, what’s the point of having bigger pay and better benefits if it means risking your life on something that’s preventable?

There is now a 2.2 million shortage of workers in the construction industry.

A Good Safety Record Boosts Credibility

With more attractive packages on offer, skilled laborers are now looking beyond the paycheck. In this tight labor market, they know they’ll get more in terms of pay, so many are now basing their decisions on other factors, and a contractor’s safety record is a big, big consideration. And those companies that promote a safety culture and implement proactive measures to ensure safety will always attract the best talent.

Having safety procedures on every construction site is a must and making safety a core principle will bring added value. Not only will it benefit your employees, but it will enhance your reputation among prospective and existing clients. Moreover, key steps such as safety checks and inspections will be conducted smoothly and efficiently every time. That responsibility, of course, cuts both ways. A strong safety culture emphasizes not just the company’s role in the process, but individual worker responsibility as well.

The smart move is to invest in construction safety technology. This includes features that automate and simplify your schedule, handling details like inspections and training courses while saving time and manual labor. That’s where Salus comes in. From digital forms, automated task checklists, as well as asset and compliance management apps to provide schedules and reminders, our comprehensive software package provides the tools you need to ensure health and safety in all your projects by ensuring transparency and accountability.

Doing More With Less Means Renewing A Focus On Safety

The high-hazard nature of the construction industry means construction sites are inherently dangerous places. Workers have to navigate high-rise structures, underground locations, excavation works, and even work in inhospitable terrains.

The health and safety of your team should be your firm’s number one priority. And while management should take the lead on any safety measures and standards, worker involvement is key in laying a foundation for a rigorous safety culture. The more involved they are in crafting safety policy, the better they will respond to training, directives, and implementation.

An effective approach would be to incorporate planning and prevention measures in the process. Minimizing risks through constant drilling of safety practices is a good place to start. This also means monitoring construction activities in real-time and ensuring all required safety processes are met. It is also more important than ever for safety protocols to be understood and accepted by all members of the organization prior to beginning or resuming any construction project.

Having regular safety training and protocol drills will ensure that plan details are followed properly. To ensure that OSHA’s compliance protocols remain effective, schedule periodic refresher courses so that safety habits are reinforced. Stress the importance of reporting unsafe conditions. Employees should be aware of the proper procedures to follow and be able to do so without fear of comebacks. By implementing regular training and practice sessions, your workers will be more likely to perceive safety as a value.

Use Simplified Safety Software To Better Onboard Everybody

Preventing accidents starts with a safety plan tailored to your business. But, just as each project is unique, each safety plan must be agile to account for specific on-site conditions and personnel. Such details are simply too important to rely on a one-size-fits-all approach. You will end up with an increasingly rigid system that doesn’t speak to the realities on the ground.

Salus is a Safety Management Platform built to connect businesses to field workers. A Salus solution offers an ongoing and flexible training system that addresses both short and long-term changes, and can ultimately save lives. Users can log in to their accounts and work seamlessly and collaboratively with their safety officers in ensuring an accident-free workplace. It allows you to react quickly to new developments and keep your team informed.

With our flexible suite of features, you can construct accessible data files; set schedules, reminders, and watchlists; ensure COVID restrictions are observed and even monitor compliance management at any time. Salus empowers you with the tools you need to set up project-specific training suites, as well as invest in continuous training to keep up to date on industry-wide changes. We can also help you set up and run a safety committee, ensuring that all aforementioned details are addressed and each party has an equal voice.

Get in touch with Salus today to book a demo and together, let’s ensure all your safety, transparency, and accountability standards are met, so you can focus on building your business.

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