4 ways to reduce accidents on your work sites  

businessThe Bureau of Labor Statistics reports roughly 2.8 million nonfatal workplace accidents in 2017. These accidents drain businesses and economies of billions of dollars in lost productivity, medical costs, and legal fees. Construction-related accidents are one of the top contributors to these statistics. Independent contractors and business owners who want to stay open during remodeling projects can take action to reduce the chances a worker’s compensation claim on their sites.

1. Assess and Address

Incorporate safety into your construction process from the very beginning. Start by thinking about all the things that could go wrong on your work site.

  • Walk-in businesses should try to separate customer traffic from construction activities as much as possible. Create barriers with plastic sheeting to conceal workers.
  • Are there areas where workers will have to interact with customers? Place cones or caution tape in those areas to encourage everyone to be careful.
  • Limit the use of power tools and motorized equipment during hours of operation.

Each site is unique. Spend time walking the construction and brainstorming ways to preempt accidents.

2. Keep It Clean

Clutter and carelessness are dangerous habits. Use good housekeeping skills throughout the construction process to eliminate slip-ups.

  • Consider renting a dumpster for the duration of the project. Having a container on-site makes it easier to safely remove refuse.
  • Encourage workers to keep tools and materials within the construction site or in a locked vehicle to discourage customers from harmful curiosity.
  • Establish a nightly clean up routine that leaves the area free of debris, tools, and other hazards.

Keep your site clean to reduce accidents and make customers feel more comfortable. It also reduces the chances of property damages that could add up to big repair bills.

3. Prioritize PPE

PPE (personal protective equipment) is an essential part of a safe work site. Make sure all workers have what they need to perform their jobs well. These are some of the more commonly used PPE.

  • Googles to protect eyes from flying debris, chemicals, and liquids.
  • Gloves to prevent chafing, punctures, temperature extremes, and other hazards to the hand.
  • Hard hats to shelter the head and neck from falling impacts.
  • Safety shoes with proper grip and hard toes to prevent slipping and smashing.

Ear plugs are suggested for use with some power tools. However, if your workers need ear protection, your customers probably do too. Save noisy activities for times when paying clients aren’t on the property.

4. Provide Safety Training

A brief training session goes a long way. Gather your employees, construction crews, and management teams together for a meeting to enforce the finer points of work site safety.

  • Go over PPE requirements. Demonstrate the proper use of each item.
  • Talk about safety zones. Let regular employees know which areas to avoid and why.
  • Establish a person as the primary safety contact. If any accidents occur or questions need to be answered, workers and employees can approach this person for a resolution.

Accidents don’t have to happen. With a little planning and some basic precautions, you can prevent big problems on your construction site.

 
augusta free press

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