Operating a Safe and Efficient Construction Site: 4 Tips for Success

Listed among Forbes' Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs, construction workers face a variety of dangers while working on-site, resulting in an average of 210 fatalities per 100,000 full-time construction workers in the U.S. every year.

Sadly, most of these fatalities, and thousands of injuries every year, are completely preventable. A workforce of safety-conscious construction workers, a comprehensive safety policy, and a good dose of common sense can make all the difference between a rewarding, productive day on the job and s tragedy. Build a healthy, safe, efficient job site in no time—here are a few tips to get your started.

1. Begin with your employees

Your employees are the ones who will be putting their lives on the line for you in order to complete a project, and they're most vulnerable to injury. Ask questions about safety while interviewing every potential new hire. Be selective when hiring; sometimes, an employee with superior critical thinking and awareness skills trumps those with more experience. Take that into account when making your decision, and incorporate mandatory safety training into every new employee orientation.

2. Be aware of the most common problem areas for your construction site

OSHA reports that some of the top culprits for workplace injuries include the following:

  • falls
  • scaffold collapse
  • failure to use the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • electric shock and arc blast/arc flash
  • trench collapse
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Of course, dangerous areas vary depending on the type of construction site you operate, but pinpoint potential problem areas and focus on those safety issues first. Do you do a lot of welding on your job site? Ensure that the manager of each job site provides the necessary PPE and safety information so employees can practice the safest procedures possible. This may mean enforcing hardhat use, providing more welding aprons and higher-tech hoods, and beyond. Another safety issue is a messy construction site. Leep debris and trash cleaned up to prevent any injury. You can rent rollaway dumpsters from companies like Next Day Dumpsters, which have facilities all over the country, including the Denver Area. They will take care of you trash disposal and keep your site clear and safe. Customize your safety plan to fit your needs and the environment of each job site.

3. Make sure employees are educated about each piece of equipment they operate

Anytime you're working with an unfamiliar piece of equipment, a few differences in emergency shutoff procedures and other safety issues can make all the difference. Ensure your employees are well versed in the safety precautions of each piece of equipment used on the job.

If you're using a scissor lift, for example, include safety training as part of prepping for the job. All companies must offer safety training for construction workers and managers alike, which raises awareness of potential equipment-specific problems.

4. Use common sense

Often, the best safety advice means working smart rather than pushing the limits. OSHA Europe recommends the following steps to keep workers safe:

  • Plan work to minimize the number of workers who could be harmed. For example, if working in a high-noise environment, schedule the noisiest work during a time when the fewest workers will be exposed to the noise.
  • Make sure all workers are trained in the safe and efficient use of the equipment at hand. That means encouraging an environment where employees feel comfortable asking questions.
  • Put a safety and education policy into effect before work even starts.

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