Safety Best Practices

Taking a Proactive Approach to Construction Safety

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Salus Safety
6 min read
October 22, 2021

Few concerns should be more important to construction firms than the on-site health and safety of their workforce. According to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report, construction site accidents and fatalities have been on the rise annually. Safety and health concerns have only compounded in the wake of the past year’s experience with COVID-19. Construction services are essential, and shutting down a project often isn’t an option, even with a pandemic on the move. This makes the task of ensuring the health and safety of a construction site more vital than ever.

When it comes to worker safety, an ounce of prevention can work miracles. The more you do to ensure that working conditions are healthy and proper protocols are followed, the better. For example, a good software package dedicated to construction safety can help, alongside common-sense guidelines to aid planning and preparation.


Create a Construction Safety Plan

The more work put into safety beforehand, the better.

Formulating a safety plan should be part of preparation for any construction project. While in theory compiling a safety plan sounds easy, what does this actually entail? In simplest terms, it’s an actionable plan to both maximize safety on-site before work begins and respond to the unexpected in the event of an accident.

A construction safety plan ensures that your team will know what to do and that the proper steps will be taken. Every firm is different, as are the projects they undertake, and so every plan should take those unique circumstances into account. That said, every plan still needs to address certain conditions present in every project. Every plan should include:

  • Clear and Actionable Responsibilities. Delineate who is responsible for safety on-site, as well as designated replacements. They should all be prepped and briefed on all aspects of the safety plan, and ready to execute it if needed.
  • Planned Medical Response. Determine what medical services are on-site and what equipment they have. This includes any team members who have first aid or similar training.
  • Planned Safety Inspections. This includes not only the frequency of inspections, but the specific people conducting them and what they will look for.
  • Communication. All on-site employees must be familiar with safety protocols, procedures, and equipment. Convey any changes or adjustments to the entire team swiftly and accurately.
  • Organization. This includes clean-up and prep work, securing the site, and storing all equipment in its proper place.
  • Safety Gear. Specific construction sites will have specific safety gear requirements: some reflecting the new realities of COVID, some more generalized such as hard hats and safety goggles. A plan must account not only for the location and use of all such gear, but how often to inspect and replace it.
  • Accident Protocols. Team members need a clear, actionable procedure for what to do in the event of an accident. That includes not only ensuring safety and securing the site, but contacting pertinent authorities and documenting the incident.
  • Safety Management. Take steps to ensure the safety and training of on-site contractors and similar visitors.
Relying on a “one size fits all” approach to [safety] simply isn’t feasible.

Invest in Continuous Training

A safety plan tailored to your business and its specific needs is an excellent roadmap for preventing accidents. But just as each project is different, each safety plan will require adjustments to better respond to specific on-site conditions and personnel.

This includes components such as:

  • Fall protection, stairway safety, and ladder safety
  • Proper trenching safety
  • Policies and protocols for the use of heavy machinery
  • Proper hazard communication, warning team members of dangerous conditions
  • Specific steps to address COVID safety, including limitation of personnel, mask-wearing protocols, and quarantine procedures

Relying on a “one size fits all” approach to such details simply isn’t feasible. It will leave you with an increasingly rigid system that fails to address the needs on the ground. Taking the time to develop a flexible, ongoing training system—one that addresses not only changes in individual projects but also long-term developments—can save a great deal of work and effort later. An ongoing system allows you to respond quickly to new developments and keep your team up to speed.

Establish a Safety Committee

A safety committee should be accessible, transparent and with the ability to meet specific goals.

Safety committees are an outstanding way to head off of a number of potential onsite construction issues. They also establish a firm chain of responsibility, to ensure that proper procedures are followed at all times. A safety committee—consisting of employees from all facets of the business, including the heads of any division running on-site operations—sets these standards before work begins, and serves oversight throughout the project.

Establish your safety committee with an eye toward several clear goals: iron out its responsibilities, authority, and organizational power from the start. Calculate and devote an operational budget and similar resources in order for the committee to better achieve its goals. Your safety committee needs to be transparent in its activities and readily accessible to any employee, and equally represent all sections of your business. With such a committee in place, you have the ideal fulcrum to allow employees to express concerns, oversee safety details in the workplace, and ensure all plans and procedures are implemented and followed.

Monitor and Audit Construction Safety With Salus

All of these procedures eat into organizational and work hours. Thankfully, there are software tools that can help you handle these administrative aspects! Safety software like Salus can help you implement and monitor a construction safety plan, saving you time and helping you stay properly organized. With Salus’ its flexible suite of features, you can construct accessible data files; set schedules, reminders, and watchlists; ensure COVID restrictions are observed; and even monitor and check on compliance management at any time.

Safety software like Salus can help you implement and monitor a construction safety plan, saving you time and helping you stay properly organized.

Every construction company should make safety a top priority, for your employees as well as for your business’ own health and reputation. Doing so requires an active and committed plan to provide a safe working environment. Salus gives you the tools you need to set up project-specific training suites, as well as investing in continuous training to keep up to date on industry-wide changes.

Salus 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. Finally, it lets you establish monitoring and auditing procedures with qualified personnel, making sure safety, transparency, and accountability standards are met. Contact Salus today to learn more and book a demo!

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