Five Tips for Creating a Safer Construction Site
Updated: Feb 5, 2021
Tip 1. Invest meaningful time in preparing your Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) or Task Analysis (TA).
Your SWMS will identify the high risk activities, their associated hazards and the control measures that will be adopted to minimise the risk they pose. While the person responsible for completing the high risk tasks is best placed to prepare the SWMS, it should be a in consultation with key stakeholders such as managers, contractors, leading hands and workers. The document should be explored with all relevant parties prior to the project starting to ensure that all work is conducted in accordance with the SWMS.
TIP 2 Build a positive safety culture
Communicate – Daily pre-start meetings and weekly tool box talks are a great way to provide health and safety information to your team, and comply with legal requirements.
Provide Training – Training Employees demonstrates your commitment to safety. Trained employees also embrace safety culture more readily because they are aware of hazards and the effect that they can have on maintaining workplace safety.
Lead by Example - Lead by example by following all safety policies and encouraging employees to do the same. If management commits to safety, employees will follow suit. Employee buy-in is crucial to a positive safety culture.
Develop and Implement a Positive Reporting Process - Reward employees who report safety hazards or concerns. A positive safety culture will be much easier to build and maintain when employees feel comfortable reporting concerns and believe that the reporting process is positive.
Building and maintaining a strong safety culture starts from the ground up. Another way to achieve employee buy-in is to involve them in the process. Ask them what they would like the reporting process to look like, or get their feedback on current communication methods.
Tip 3 – Maintain a tidy Site
Many construction hazards stem from a messy or cluttered job site and the longer the job, the easier it is for these hazards to increase. Site injuries stem from slips, trips and falls, many of which could have been avoided by maintaining a neat workspace. Pay particular attention to access and escape corridors, ensuring they are clear of materials, machinery and other debris.
Tip 4 – Ensure equipment is fit-for-purpose and never tamper with it
Make sure tools and equipment are only used for the purpose they were designed. if a tool or machine looks like it has an issue or is not working, report it. Do not try and force it to operate, or attempt to repair it unless you are qualified to do so.
Tip 5 – Don’t conduct work unless the space is safe
Increase your work site awareness and assess the immediate environment before undertaking a task. This might include:
· Ensuring guard rails are in place when working at height
· Trenches are adequately supported before entering
· Not working below crane loads
· Access and exit points are clear
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