Five Top Tips for Progressive Safety on Site
We all know that accidents and incidents on construction sites often result in serious consequences, including injuries (some of which may be life-changing) and even fatalities in some cases. Reducing the risks helps to reduce the number of accidents. Taking a proactive approach is the name of the game, doing whatever it takes to ensure that accidents are reduced, if not totally eliminated. Today we’re going to take a look at four things any construction site manager can do to improve the progressive approach.
- Build a Culture of Safety – this takes time and commitment to launch and achieve and doesn’t always produce immediate results. It’s more of a long-term approach – the foundation that begins now eventually makes a real difference. Encourage a change in the way in which safety is measured – instead of measuring by incidents alone, begin to measure accountability and proactive behaviours. By associating safety with accountability, it becomes a priority across all operations. Leadership involvement is essential for building a culture of safety and developing more effective safety plans for the future.
- Launch a Near Miss Programme – despite stringent health and safety legislation and state of the art PPE equipment, accidents still occur. To make your safety management system more robust, adopt a Near Miss Programme so that near misses are reported. Getting employees to report near misses may be a challenge at first as they may be worried about getting themselves or colleagues in trouble. However, if you make the process of reporting as easy as possible with no punishing consequences for the person reporting the near miss, these incidents provide valuable information that you can use to make improvements and avoid such incidents in future whenever possible. Near misses can identify opportunities for training and promote a culture of support. Make sure you communicate the positive outcomes from these near misses to the workforce and encourage all to report these incidents.
- Training and Education – when it comes to workplace safety, knowledge is power. Making sure workers have the information they need on the hazards they may face on a daily basis is essential. Make sure your workers are fully trained in how to protect themselves, don’t assume that they already know. Legislation changes, as does equipment and technology so keeping your workforce up to date is an essential part of any safety strategy. Hands on training will provide workers with the real-world experience they need to be confident in their work.
- Flat Accountability – this places less focus on employee supervision and more on employee involvement in the processes that guide them. The aim is to encourage employees to call out unsafe practices or potential hazards. Workers should never worry about reprisal when drawing attention to job related risks, even if the person responsible for the risk is their boss.
- Regular Hazard Elimination Assessments – set aside a regular time (on at least a weekly basis) to examine areas of the job site for potential risk. Mix things up by inspecting at different times of the day and pay close attention to changes in the environment such as shift changes, equipment use and non-working hours. Different risks may be present at different times of the day so this method will often identify any gaps in safety that can then be eliminated.