Across the A/E/C industry companies are recognizing the importance of sharing safety knowledge and resources to encourage work environments to become safer for all employees. A safety program provides employees the opportunity to learn how to handle hazardous situations through educational resources and support. The goal of any safety program is to reduce workplace accidents and fatalities – allowing each person to accomplish their work and return home unharmed.
Safety programs can include trainings, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and ‘best practices. ‘Best Practices’ create a foundation for a secure work environment. Below are 5 ways employees and employers can protect those that enter a construction site.
1. Safety Training
If employees are solely office based safety training might include fire, lockdown, and active shooter drills. However, it is imperative that all field employees have proper safety training before arriving to a job site - workers must be aware of any hazards that may occur.
Some training includes:
First Aid & CPR
Fall Protection/Scaffold Training
Chemical Hazards & Toxic Substances
Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER)
Employers should recognize how safety training benefits the company. By decreasing the number of accidents each year, the cost of insurance decreases as well.
2. Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Having the proper PPE to protect employees is an important investment. Each piece of PPE is specifically designed to protect against specific hazards allowing professionals to complete their jobs without worrying. For example, when dealing with scaffolds, wearing the correct PPE would prevent a fall. Properly wearing PPE can be the choice between life or death.
Personal Protective Equipment includes:
Full body suit
3. Trained Machine Operators
All machines must be operator by a trained professional. Each piece of machinery is different and requires specialized training with some larger more complex pieces requiring in-depth training. Allowing employees to operate equipment without specific training can be fatal. All non-essential workers should be cleared when a machine is operating.
4. Clean Workspace
A clean and organized jobsite is critical to safety. By implementing good housekeeping standards, professionals are minimizing the risk for unnecessary hazards. This is a continuous effort that should be exercised by all staff. Although quick and efficient, it is sometimes disregarded. By something as simple as cleaning wet surfaces and removing debris, an accident might be prevented.
5. Know Basic Medical Skills
By knowing basic medical skills, professionals can address injuries quickly and prevent further damage. CPR, AED and Basic First Aid training should be mandatory for all on-site workers. Construction workers need to be educated on emergency situations and the appropriate response. These skills can be the difference between life or death.
These practices are just that - practices. Individuals must be committed to ensuring a safe and secure workplace for all to succeed. Projects are only successful if everyone goes home at night unharmed. GBA Builders is committed to the safety of our employees and those that visit our job sites. Our dedicated employees use toolbox talks, educational resources, and continuous communication to create a supportive environment. Learn more by contacting Greg Kalar, GBA Builders Safety Manager.