The statistics reflect this too, with over 150,000 accidents or injuries occurring on construction sites across the USA in 2019.
As a construction company owner or manager, you have a responsibility to your workers and contractors to ensure a safe working environment. This starts with controlling and mitigating health and safety risks, promoting a culture of safety, and communicating site rules clearly and consistently.
WCCTV, the USA's leading supplier of security and surveillance cameras for construction sites, outlines below some of the key ways construction companies can improve job site safety.
Conducting a risk assessment is the first step to controlling safety on your sites.
A risk assessment should always be conducted at the outset of the project, but should also be repeated at regular intervals. This is because job sites are constantly changing, and new hazards are introduced as site layouts change.
If you have never completed a risk assessment before, it may seem confusing, but all effective assessments will follow 5 basic steps:
Identify the potential hazards (NB: a hazard can be defined as anything that may cause harm/injury)
Ascertain who the hazard could harm and in what situation
Assess the likelihood and severity of potential harm or injury
Take action to remove the hazard or put in measures to mitigate it
Make a written record of the hazard and the controls taken
To help get you started with risk assessments, you can download many pre-made templates from occupational safety websites. Take a look and pick one that works best for you.
Understanding the types of risk you're likely to encounter is a vital step in introducing control measures and improving safety.
The US The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified the four most common causes of injury on job sites as:
Trips and falls
Caught between objects
Knowing the key risks will help you better identify them, where they are most likely to occur, and the harm they could cause. You should turn this information into actionable control measures being taken.
Once you have identified the potential risks on your job site and put in place controls and site rules, you must transfer this knowledge to your workforce.
Holding a regular safety briefing is a great way to keep health and safety at the front of your worker's minds and helps make them aware of any newly identified risks as the site develops.
A daily safety briefing by your foreman or supervisors will create a culture of safety.
Providing regular training for your staff is a great way to reduce risk, promote a safety culture and keep your workforce engaged and motivated.
The training might be specific to health and safety best practices, correct operation of machinery or even something more specific to your site or company.
Whatever you do, investing in your team's skills and knowledge is only going to have a positive impact, and in time they will be spotting hazards and controlling them before they even become an issue.
Effective communication is a vital element in the development of a positive safety culture.
It is essential to develop and implement effective communication processes that promote awareness and understanding of health and safety management and the specific issues your workforce will face.
You can partly achieve this via a daily safety briefing, but other strategies you could co-opt include posting site rules in common areas, utilizing hazard signs, and regularly speaking with any day workers or subcontractors to ensure they're aware of your safety controls.
Whatever you do to communicate, make sure you are always clear, consistent and present information in the way it is most easily accessed and understood.
As an additional safety measure, construction companies and general contractors are increasingly utilizing onsite surveillance cameras traditionally used for security purposes to protect their workforce remotely.
Video surveillance cameras allow site managers to remotely identity hazards in real-time and put controls measures in place without needing to visit sites in person.
They can also gather valuable evidence that allows construction companies to retrospectively review any accidents or near-misses that occur on-site and discover the root cause.
Finally, securing your site with surveillance cameras will prevent vandalism, damage to your electronic equipment and reduce the creation of onsite hazards by malicious intruders.
WCCTV is the USA's leading supplier of mobile surveillance cameras for construction job sites.
We provide market-leading security cameras backed by a fully managed service that includes equipment installation, video monitoring, maintenance, and ongoing technical support.
Our rapid-deployment cameras provide construction sites with multi-application benefits, including security, time lapse video filming, and remote project management.
Our customizable solutions can accommodate any site and easily function whether you have power or are dependent on solar energy. All of our units contain 4G LTE transmission technology – allowing these solutions to operate autonomously.
No matter the site, we have a solution that we can create for you.