In previous years, the safety of construction workers was often overlooked when it came to the development of a company business plan.
5 Key Elements to Include in Your Construction Workers Safety Manual
Fortunately, in recent years, construction businesses have realized the extreme importance of loss control and employee safety and are developing worker safety manuals to ensure their employees on the construction site are as safe as possible.
Whether you are developing a new safety manual or changing your current safety manual, it’s essential that you include elements that will help to prevent injuries caused by job site accidents.
So, here are 5 key elements that you should include in your construction workers safety manual.
Procedures and Policies
One of the most important things that your employees should be trained on is your company’s procedures and policies.
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In order to be properly trained on the procedures and policies of your business, you must first establish detailed safety procedures, protocols, and policies and these items must then be written and approved by management. The established procedures and policies must then be effectively communicated to your entire crew of construction workers as well as be reviewed at least once per year.
The standard expectations are best enforced when used with a discipline and reward program that doesn’t discourage accident and/or hazard reporting but instead encourages workers to operate in the safest ways possible.
They should not be fearful of having open communications regarding concerns over safety procedures.
Proper Safety Training
Another important key element of an effective safety manual is to establish a comprehensive construction training program for all of your employees.
It is a fact that construction workers that are educated about a construction work environment and how to safely function in this type of environment will reduce the risk of injuries caused by job site accidents. An essential factor of a construction company’s safety training program is that the program properly educates all employees with the protocols, information, and protections necessary to perform their tasks safely.
A one-time, new employee training session isn’t enough to ensure adequate safety; safety procedures must be continually updated and enforced on a regular basis.
Your safety training should include hazard communications and recognition, reporting procedures, proper PPE, such as hard hats and eye goggles, the company safety protocols, job-specific training, and restricted and acceptable behaviors.
Assessment of Workplace Hazards
One of the most important elements of your workplace safety guide is the ability to have routine safety audits with honest communications to help to identify as well as correct potential workplace hazards.
For instance, routine inspections of heavy equipment will help to reduce the risk of hazard use of the equipment that may ultimately lead to injuries. Job site and equipment audits and inspections should record all potentially hazardous details, identify supervision, include photos, and assign the actions to correct the hazard to specific persons.
To ensure dangerous hazards are corrected in a timely manner, it’s best to assign each hazard a risk assessment level, such as 1 to 5. The assessment level will be determined by the likelihood of it causing an accident.
Investigations of Worksite Accidents
Unfortunately, regardless of how hard your construction company tries to prevent workplace accidents and injuries, they can happen.
However, the way your company responds to these accidents/injuries will say a lot about the effectiveness of your safety programs and protocols as well as the value you place on your workers. Other than the requirements to report an accident and injury, there are several benefits that come with proper documentation of these incidents.
Thoroughly documenting an incident and its details will allow you to recognize the indicators of potential accidents and properly address them in order to prevent the risk of future accidents.
When your documentation is consistently recorded, it will allow you to understand the cause and to put the corrections needed in place to prevent a reoccurrence, which ultimately benefits your future safety program.
Measuring Key Safety Metrics
In order for your construction safety program to be effective, it must be continually evolving. This requires regular training, job safety analysis, safety meetings, accident evaluations, and worksite/equipment inspections.
These elements are critical for ensuring the safety of your employees as well as keeping the program relevant as the employees and business grows and changes. Safety data must be reviewed at regular intervals and be sure to include the questions you want management to ask and encourage them to seek honest feedback.
Questions may include, are goals being met in regard to the downward trending of damages and accidents, are employees receiving acceptable training, and are potential hazards being identified? Measuring the primary safety metrics of your worksite is essential because it allows your business to establish a baseline and most importantly-to improve over time.
When developing a construction workers safety manual, it is important to keep in mind that the primary goal is to outline the specific instructions and guidelines of the company that will ultimately allow employees to perform their tasks safely and efficiently.
The safety guide may also include self-inspections, training specific to certain jobs, OSHA inspection guidelines, safety orientation, workplace violence, substance abuse, and theft prevention. Basically, your construction company’s safety manual should cover all steps necessary to keep your employees safe while they are working for your company.
Once the safety manual is issued to each employee, the procedures and policies should be reviewed with each new employee and all employees should sign that they have read and understood the rules.
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