Safety Month: Safety on the Jobsite
June 11, 2021
June is National Safety Month, the perfect time for a little refresher on best practices for a safe jobsite. In 2019, the most recent year for which statistics are available, more than 5,000 workers suffered fatal accidents on the job, or nearly 15 per day. Of those, one in five were related to the construction industry. So while jobsites in general have made safety improvements over the years, there’s clearly still a great deal of room for improvement.
Let’s take a look at the top ways to keep work sites safer:
Plan ahead: Jobsite safety begins with a plan for what will happen that day and making sure the appropriate tools, equipment and safety gear are ready to go. Many workplace accidents result from using inappropriate equipment for a particular task, or from the absence of proper safety apparatus.
Train: The right tools and safety equipment are just the start. Workers must be trained on safe operation of any equipment, and on the proper use of safety gear. Safety training is not a one-and-done event either … plan for regular refresher sessions so all team members are always up to date. From the importance of using the appropriate tool for the job at hand to proper techniques for lifting to avoid injury, there’s no shortage of safety training topics.
Communicate: Employees will tend to take safety about as seriously as management does. Company leadership needs to make it clear that jobsite safety is a high priority, and to communicate that message consistently. From regular meetings to jobsite signage, keeping the safety message from and center is vital.
Inspect: “Inspect what you expect,” goes the saying. For jobsite safety this means regular checks of tools and equipment for signs of wear or breakage, as well as ensuring that equipment like scaffolding or fall protection gear is properly set up. And the work site itself should be inspected daily to make sure proper “housekeeping” related to safety is maintained. Regular inspection will identify safety issues before they have tragic results.
Review: The final step in a solid safety plan is a regular review of results. Were there accidents or injuries? How could they have been prevented, and what policy changes need to be put in place to keep them from happening again? This process should involve all levels of management, especially those who are actually on the jobsite.
While we highlight workplace safety in June, jobsite safety is vital every day of the year. Begin with proper planning, and finish with a regular review of results to keep jobsites safer.