Construction sites are often considered dangerous places to work. The sheer scale of projects, the size of equipment and the heights are all factors that lead people to assume that construction isn’t the safest line of work. These assumptions are usually made without any real investigation or research into the actual statistics regarding the danger of this field. Unfortunately, these popular assumptions are true. Construction is not the safest area in which to work when compared to other industries. In fact, construction leads all other industries in the number of total work-related deaths. Here are a few training tips for construction sites to help make this job safer.
1. Bring in a spokesperson for worksite safety.
There are countless statistics surrounding the number of construction-related deaths. As stunning as these numbers can be, it is difficult to be moved by statistics alone. The human element is completely removed and doesn’t have as much of an impact as a personal story. Having a spokesperson come and speak about worksite safety is a great idea during a training session. This spokesperson can be someone who has suffered a bad injury from construction or somebody who has lost a loved one to the profession. Hearing personal stories of the danger that comes about from accidents on a construction site can help increase an entire site’s awareness and care for safety. These spokespeople can usually be organized through OSHA or other training providers.
2. Tackle the most dangerous scenarios.
OSHA keeps detailed statistics regarding the number of deaths on a construction site. One of the most important details is the scenario during which the deaths occurred. This helps to determine the most common causes of fatal injuries in the industry. Year after year, falling makes up a vast majority of the number of work-related deaths in construction. In 2016, 384 out of 991 total work-related construction deaths were caused by fatal injuries from falling. This accounted for over 38% of total deaths. In addition to falling, OSHA recognizes three other work-related accidents that make up the ‘fatal four’ of construction deaths. As the primary causes of death on a construction site, it is recommendable to spend a significant amount of training on these topics. EM 385 fall protection training and other techniques can be taught to help prevent fatal injuries caused by the ‘fatal four’.
3. Have weekly training sessions and include any new updates.
On a construction site, training isn’t something that should be performed only once. There is simply too much at stake and too much to remember. Construction site managers should hold weekly, biweekly or at least monthly training sessions during which key details are reviewed. This is also a great time to update the entire site on changes that have been made regarding certain health and safety requirements. Not only do this routine meeting help to keep everyone reminded of the important material, it will also help to establish a sense of safety and awareness within the construction site. This is an indispensable component of creating a safe working environment.
Construction sites are certainly not the safest places to work. With the proper training however, these work-related deaths can be greatly reduced. These three tips can help a construction site enhance their training programs, improve their safety overall and establish a culture of safety.