Whether it’s keeping bystanders out of harm’s way, or ensuring that their workers are protected from a slew of worksite dangers, commercial construction safety is an ongoing challenge for many companies.
Safety Week 2017 just wrapped up its annual initiative that featured a number of training sessions and events all for the purpose of eliminating worker injury on construction job sites. According to James Mooney, head of Environment, Health and Safety for Lendlease, “Fifty-one weeks a year, our competitors are just that, but Safety Week is an opportunity for us to get together to collectively express that we’re not competitors when it comes to safety, and there are no trade secrets with respect to safety. If we have an ability to share best practices and learn from each other, then it’s something we fully endorse. We were one of the founding members of Safety Week, and it’s something we’re very proud to be associated with.”
Some other resources presented at this year’s gathering included: social media toolkits, toolbox talks/event ideas, event signage/banner assets, media relations toolkits and job site banners.
Safety Tips from Industry Experts
Although they may be rivals when it comes to bidding on commercial construction projects, many of the industry experts are willing to put their differences aside in an effort to build safer construction sites. Here are some safety tips offered by the industry experts:
- Mike Flynn | RSP, Corporate Safety Director | Barnard – “Never forget, safety is about people. Clear communication is vital. Talk to people performing work to better understand how it can be done safely. Prevention saves pain, profits and paperwork. It’s worth repeating: Safety is about people.”
- Craig Lesurf | Vice President | The Walsh Group Canada – “Leaders need to lead. It’s everyone’s responsibility to show leadership when it comes to safety. Lead by example and others will follow. Safety is everyone’s job. It’s not enough to make your own surroundings safe. We all impact one another’s safety, and must always look out for one another. The safest risk is the one you didn’t take. Think before every move you make and don’t take unnecessary risks. The best way to protect your hands is to use your head. Thumbs-up for safety! Recognize and celebrate safety performance regularly.”
Improving Fall Protection
Since working at extreme heights is all but routine within the commercial construction industry, fall protection is at the top of the list regarding OSHA workplace safety violations. Contractors are fined vast sums of money every year for failing to provide necessary fall-protection equipment along with the required training. Safety consultants recommend a variety of protocol for protecting workers from falling such as establishing uniform requirements for tie-off heights, and other fall-protection systems like guardrails. Pre-construction team meetings are also ideal times for communicating job site safety expectations to workers and training employees on the proper use of fall-protection and arrest systems. Then, planning ahead for the different types of hazards that could be encountered on a construction job site is paramount to avoiding fall-protection violations.
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