Posted: Wed 3rd Jul 2024

3 Ways Construction Companies Can Drive Meaningful Safety Progress


When pointed out that someone must take up the tough jobs, a construction worker nods a resounding yes. Let’s take a few moments to marvel at this industry’s heroes. They master their fear of heights and pursue unparalleled quality to build something mesmerizing from the ground up.

By 2029, this sector may have a net worth of $3.3 trillion. The only caveat for its workers is the risk to safety and health. At times, they may feel hard-pressed on all sides. On one end lingers the fear of getting under heavy machinery. On the other, sleep deprivation and stress dangle the proverbial carrot of ending one’s life.

Can contractors abandon their team members to such terrible fates? Not a chance! This article will discuss three must-haves for every construction company to create a safe working environment.

Responsibility to Promote a Safe Workplace Culture

Employers are not merely there to pay their workers timely wages. As the employees focus on a work well done, the employer must promote a safe workplace. This is of utmost importance across industry verticals where occupational accidents are commonplace.

As for construction companies, the typical mishaps involve slip and fall, getting caught between heavy machines, electrocutions, and falls resulting from overexertion. If companies are not careful or worse yet, willfully neglectful, they may face legal trouble.

This is no trivial matter so let’s use an example to understand. Arkansas is one state that is leading the others in terms of construction employment growth. This means a greater number of workers are being hired. What’s more, cities like Little Rock are becoming especially attractive due to the low cost of real estate.

With labor and raw materials also being low-cost, the prospect of quick and easy profits can seem too tempting to resist. Consequently, many contractors slack on safety measures to preserve revenue. If a mishap occurs due to neglect of safety, the injured worker(s) can seek a personal injury lawyer in Little Rock for compensation.

As shared by the Keith Law Group, the attorney will investigate the case, gather all evidence, and determine who is at fault. Others besides the contractor may share the liability in some cases, including architects, engineers, or manufacturers.

The legal issue is still just one aspect to consider. Even one employee filing a personal injury suit against the employer can tarnish the latter’s market reputation. From vendors to customers, all may put in their votes against the contractor. It is in a construction company’s best interest to strengthen their workplace’s safety culture.

3 Non-Negotiables for Contractors to Improve Workplace Safety Culture

Now, let’s look at three things construction companies cannot do without to ensure worker safety and welfare.

Staff Training

The importance of staff training cannot be stressed enough. One of the primary reasons why workers end up injured or a casualty is a lack of proper knowledge. Heavy equipment and tools are highly specialized and require in-depth knowledge of their functionalities.

When that is lacking, the risk to life becomes manifold. Contractors can mitigate these risks by conducting rigorous training programs regularly. They must begin by analyzing their training needs and identifying the most dangerous hazards. As for the program, it may be a hybrid model that includes in-person and online modules.

It is important to notify all employees beforehand and establish concrete training goals. Ensure that there is plenty of scope for workers at all levels of the organization. For instance – a heavy equipment operator’s training program must look different from that of the supervisor’s.

Never make it a one-and-done thing. Conduct such training sessions as and when you feel the need. The most crucial occasions would be the time of onboarding and when a new tool is introduced.

 

Attention to Mental Health

Since construction companies or sites are often cold grounds for physical injuries, it is natural for employers to be hyper-focused on that. The problem arises when employees’ mental health is pushed into the backdrop.

Let’s always keep at our mind’s forefront that it is a strong spirit that enables one to bear any infirmity. However, a wounded spirit who can bear? Another prerequisite to creating a safe workplace is keeping track of the workers’ mental health.

Did you know that a construction worker is more likely to collapse due to poor mental health than a slip and fall? Yes, an intense workload can mess up the human psyche. Herein lies the importance of knowing your team’s capacity (think SWOT analysis) and prioritizing output over extended working hours.

Make it known that your employees are free to address any issues without hesitation. Remove as many barriers to communication and vulnerability as possible. That way, you can be assured that your team members look after their well-being as well as others.

Regular Safety Audits

Did we just mention regular training? Amp it up with the third non-negotiable factor – random and periodic safety audits. This is particularly needed when new safety policies are put in place. Otherwise, how are contractors to place their finger on the pulse of their organization’s health?

Into this bargain enters the fact that regular audits allow workers to stay truly engaged with the existing safety protocols. Build the session into a proactive discussion where all members of the enterprise can share feedback and insights.

Seek the support of relevant software to draft safety reports for a more streamlined auditing process. Any identifiable dysfunctional patterns can be addressed immediately for better safety outcomes.

 

Before we take our leave, let’s not neglect a major and common loophole – onsite communication. Thankfully, the tide is turning and so must yours. Let each day begin with a quick briefing where the management reiterates safety protocols.

Toward the end, let the workers take over and voice any concerns for the day, week, or project overall. Even in 2023, the construction industry led the pack in terms of occupational accidents and fatalities. It’s high time the tables flip, and every contractor is obliged to do their due diligence.

 

 

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