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From the boardroom to the jobsite, safety must be a company-wide priority. By nature, construction sites are constantly changing, making safety an essential component to any construction firm. Not addressing potential hazards can lead to time lost, costly delays, personnel injuries and extensive litigation. Leaders must enforce safety regulations and protect the crew from harm.



Planning and Preparedness

Every firm should have an advanced planning program to mitigate risks during the life of a project. Because every project is distinct and work sites are dynamic, safety plans will evolve and should include contingency plans that can be implemented at any time.

Hazards such as harmful materials, exposed wiring and heavy equipment can create dangerous situations in an instant. Therefore, it is essential to equip work crews with the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and training prior to project initiation. Subcontractors also should submit daily project safety plans to onsite personnel before beginning work on the jobsite. Thorough planning and effective communications can mitigate risk and improve reaction time should an incident occur.

 

Tool and Plan Inspection

Tools and equipment are an essential component to any construction site. When considering the safety of a project, employees should thoroughly inspect their tools and equipment to ensure they are in working condition prior to breaking ground. A proactive firm should invest in opportunities to elevate their levels of safety through third-party inspections.

For example, a third-party safety verification service, such as ISNetworld, inspects a firm’s safety plan and documentation to ensure it complies with their clients’ specific safety programs. In addition to acquiring certification, a proactive leader can consult with an independent third-party safety consultant to conduct random plan inspections and ensure compliance.

Qualified and Trained Employees

As a project progresses, the potential hazards evolve. A proactive leader in safety must take measures that facilitate proper training of each employee from the top down. Regular safety discussions must take place among management teams regarding both general and site-specific hazards.

Then, expectations should be communicated to all employees to create a higher level of awareness. Field supervisors should have certifications and training such as OSHA certification, as well as first-aid and CPR training.

In addition, conduct periodic audits of employee education and certification to maintain compliance. It is crucial for every individual on a jobsite to be educated and aware of all potential hazards.

Regular Jobsite Inspections

In addition to the tool and plan inspections, continuous observance and inspection of the jobsite are vital. It is each individual’s responsibility to ensure a safe working environment. Employees should not only check their tools and equipment on a regular basis, but also regularly inspect their jobsite with the knowledge that the subcontractor and superintendent will at any given time conduct a safety inspection.

If the inspection fails, consequences should be expected. On the other hand, if it is passed with flying colors, a reward should be given to promote the behavior. A proactive leader can also bring in a third-party inspector to conduct random audits of the worksite and provide detailed reports for analysis.

Account for Everyone on the Jobsite

Because construction sites are constantly moving and changing, the management team must know who is onsite at all times, as well as their specific job. Provide a daily logbook at each site for every visitor, including workers, consultants, owners and inspectors to check in and out. Ensure all visitors have the proper PPE immediately upon entering the jobsite.

A strong culture of safety awareness is built from the top. Its benefits are lasting for the entire project team, from the owner and general contractor to the subcontractors and craft professionals. What can you do to become a leader in safety?
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