Any construction site is an inherently dangerous environment. Loose cables and wires, broken pieces of discarded wood, nails and screws sticking out of walls- the list goes on. It’s important to take measures to ensure workers are safe from the hazards of a construction site. Some safety measures are standards set forth by the industry, others are required by law. There are a lot of ways to improve safety on the job site, and some are more practical than others. Here are a few ways a project manager can provide a safe work environment for their employees.
Falls are one of the leading causes of injury and death on the worksite. Fall prevention and protection is the responsibility of both the employer and employee. Workers should familiarize themselves with all potential fall hazards on site, and never work in an area that has not had fall protection systems installed. Project managers are required to have fall protection devices installed for their workers walking and working on surfaces with unprotected edges that are six feet above a lower level. Guard rails are the most effective system to prevent falls, but other options include safety nets and personal fall arrest systems.
Personal Protection and Life Saving Machines
While construction is taking place, there is almost always a threat of falling objects- work debris, heavy tools, and swinging construction equipment to name a few. Workers are required to wear head protection at all times that fit properly and are in good condition. Face and eye protection are also required If the job involves working with any liquid chemicals, molten metal, chemical gasses or vapours, and any other flying particles. These chemicals can be present during a number of typical jobsite tasks such as welding, grinding, masonry, sanding, drilling and woodworking. Just like headwear, eye and face protection must be kept clean and in good condition so they do not interfere with work movements but are able to keep workers safe!
Daily & Weekly Safety Inspection
Perhaps the best way to avoid workplace injuries is to have a clean and safe workplace environment before the workers even begin! As a project manager, weekly site safety inspections should be performed. This weekly inspection checklist can (and should) include things like first aid facilities, fire prevention and emergencies, electrical and chemical safety, site security, general machinery, scaffolding, hand and power tools, and much much more. This is an effective way to start the week knowing exactly what conditions your workers are in, and if anything needs to be adjusted before the week begins. To go one step further, a daily pre-start inspection checklist each morning can include a task breakdown to know which areas work will be completed that day, hazard identification, and final checks before workers sign off.