Tag: construction safety

Tips for construction management safety

Source: Tips for construction management safety | Construction and AEC Project management software Raptorpm

Construction safety is serious business with legal and employee welfare implications. During the course of construction management, companies must ensure they take care of their workers. Organizations’ can face criminal charges if they do not comply with occupational health and safety legislation.

Accidents rates can increase on construction sites if safety is not on everyone’s mind. Also, laws are tightening to protect workers in the construction industry. Workers have the right to work in a safe environment, free from the fear of having an injury or worse. While it is a worker’s responsibility to take care of their own safety while on a work site, the employer handles construction management safety. Employers must conduct risk assessments, put risk management policies and procedures in place to guide their workers. Part of that is keeping up-to-date health and safety records, as well as organisational safety processes and procedures.

 

Construction Risk Management software can help organisations manage risk strategies in compliance with legislation. And, for the safety of all workers and anyone else on a construction site.

Even if you are following workplace occupational health and safety guidelines, there are things you should instil into construction workers. Learn how to practice the management of construction projects with appropriate safety requirements. Some is simple commonsense.

Chemical threats

Correct storage of chemicals is important. Some can react with each when stored close together. Workers must know how to deal with chemicals in accordance with manufacturer instructions and workplace procedures. Disastrous consequences can be the result if a chemical spill occurs. All workers handling dangerous chemicals must have the correct training to remain safe.

Walking the scaffolding tightrope

Walking the scaffolding tightrope while building hundreds of feet up in the sky is not for the faint hearted. It is a dangerous job. Common sense habits working at heights include:

  • erecting scaffold on solid ground stable enough to hold heavy weights

  • do not support scaffold on an uneven surface r try to level the ground out using things like planks or bricks

  • work at least 10 feet away from powerlines

  • do not use weak or damaged scaffold parts

  • do not put too much weight on the scaffold (overloading can cause accidents)

  • ensure there are sturdy guard and toe rails for worker protection

  • ensure the rig is checked by a qualified supervisor at the start of each shift and whenever it moves location

  • immediately replace damaged parts

  • do not use scaffold in storms or when there are high winds

  • keep an eye on your workmates and what is going on below.

Use the right tools for the job

Accidents and injuries can occur when workers try to use the wrong tools for the job. Consider the following when managing construction safety:

  • use ear protection in noisy environments

  • use eye protection when welding

  • do not carry tools by the cord

  • understand and follow workplace safety policies and procedures

  • make a conscious effort to be aware of your surroundings at all times

  • do not use damaged tools

  • use signs to keep non-essential workers out of highly-dangerous operating areas.

 

Operating heavy machinery safely

Heavy machinery is dangerous if not operated correctly. All people must be trained appropriately. Workers should keep the following in mind:

  • be careful when boarding or getting down from heavy machinery

  • wear appropriate gloves and footwear for the job

  • use a spotter to alert you to hazards in your blind spots

  • make there is enough room to move the machine safely

  • alert people close to the equipment of your intention to move

  • leave enough room to turn the equipment safely (heavy machinery needs more turning space than a light vehicle)

  • be extra careful when manoeuvring up and down inclines

  • do not allow unauthorised people use machinery

  • do not leave the keys in machinery when left unattended.

There is no room for complacency on a construction site. Using good construction management safety strategies for risk management will help keep everyone safe.

 

Tips on Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Source: Tips on Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Construction safety is everyone’s responsibility. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has numerous regulations to assist residential construction employers and employees in providing safe and healthful workplaces. So, the onus is on all employers to take proactive steps to assess risks to protect their workers. Employers have to plan and put in place an occupational safety and health plan to prevent accidents on work sites.

Employers must:

  • identify hazards

  • carry out risk assessments

  • produce written safety statements.

 

Construction work is a high-risk business, so risk assessments and safety statements keep safety at work uppermost in everyone’s mind. To highlight this point, out of 4,379 worker fatalities in private industry for the calendar year 2015, 937 or 21.4% were in construction, that is, one in five worker deaths last year were in construction. The leading causes of private sector worker deaths (excluding highway collisions) in the construction industry were falls, followed by struck by an object, electrocution, and caught-in/between. These “Fatal Four” were responsible for more than half (64.2%) the construction worker deaths in 2015. By focusing on risk assessment, if construction companies eliminated these Fatal Four, it would save 602 workers’ lives in America every year.

Falls — 364 out of 937 total deaths in construction in CY 2015 (38.8%)

Struck by Object – 90 (9.6%)

Electrocutions – 81 (8.6%)

Caught-in/between* – 67 (7.2%)

 Safety statements are an employer’s commitment to the health and safety of everyone that enters the workplace. They help balance a tight schedule and costs along with the risks and control measures required to comply with legislative requirements. Consult all the stakeholders, especially employees to put a good organizational safety system in place.

 Preparing a safety statement

Occupational safety and health are everyone’s responsibility and it starts at the top. To comply with relevant legislation, you must have a comprehensive health and safety plan. Safety statement is a practical tool that helps your organization reduce accidents and promote construction safety.

A good safety statement is straightforward and keeps it simple. Although you need to keep it simple, it is a complex process. There are templates available that guide you through this process. Some construction companies are implementing a Health and Safety Management System as part of their risk management strategy. This helps them track occupational safety and health strategies and how they are working in the workplace.

There are six important steps to take when writing a safety statement.

1. Write a health and safety policy

The safety statement starts with a declaration of the organization’s commitment to employee health and addresses all legislated requirements. Spell out the organization’s health and safety policy. This outlines the organizations plan with a list of objectives.

State how often the organization plans to review and update the safety statement. Also, show how the organization intends to communicate construction safety objectives to employees and any other relevant stakeholders. This can be through site meetings and literature translated into the relevant languages of employees.

2. Identify the hazards

The first thing is to identify all hazards caused by work activities, materials, chemicals, and equipment. Identify all hazards in the workplace. Working on more than one construction site means there needs to be a safety statement for each workplace.

While you probably have a good idea of the main hazards in the workplace, gather information from more than one source. Talk to employees. Get their view of the workplace. Engagement is key in engaging workers to taking ownership of safety on construction sites. Check:

  • accident logs and insurance claims

  • legislation relevant to each hazard

  • manufacturer’s instructions and material safety data sheets.

Some hazards are easy to see. Things like chemical fumes and the hazards caused by working in a disorganized workplace or working at height. But things like noise are an unknown. It can take years before the damage shows up.

Use a checklist to list all:

  • physical hazards

  • human error hazards

  • hazardous chemicals

  • health hazards

  • biological hazards.

3. Complete a risk assessment

Every employer must complete a risk assessment according to Section 19 of the Safety, Health, and Welfare at Work Act 2005. The government has published guidelines to help organizations comply. There are risk assessment templates available online and in the software used to manage the health and safety plan.

4. Decide on the safety measures

The risk assessment tells you whether current risk control measures are adequate. You may need to revise these and put in place extra control measures. The relevant legislation gives guidance on how to assess risks and implement satisfactory control measures. For example, when working with machinery the organization must meet legal requirements for safety requirements such as guards on machinery. The purpose is to eliminate or minimize risks.

5. Record the findings

Record the findings in the safety statement. Record major hazards, control measures and conclusions. There are templates readily available. The employer must also communicate the results of the risk assessment with all employees. This is vital as they are responsible for complying with the health and safety plan.

6. Review and update when required

Reviewing and updating safety statements on a regular basis is vital. Especially for construction safety. Constructions sites have many moving parts and are constantly changing. You may have to review daily with new material deliveries or work activities changing the work environment.

No matter what tools you use to manage health and safety, there is always an easier way. It is time to check out software that can save time and money while keeping your projects on track.

Construction moving towards integrated safety

Source: Construction moving towards integrated safety

Across the world, the construction industry has a poor record for keeping its workers safe. Too many serious injuries and deaths have driven governments and employers to rethink workplace safety on construction sites. There are legal requirements and it is an employer’s responsibility to maintain a safe, healthy working environment. To improve worker safety, the construction industry is moving towards integrated safety management systems.

 

In the United States alone, nearly 6.5 million people work at approximately 252,000 construction sites across the nation on any given day.

Construction managers once kept records using pen and paper before integrated safety management system software became available. Not at all efficient. Although there were standalone, paper-based safety management systems these were to meet government regulations. These made it easy for government officers to check companies were operating within the law. A company operating within the law is safe was the school of thought.

Then construction managers moved to using calculators and safety systems fundamentally changed. Instead of government legislation driving workplace safety, companies now completed their own safety assessments. This reaffirmed an organisation’s commitment to worker health and safety.

Once the computer age took hold on the industry, the construction industry understood why a safety system was vital:

  • Duty of care. Every employee has the right to come home from work every day. No organisation should put anyone at risk through their business operations. Employers are responsible for the safety of all its employees, subcontractors and onsite guests.

  • Legal obligations. In most countries, all companies must offer a safe working environment. There are huge penalties for not meeting legislated requirements.

  • Saves money. Prevention is better than a cure. It costs less.  Investigating workplace accidents is costly. So are the fines if found to be in noncompliance.

    What makes a good safety management system?

    Good construction safety management systems should be more than a system that tells you what to do and what not to do. They need the flexibility to respond to user needs.

    Integrated safety management systems identify risks for every project. This allows risk management planning once the system has all the information it needs. Enter construction company records, processes and procedures along with key accountabilities so the system can track and maintain safety risks. Most important, company culture must change to accept the safety management system as an integral part of every work day.

     A good integrated safety management system will include the following functionalities:

    Safety hazard identification capabilities. Safety hazard identification includes identifying risks. These are scored and ranked in relation to their potential threat to organisational safety. The system tracks safety hazards and risks. It also monitors the progress outstanding on pending and overdue actions.

    Risk management. Put procedures in place to keep potential safety hazards and risks to a reasonable level, or at zero, as required.

     Monitoring. Track worker health and safety to pick up early on potential hazards and risks so you can take action. Continual improvement. Safety management systems need continual improvement to improve their effectiveness.

     As the construction industry improves its workplace safety, sophisticated software keeps it on track. Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. Are you using good integrated safety management systems to protect your organisation and your people from harm at work every day?