Jobsite safety continues to improve thanks to a variety of outreach efforts and special initiatives. But construction is still considered a high hazard industry, and workers can be exposed to a variety of risks that range from working at heights and around moving equipment to electricity and other potentially harmful materials. In addition to these traditional dangers, construction firms have to be vigilant about the top safety hazard in commercial construction.

Jobsite Technology: Friend or Foe?

In the past, we discussed why leveraging technology and construction recruiters is the best combination to lead in commercial construction. Harnessing the best construction technology can help your firm make great strides toward safety and productivity. Some technologies that are being used to create safer working environments are:

  • Wearables
  • Site sensors
  • Drones
  • Virtual reality
  • Exoskeletons

When it’s used appropriately, technology can help everyone from construction estimators to project managers stay safe while reaching their goals faster. But it can also become a dangerous distraction when some devices that aren’t OSHA approved are used around jobsites.

Personal Cell Phones

Unfortunately, driving isn’t the only thing that has been significantly impacted by inappropriate cell phone usage. It’s also quickly becoming one of the leading causes of accidents in the workplace. Employees are constantly being distracted from their surroundings by receiving social media notifications, texts, and calls on their personal cell phones. There’s also the added risk of fires and explosions from the lithium-ion batteries for construction workers who are frequently exposed to flammable vapors and dust particles.

Headphones on the Jobsite

Construction leaders are facing yet another issue in the growing population of younger workers who wear headphones on the job. Many organizations still don’t have policies that prohibit listening devices like earbuds, and since there aren’t any federal regulations either, the final decision is left up to managers who have to decide whether they compromise safety. Experts are quick to point out that employees who substitute traditional hearing protection with music put themselves and other employees in danger because they can’t hear shouts for help, or the moving equipment around them.

According to OSHA, it’s your responsibility and legal obligation as an employer to not only establish clear policies regarding personal cell phone usage in the workplace, but also to enforce them. There are also federal regulations that strictly forbid the use of cell phones while operating industrial equipment like cranes and derricks at construction jobsites. There will be times when employees need to make calls, answer texts, etc., but construction leadership should always encourage them to exit the jobsite to do so.


How can we help you?

Searching for an opportunity in the construction industry? Contact The Birmingham Group’s team of seasoned commercial construction recruiters today to discuss your career path or browse our open positions.

Are you a hiring authority needed construction talent? Submit a search request today.