Usually, the nature of work in the construction industry is dynamic and physically demanding. Hence, the frequency of mishaps and emergencies is also higher. Workers are exposed to several risks during on-site activities, such as falls and malfunctioning of the equipment.
Likewise, the collapse of protective erections and other structures is also common. Workers can lose limbs and even their lives during critical operations and heavy-duty activities. However, effective execution of standard procedures and precautionary measures can prevent the majority of on-site dangers.
Generally, construction-related activities are regulated through well-structured safety protocols, such as occupational safety and health administration (OSHA).
In addition, the construction industry is rigorously assisted by sophisticated devices and tools to prevent catastrophic consequences for workers and economic loss to businesses.
However, the implementation of precautionary measures and ensuring their effectiveness is a prerequisite.
The following sections elaborate on some of the safety guidelines for construction companies to ensure the safety of on-site workers.
1. Exercise standard protection protocols
Undeniably, practicing safety protocols is the most fundamental approach to prevent safety-related hazards and accidents. Usually, uniform bodies design safety protocol and every construction business is required to adopt and practice various standard protection protocols.
For instance, spark-inducing and electrical activities, such as cutting, welding, and soldering, demand additional protection. While preparing construction material, workers can even damage sensitive body parts, such as their eyes and face.
Therefore, it is recommended to wear protective goggles, face shields, and helmets. In addition, existing protections should be augmented through sophisticated additions, such as supplementing eyeglasses through side shields which help protect the eyes from side debris and various other aspects that could risk the eyes.
To prevent falls and injuries, companies must execute fall protection measures, such as protective railings and nets. However, such measures may not be enough to prevent all accidents from elevated surfaces. Therefore, enhancing existing protective measures is crucial.
In case of unexpected falls, wearing lifelines, body harnesses, and safety nets can minimize or even avoid severe damage to workers.
2. Augment existing protections through technology
Currently, the influence and contributions of technology has penetrated every field of life, where the construction business should not be an exception. For instance, software and surveying drones can monitor the dangers of construction sites.
In addition, it is possible to detect the presence of hazardous chemicals and toxins in the work site vicinity. As such, specialized sensors can detect hazardous substances, such as asbestos.
Furthermore, construction businesses can even utilize services of virtual reality. Workers can be trained through emulated construction site scenarios before actual engagement in critical activities. In the simulated work environment, workers can learn operations of heavy-duty machines and make more informed technical decisions.
Likewise, the effectiveness of existing protection and monitoring mechanisms can be improved through the involvement of advanced tools. Workers can now significantly reduce work-related strain on their bodies through upgraded protective wearables, such as exoskeletons. The protections are external skeletons that support workers’ innate skeleton and minimize pressure during heavy-duty activities.
3. Maintain and update safety procedures
To ensure compliance with protection procedures, upholding existing safety measures is inevitable. If current measures are insufficient, it is essential to upgrade safety procedures. As such, the current pandemic has the potential to intensify safety threats for workers. It means adapting changes in safety measures depending upon the situation. For instance, it is important to ensure that the workers carry out additional protective measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
To minimize repetitive failures and on-site accidents, the construction company should incorporate an inspection mechanism.
The mechanism should identify gaps against robust protection and minimize the recurrence of accidents. For instance, frequent equipment monitoring and checking workers’ compliance to SOPs are central to preventing mishaps.
Hence, authorities should observe previous loopholes, accidents, and compliance performance. Based upon critical analysis, administrators should enhance and build upon existing protocols.
4. Monitor workers’ safety routine
Global survey reports highlighting an alarming number of accidents associated with construction-related activities. As a consequence, the construction business is exposed to direct financial pressure every year.
On the other hand, damage to human life is incomparable. Therefore, it is inevitable to identify on-duty stressors and monitor their impact on workers’ performance. The prevalence of such stressors may be linked to the severity and intensity of fatal accidents.
In fact, studies suggest that exhaustion increases the likelihood of on-duty errors and failures. As a consequence, workers are prone to a higher number of mishaps during different operations. Specifically, a low level of tiredness impairs workers’ perception of the danger. When the level of exhaustion intensifies, it affects workers’ motor control capability. Resultantly, the frequency of accidents increases.
Hence, the administrators need to observe workers’ compliance and practice of protection protocols.
5. Literature on safety hazards and precautions
To improve the on-site safety of the staff, imparting proper guidelines of work-related hazards and their precautions is a prerequisite. Providing training on possible risks and approaches to deal with them is one of the effective approaches.
Though it is nearly impossible to alter every unpleasant happening during construction activities, the likelihood of major consequences can be reduced through workers’ training.
The construction administration should educate workers regarding core construction activities, such as equipment sparks, fall safety, and aerial lifting. In addition, training workers to deal with toxins and chemicals, such as asbestos, is also essential.
In addition, construction workers should have adequate knowledge about the operations of designated tools and machinery, including belt feeders, ladders, elevators, and deck monitors.
On the other hand, workers should be prepared to perform first-aid procedures in case of crises.
No doubt, well-informed workers are more adept at handling emergencies and safeguarding themselves during on-site failures.
6. Device grievance addressing mechanism
The extensive involvement of workers in various ground-level activities enables them to identify systematic loopholes related to safety. They are aware of the negligence of supervisors and co-workers. Thus, minimizing the communication gap between different tiers of the workforce can reduce barriers to improved safety.
It is important to address various complaints and devise workable solutions. As such, ensuring ground-level workers can easily approach their supervisors is vital to prevent major on-site failures. Such initiatives can reduce unnecessary delays and solve safety-related critical concerns.
Evidently, various surveys positively correlate psychological well-being with supervisor support and employment security. Hence, incorporating appropriate occupational policies is essential for a conducive work environment. As a result, companies can improve workers’ performance and reduce the frequency of errors.
7. Implement health insurance
Naturally, construction is a high-risk occupation. The frequency of accidents and injuries is higher in construction-related activities as compared to other occupations. Such facts highlight the importance of enhancing health insurance, which is comparatively lower for construction workers. Availability of healthcare resources and timely access to medical facilities can avert fatal consequences for affected workers.
Similarly, routine health checkups should be included as an essential part of the safety policy. Such policies can prevent loss of lives due to curable injuries and also increase workers’ satisfaction. In addition, such measures can retain potential workers and improve on-site performance.
Undeniably, construction is a risky business for both the owners and on-site workers. It demands the execution of adequate safety measures to minimize damage to materials and human lives.
Generally, safety measures entail the implementation of procedures and protocols that govern the protection of workers. Keeping in view the nature and recurrence of failures, construction administrators are required to update prevailing measures.