Construction businesses have many valuable assets including expensive machinery, but none of them are more valuable than employees. Therefore, it’s essential to protect them by implementing strict health and safety practices that focus on proactivity instead of reactivity. With this in mind, we take a look at five health and safety tips for construction managers.
Have a Clear H&S Policy
Your commitment to health and safety (H&S) needs to be obvious to both your employers and customers, as it will help boost productivity and trade. To do this, it’s important to create a public document that outlines your aims and objectives when it comes to H&S. Additionally, you should outline non-negotiable standards that are expected of every member of your team.
Once you’ve codified your H&S policy, you need to develop strategies to achieve each objective, which includes assigning tasks and resources accordingly.
Conduct a Full Site Hazard and Risk Assessment
Construction sites are full of hazards and risks, and they’re always subject to change along with the condition of the site. Therefore, as well as conducting an initial site assessment, you must keep up with ongoing reporting. The types of health hazards you should be looking for include:
- Ergonomic – repetitive movements and heavy lifting.
- Physical – potential radiation and loud spaces.
- Chemicals – improper ventilation and exposure limits.
- Biological – toxic waste, mould, infectious materials.
After working out what all of a site’s hazards are, you can make sure that your team is equipped with the necessary protective equipment.
Involve Your Team in H&S Processes
Even though you’ve got a written H&S policy, you have to make sure that every member of your team is on board. The best way to do this is by making them feel involved in the process, so give them a platform to voice their concerns and issues. For example, you can have an open-door policy, a clear reporting procedure, and a commitment to removing all access barriers.
Provide Quality Training
One of the most important parts of ensuring your construction site stays safe is through educating workers. If people working on the site don’t understand the proper H&S practices, then you’ll never have success. Therefore, before signing a new member of the team onto the site, you should check their knowledge of the following:
- How to respond during an emergency
- How to report injuries and hazards
- Who to ask if there are any questions about H&S
Regularly Review Your H&S Policy
The construction industry is constantly changing, especially on the back of speedy technological advances. Unfortunately, this means that your H&S policy will likely become outdated. Therefore, you should revisit your goals and objectives at least once a year, and then educate your team on any of the changes made.
Construction sites are hazardous by nature, which is why managers must put policies and processes in place to keep their workforce safe. Achieving this starts with a written policy that helps build actionable processes, which are then taught to all workers.