Operating a business in the construction industry is complicated, to say the least. On top of the countless worries you will encounter while looking for projects and working on them – legal requirements, complying with laws and regulations, dealing with all kinds of clients, finding good workers, retaining them, and so much more – what makes people working in construction lose sleep more than anything else, is safety.
Here we will talk about some key measurements construction businesses take to protect themselves from the possible risks for their employees, the projects, the business, and their clients.
General Measures to Protect Your Assets
Even though it’s true that things have progressed a lot in the area of construction work safety, even with all the advancements, people working in this industry are still risking their health, and sometimes even their lives. As a business owner in the construction industry, you are no doubt aware of all the dangers that come with the territory, and how there simply isn’t a 100% guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen. So, protecting your and your client’s investments, and most importantly your employees’ well-being is paramount. This is why construction businesses must invest in the best possible insurance policies.
You need great worker’s compensation insurance for construction workers, to protect your biggest asset – your employees. On top of potentially saving people, and protecting your business, a good policy will help you bring employee turnover to a minimum, and be a more trustworthy company in the eyes of your prospects. You also need coverage for your tools, equipment, and vehicles. Finally, every business in this industry needs good construction liability insurance to potentially ensure its survival – should an accident or a more serious mistake happen.
Good Management and Organization as a General Measure to Minimize Risks
Planning makes everything better, and in construction, being organized and having a clear plan during each phase of the work can be a great preventive measure not only against mistakes but also accidents that can cause injuries. This will ensure proper use and storage of equipment. Aside from a well-organized workflow you also need a good safety and health plan.
Preventive Measures Against Injuries
To protect your workers against injury, invest in the best possible personal protective gear. This includes the appropriate apparel and accessories, such as helmets, the right gloves, protective work boots, impermeable coats, reflective accessories, etc. You should also provide the right equipment for fall prevention and working at heights – such as warning lines and signage, safety net systems, guardrails, harnesses, and fall arrest systems.
Some of the causes of injuries that may occur during construction work include:
- Blows from falling or dropped objects, during transport or while moving objects;
- Entrapment between or under objects;
- Slips and trips;
- Minor or major falls;
- Vehicle accidents;
- Electrical accidents.
Preventive Measures Against Health Hazards
Aside from injuries due to accidents, there are many other types of health hazards at a construction site. For instance, the weather conditions can cause health issues, the loud noises can damage the hearing, the constant repetitive movements and constantly picking up heavy objects and using heavy equipment can cause chronic pains, bone and muscle problems, and even affect heart health, falling particles can damage their eyes or skin, and so on. During construction, we also use potentially dangerous chemicals that can cause various biological dangers.
This is why fuel and liquids should be properly stored in an appropriate flammables storage cabinet, scaffolding should be installed properly, and equipment should be used the right way. Also, you must provide your employees with respiratory, auditory, and visual protection, such as masks, goggles, earplugs, and face shields.
Preventive Measures Against Mental Health Issues Due to the Job
One very important health issue that’s constantly neglected by employers across industries, is the psychological difficulty of the jobs. When it comes to the construction industry, mental health concerns should never be ignored. Like employees in any other sector, and in many cases even more so, construction workers are exposed to many situations that cause stress. Their tasks require constant focus, attention, being on high alert, they work long hours, and they face impossible deadlines.
This and many other factors make construction jobs extremely emotionally draining, which can have a huge impact on a person’s mental health. There are many measures you can take to help employees deal with these problems, like providing good working conditions, allowing a good work-home balance, or providing employee assistance programs.
Preventive Measures in Case an Injury Occurs
Construction businesses must provide the appropriate equipment to protect employees on site. If an accident happens, no matter how big or small, a properly stocked first aid kit can sometimes make a huge difference. Having first aid kits readily accessible allows workers to treat minor injuries, like cuts, burns, or less serious falls immediately, preventing infections or other bigger complications, and even allowing workers to continue working right away. Each construction worker should be trained to know how to react in case of an accident. This way they won’t panic and make a bad situation worse.
Construction work comes with a lot of risks. In short, to minimize these risks you should train your employees and invest in the best protective equipment. And to protect each party in case something bad happens anyway, you must have a great insurance policy.