The authority on workplace safety and health is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), part of the U.S. Department of Labor. OSHA’s Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs in Construction is a helpful (but extensive) document useful for building a detailed safety program. We’ve done a bit of the heavy lifting for you, so please refer to the following simplified list of construction safety practices.
This quick reference should get your wheels rolling. However, to ensure you’re in compliance with safety regulations, contact OSHA, your state health and safety entity, and/or an attorney for legal advice. And remember, OSHA requirements vary based on company size, industry, and location.
Construction companies know it is critical to protect workers. But when the pace picks up, safety can fall to the wayside. This lapse can result in serious injuries or death. These 6 construction safety practices can help you keep safety at the forefront of your business: lead, collaborate, communicate, educate, inspect, control, and adapt.
1. Lead. As a leader, you impact the culture of your entire organization. When you build a work environment that promotes the health and safety of your employees, it sets the tone for the rest of your team.
2. Collaborate. To build an effective construction safety program, you’ll need buy-in from all parties. Your workers, office staff, and management will be able to provide valuable insight. And employees who work in the field will know specific hazards first-hand.
3. Communicate. You must let everyone know that your organization takes construction site safety seriously. Without reminders, workers can get busy and distracted. So be sure to communicate clearly.
4. Educate. To ensure all your team members understand the importance of construction safety, you should implement ongoing training. This education should be offered to managers, supervisors, workers, subcontractors, contractors, and temporary employees.
5. Inspect. Not only are there everyday hazards associated with construction, but there can also be immediate, unique hazards that arise due to the fast pace and evolving needs of construction projects. Inspecting for hazards can help mitigate these construction risks.
6. Control. Once you’ve trained your employees, enlisted their help in safety planning, and inspected your site, it’s time to prevent and control safety hazards. Without the help of your team, this task would be impossible. Use their specialized skills when you control for risks.
7. Adapt. Above all, remain willing to adapt. If you create a core plan that is strong yet flexible, you’ll have a more enthusiastic team and a continuously improving safety program. Be willing to take advice from all team members. They are among your greatest assets.
Thanks for reading! Please note that this content is intended for educational purposes only. As best practices change regularly, you should refer to your trusted advisor for specific counsel. If you’re a small business owner, learn more about workplace safety or check your workers’ comp rate in 3 minutes.