Some working environments are, by default, more dangerous than others. The hazardous nature of the construction site, as a workplace, is more than apparent when we take a look at the annual statistics. The frequency of accidents in which workers get injured surpasses almost any other working environment by a long shot. Also, the numbers of cases in which these accidents cause permanent disabilities or result in fatalities is very frightening indeed.
Considering all this, it is no wonder that so many lawsuits are filed against contractors by their employees who were injured in the workplace. Cases like these do not only hurt the contractor’s company in the financial sense, they also influence the image of the company and create bad blood with the rest of the workforce.
There is no 100% foolproof way to ensure accidents do not happen, but having a good construction safety plan and educating yourself and your workers can help bring this risk to a minimum. By doing this, you don’t just lower the risks; you also avoid liability to some extent. Not to mention it is a reasonable and humane thing to do.
The reasons construction site accidents are so frequent are various. It is important for contractor to know why accidents most commonly occur, so they can act with precision.
The Changing Environment
First and foremost, it is a working environment that constantly changes; therefore, it is hard for workers to keep track of all the points that can potentially be harmful to their health. This is why it is very important to have singes and safety rails put up wherever there is a hazard of falling due to lack of attention.
The Human Factor
The fact that there is usually a large number of people working a on a specific project together makes accidents that are caused by human error far more likely to occur. This is bound to happen. There is no way you can prevent somebody from dropping a hammer or accidentally tripping over a brick sending him hurling down over the edge. The best way to avoid this from happening is to make sure your workers always have their safety equipment on, thus keeping them safe from any falling equipment and materials.
The construction site is a workplace that is influenced by the elements with almost no real way to protect the workers from them, except cutting the workday shorter and calling it a day when these problems act up. Due to various deadlines many contractors make a decision of continuing the workday regardless of the fact that conditions are less than perfect so they can avoid delays and tardiness. Most of them disregard the fact that a potential accident can put you back even more or even lead to the cancellation of the entire contract.
What can you do?
There are many laws that are related to the construction site safety. The best thing you can do for your employees and for yourself is to educate yourself and be aware of all the standards and procedures related to worker safety. A site safety plan can help you keep track of everything that is important since there are so many things you need to pay attention to.
As a contractor it is your responsibility to provide safety equipment for your employees. This equipment should include hard hats, work boots, goggles, gloves, harnesses, etc. Also, you need to provide safety railing and proper signalization, so any open holes and edges can be pointed out and made obvious. The machinery being used on the construction site needs to be thoroughly checked for any malfunctions so as to avoid any worker injuries due to faulty equipment.
You should never relay on your workers to keep watch for hazardous elements on the work site. They have more than enough responsibilities and you can’t expect them to keep paying attention to every single detail. You should always have an employee whose sole assignment is noting any dangerous elements and behaviors and ensuring they don’t turn into accidents.
Accidents on construction sites are things that go with the job description, but the risk can be greatly reduced thanks to good and responsible construction site management. By paying attention to this you protect not only your own interests, but the safety of your workers, too.