Construction sites are usually high-risk environments. Construction workers face many hazards on these sites every single day. Heavy construction site safety is crucial to keeping workers safe so that they can return home at the end of their workday. Working at a construction site requires individuals to be alert and remain focused throughout the entire workday. A lapse in concentration or carelessness can lead to accidents, injuries, or worst-case scenario, death. To make sure that your team members remain safe while working on a construction site, you need to implement a variety of measures to keep them protected from potential dangers and risks. This blog post covers some of the most important areas for heavy construction site safety and how you can implement them in your business for safer working conditions.
We sat down with Borger Group Safety Manager and talked about his approach to safety and the software tool he uses to help with communication and data capture. Borger Group is one of the largest companies in Canada and winner of the 2022 Safest Company Award. Here are his comments on the dos and don’ts of safety:
Top 5 “Dos” In safety
Identify all positions throughout from CEO to boots on the ground and build a formal hazard assessment that clearly define each task, the risks, and responsibilities associated with the position as it relates to safety
Understand legislation and have an OHS management system in place which must include best practice as it relates to each company position
Train your team in their roles! Making sure they understand the Formal hazard assessment as it relates to their job
Monitor, inspect and investigate your team
Fairly enforce positive and negative re-enforcement
Top 5 Do Not
Don't try and run a safety program alone you will burnout and fail
Don't work outside of set standards and legislation because you believe you will be safe this one time. This will lead to an unsafe practice and creates confusion as to where the company stands on safety
Do not work without a plan that includes an ERP and scope of work. This will lead to risk being taken by your team because of a poor understand of the tasks at hand
Do not build site plans and procedures without reviewing legislation and consulting your teams at all levels. You may miss critical steps that need to be followed which may lead to accidents
Listen to your team, what they are telling you is critical. If you stop listening, they will stop talking – and document all important conversations
Borger uses Vizzn Software to help with their safety protocol. Vizzn allows Borger to implement the following process for job site safety – all through mobile communication:
Daily Huddles with the team – record and document all safety items in Vizzn and share within the team
Foreman level hazard assessments – working with the job site Forman to identify all hazards and document related items in the Vizzn system
Create daily equipment inspection logs within the Vizzn program
Document all permits in the Vizzn software
Identify and document all field level risk assessments
Document all COVID health information
Create confined space entry forms
Upload all locate sheets for the site into Vizzn
Track all forms through Vizzn and identify any items that require compliance
Additional thoughts on safety include:
Ensure that workers are properly trained and certified
Before allowing your workers to start any heavy construction project, they must possess the appropriate level of training and certification to operate certain equipment safely. You can also conduct regular inspections to make sure that appropriate PPE is also worn by your workers in the right manner. However, an important thing to note is that even with certification, your employees can be at risk of accidents if they are not working in a safe environment. Keeping a safe construction site is the responsibility of everyone on site, not just the certified workers.
Adequate site supervision
An important aspect of heavy construction site safety is having an adequate number of supervisors to oversee the progress of your projects. If there are not enough supervisors on a project, workers may feel like they do not have proper support for any issues or questions that may arise. This can lead to frustration and increase the likelihood of an accident occurring. A lack of site supervision can also lead to workers cutting corners in the interest of getting the job done faster. This can result in using unsafe methods during the work or not following proper safety procedures.
Heavy equipment maintenance
A construction site is full of heavy equipment, including cranes, excavators, bulldozers, and other machines that are used for lifting, digging, and grading. In addition to being dangerous to work around, these construction site machines are extremely loud. This level of noise can create serious issues for workers in the area, such as hearing loss, tinnitus, and stress. To avoid these hazards, make sure that you’re conducting regular maintenance on the heavy equipment found on your construction site. This will help ensure that the machines are not only safe to operate but that they’re also quiet enough to protect workers in the area.
Strict safety protocols for construction workers
Each individual worker on a construction site is responsible for their own safety. This means that every worker must follow basic safety protocols, no matter if they’re a supervisor or a regular construction worker. A few things that you can do to make sure that your workers follow safety protocols include having regular safety meetings, setting up safety committees, and posting important safety information in the workplace. By following these safety tips, you can keep your construction site safe and reduce the chance of an accident occurring.
Training and certification
In addition to the training and certification programs that you can use to ensure your workers are operating safely in your construction site, you should also be sure to have the appropriate training for your workers. Training for heavy construction site safety is a necessary part of ensuring this type of job will not be a problem in the future. You should also be aware that many companies are now offering training programs that can help with new construction jobs. These programs may include classes in proper installation procedures, as well as on-site inspections and maintenance procedures.
Costs of these types of jobs tend to be very high compared to other types of jobs because it requires more time, more personnel, and more equipment than other construction projects. However, if you choose to employ these workers instead of hiring contractors, they will likely be able to work with their employers without any additional expense to them and will thus save a lot in the long-term.
Construction sites are dangerous environments to work in. To ensure that workers are safe on the job, it’s crucial to implement a variety of safety measures to protect them from potential hazards and risks. These include making sure that workers are properly trained and certified, have adequate site supervision, use heavy equipment that’s regularly maintained, and have strict safety protocols for construction workers. When you take all these safety measures into account, you can create a safer environment that ensures the health and safety of everyone on the job site. By doing so, you can reduce the risk of accidents and injuries, which can help to reduce the cost of future workers' compensation claims.
Check out how Vizzn can help you with your site safety process: Vizzn Safety