In the construction industry, safety is more than just a matter of preventing accidents. It’s also about creating a culture in which employees are safe at all times and have the knowledge they need to avoid hazards. That means accepting responsibility for workers’ well-being and implementing changes that improve their safety without affecting productivity or profitability.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of what safety looks like in the construction industry. However, there are some key elements that are essential for a safe construction site. First and foremost, effective construction safety software can help improve safety by providing real-time visibility into all aspects of the project. This includes tracking progress, identifying potential hazards, and documenting safety procedures.
Construction sites pose many potential dangers to workers, which is why it’s crucial for construction companies to have comprehensive safety protocols. These should include the use of proper equipment and correct procedures while working. Additionally, construction companies should review their safety procedures regularly and update them if necessary. With these precautions in place, construction companies can help make the workplace safer for employees.
How do you achieve a safety-first work culture?
To achieve a safety-first work culture, you must understand the context of your work environment. You also need to encourage employees to report potential hazards, follow updates or changes to industry safety guidelines and ensure they are provided the right personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times. If you want to protect your employees, it’s important to make sure they understand what they can do in an emergency and incorporate a broader worker safety program.
Construction safety management software can also help organize safety communications and make sure that everyone involved in the project is up-to-date on the latest safety procedures. By introducing these tools, construction companies can establish a safer workplace for their employees and deter accidents from happening on site.
For example, construction management software platforms like PlanRadar allow you to incorporate construction safety procedures at your sites, allow all your workers and subcontractors access to your safety plans, and also help with safety adherence with on-site tracking. To know more about how you can perform worker safety assessments and planning, you can try the app for free or contact us here.
1. Understand the context of your work environment
The first step to establishing a safety culture is understanding your context. Understanding the culture of your workplace, the challenges you face, and the risks you face will help you understand which safety issues are most important to your employees.
This also means understanding what people value in their work environment and how they define success, such as whether they want to be promoted or would rather have a flexible work schedule. This will allow managers to make better decisions on how they lead their team members so that everyone can feel like an equal player in the end goal: improving productivity while keeping everyone safe at all times.
2. Encourage employees to report near-misses
Near misses, potential hazards and safety incidents should be reported whenever possible. While you may think that your workers are already reporting all safety incidents that occur, it’s still a good idea for managers to encourage them to report the potential for site or equipment hazards— use the opportunity to talk about what led up to the incident and how it can be avoided in the future.
If you witness any kind of safety incident at work, consider reporting it anonymously if you’re uncomfortable doing so openly. You can also ask another person who witnessed the event whether or not they would like to report it as well. If they say yes, make sure both parties fill out separate forms so that nothing gets confused or misinterpreted when someone reads over them later on down the line.
3. Provide workers with the right personal protective equipment (PPE)
A critical thing you can do to enable a safety-first work culture is to make sure that your workers have the right PPE. There are a few ways that construction site employers can provide correct protective equipment for all site personnel. One way is to use construction software that includes a module for managing safety and health. This module can help employers track which employees need which types of protective equipment and when it is due for inspection or replacement. Another way is to hire a construction management company that specializes in safety and health. This company can help with the selection, purchase, and maintenance of protective equipment. Also, construction employers may choose to consult with work site safety and health experts to get advice on what type of protective equipment is needed for their specific workplace.
PPE should be appropriate for the job. It’s especially important that PPE fits well and is comfortable because it’s more likely to be worn if it doesn’t cause irritation or discomfort.
If PPE is damaged in some way—whether by being dropped, exposed to chemicals, or burned by hot objects—then replace it immediately!
4. Implement a comprehensive emergency response program
As you consider your company’s safety policies, one of the first things to consider is how you will respond to an emergency. To ensure that all employees are prepared, implement a comprehensive emergency response program. This program should include the following:
- An overview of what types of emergencies can occur in your industry, including potential causes and scenarios for each type.
- An outline of each employee’s responsibilities during an emergency. For example, if a fire breaks out or an injury occurs at work, who needs to call 911? Who should keep people calm until help arrives?
- What reporting is required before, during and after a safety incident to ensure that all details have been filed correctly.
5. Use employee safety training as part of a broader safety education initiative
As you’ve probably figured out by now, the best way to make sure that your safety program is effective is to get employees involved. You’ll need to hire a trainer or instructor who can help your employees learn about their specific hazards and how they can stay safe on the job. Safety training should also be ongoing—if it’s not, then employees will eventually forget what they’ve learned in previous sessions and won’t remember as much of the information when it comes time for a refresher course.
Training should be tailored to each employee’s needs, whether that means teaching people how to do their jobs safely or giving them tools for recognising risks at work and responding appropriately when those risks arise.
6. Use new construction site safety software to create safer, more productive work environments
Site safety management software can help you to identify risks and hazards. It’s becoming increasingly important for construction companies to utilise new digital platforms to create safer, more productive work environments.
You can use digital construction management software to help manage your risk planning and access safety plans. In the last decade, more construction companies have shifted to digital when it comes to construction site risk assessments and safety planning. Firstly, this allows all your workplace hazard-related information available in one place with everyone having access to a single, centralised source of truth. This makes it less likely that there are any assumptions or disparities when it comes to safety regulations and procedures. Secondly, it allows for digital tracking of the milestones and progress when it comes to ensuring that the site safety guidelines are followed at all times. This has improved adherence metrics for many construction businesses, bringing down construction site risks for everyone.
Digital construction tools can help you to monitor your contractors’ risk assessments and fire safety plans. This will provide peace of mind that your subcontractors are following the right procedures and are aware of any hazards onsite.
To create a safety-first culture, it’s not enough to just have a checklist of procedures and regulations or even a team that follows those procedures. You must be willing to put in the time, effort, and resources necessary to make sure your employees understand why it’s important for them to follow the rules.
When it comes to creating a safety culture, there are no shortcuts. It won’t happen overnight—but with regular training sessions and plenty of follow-up from management, you can ensure that every worker goes home safe at night. Creating a safety first culture on a construction site is crucial to the success of any project. By implementing construction software, you can help ensure that safety is always the top priority.
Keep you and your team safe by using construction management software to identify and avoid potential risks. By tracking everything from the start of the project to its finish, you can create a culture of safety on your construction site.
If you are looking to build a safety-first culture in your construction teams, you can start a free PlanRadar 30-day trial here.