It should come as no surprise that safety is a major concern for every construction company, large or small. Beyond the obvious impact on workers, construction accidents can have an adverse effect on a company’s reputation, its ability to bid and win projects and, ultimately, its bottom line.
Fortunately, the cure for the common construction accident is simple—prevention. In fact, the old adage “accidents will happen” has absolutely no place in the construction industry. All accidents, whether minor or major in nature, are preventable. The key to prevention is understanding that safety is not only the responsibility of the worker, but is the primary responsibility of the employer.
In general, employers should train all workers in appropriate worksite safety procedures while maintaining a safe working environment so accidents are less likely to occur. But this high-level approach to accident avoidance is just the beginning. The following construction safety guidelines are designed to help both workers and employers develop safer places to work:
Conduct frequent safety meetings with work crews. Many construction companies find a daily “toolbox” safety meeting to be very beneficial. Conducted at the start of the workday, the main purpose of a toolbox meeting is to remind workers to stay focused while communicating job-specific safety information relevant to the day’s construction activity.
Perform routine jobsite safety inspections. Walk the entire worksite and identify anything that might present a hazard. Be sure to resolve any issues before work begins. Also, thoroughly inspect construction equipment and do not operate unfit machinery until repairs are made.
Provide employees with the right personal protective equipment (PPE). Ensure employees have properly fitted PPE specific to the work performed. This includes hard hats, eye protection, earplugs, work gloves, etc. Next, make certain workers wear their PPE at all times.
Adhere to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and standards. Make certain all workers conform to OSHA requirements with respect to construction training. Additionally, follow all recommendations and mandates from occupational health and safety inspectors.
Outfit workers in high-visibility apparel. Visibility is a key factor in accident avoidance. When workers wear bright orange, yellow, or green safety vests, they get noticed. This is especially important during night work or when visibility in general is poor.
Barricade the construction site. Protect the public by creating a barrier around the entire project. Once the workday ends, ensure all points of entry are locked. It’s also a good idea to have at least one security guard monitor the site at all times when work is not being performed.
WE’RE HERE TO HELP
Amerisure Mutual Insurance Company is a property and casualty insurance company with experience insuring businesses since 1912. As an industry leader in risk management and loss control, our loss control professionals work in partnership with policyholders to deliver the training and hands-on guidance necessary to help them create safety-centric work environments. This includes Amerisure’s Observational Safety Program, a jobsite/worker evaluation survey building on proven techniques, technical data, and loss prevention strategies from a variety of effective safety tactics.
OBSERVATIONAL SAFETY PROGRAM
Amerisure’s program starts with a strong management commitment to safety that carries across the organization. We combine traditional and observational-based safety tools to target the areas where our research has shown more than 50 percent of workplace injuries occur:
- Poor lifting and lowering of materials
We identify the conditions and employee behaviors which often lead to a loss, then implement formal controls and coaching to help businesses be safe, efficient, and productive. When accidents do happen, we will be ready with return-to-work options to get employees back to work as safely and quickly as possible.
With our observational-based safety program, and in partnership with one of Amerisure’s Partners for Success Agencies, you can take advantage of free training costs, no additional consultation fees, and peace of mind. The critical difference is that Amerisure is financially invested in your success. We take our relationship and your success seriously. After all, our businesses depend on it.
With a long tradition of exceptional customer service combined with highly knowledgeable and experienced loss control consultants, Amerisure is committed to helping make construction sites safer and construction companies more competitive. ■
For More Information: For more information about Amerisure and how to create a safety-centric work environment, or to locate an agency near you, visit amerisure.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions – December 2015
Did you enjoy this article?
Subscribe to the FREE Digital Edition of Modern Contractor Solutions magazine.