Construction is one of the most hazardous industries to work in – millions of workers die yearly from occupational accidents and work-related diseases.
And that´s not all – millions also suffer non-fatal accidents at work and have to deal with stress and psychological risks.
Luckily, taking steps toward improving working conditions can largely prevent all of this.
What is workplace health and safety in construction?
Workplace health and safety (WHS) is a set of principles and practices that show us how to manage the health and safety risks that workers, customers, and the public (visitors, suppliers, etc.) might face in the workplace. In the construction sector, these practices aim to eliminate risks on construction sites such as:
- Fire and explosions
- Skin hazards
- Handling heavy objects
- Handling chemical substances
- Defective equipment
- Electric shock
- Fall from heights
- Dust inhalation
- Faulty equipment
- Elevated noise levels
- and many others
In the high-risk environment of the construction industry, it is essential to create a strong health and safety culture that will ensure safe working conditions for everyone involved.
Who is responsible for it?
While authorities are responsible for monitoring construction sites, the sites as workplaces have various participants. All of them are responsible for safety but in different ways.
Company owners are responsible for their employees’ WHS and compliance with health and safety laws and policies. Different laws apply in different parts of the world. Still, employers everywhere must put safety practices in place to provide a safe work environment and information and training needed to keep the workers safe.
Workers have to follow laws and the workplace’s health safety procedures but also act responsibly and not do anything that might endanger them or other people in the workplace.
Kelly Roofing uses a digital solution to enhance security management on working sites. The company provides roof repairs and replacement services all over Florida. In addition to the intsallers, there is always a crew that manages the whole process at a designated roofing repair location.
The crew consists of a supervisor, who requires information about the crew’s whereabouts and agenda, an administrator, and a dispatcher who is in charge of scheduling.
To deliver professional service and at the same time create a safe work environment, the crew uses a mobile CRM solution.
Manage workplace health and safety
- Risk assessment and planning
The first step in managing WHS is risk assessment. Identify and analyze the hazards in your workplace – their likelihood, how severe they are, and what their impact will be. Don’t forget to include your workers in the process.
- Control and prevention
Take measures to eliminate the risks of accidents in the workplace. Use personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hardhats, safety eyewear, ear protection, safety shoes, reflective clothing, etc., to help reduce the risk of common accidents such as falls, electric shock, or being struck by objects.
Train your employees regularly so that they are able to adhere to safety practices and protect themselves. And last but not least, ensure your employees get regular breaks, so they are well-rested and able to focus on their tasks fully.
- Health and safety management
Even though workers know how to behave safely and prevent accidents and injury, supervision is still useful, especially with new hires. Thanks to it, you can detect dangerous situations or unsafe practices early.
Not even trained workers can prevent incidents when they work with faulty or unsafe equipment. Take proper care of your equipment to remove hazards – in addition to necessary repairs, don’t forget preventive maintenance. Put measures in place for workers to report damaged equipment and train the maintenance personnel.
Don’t stop paying attention when things work smoothly – monitor the measures you put in place. That will help you identify how well you eliminated the risks, see your strengths and weaknesses, and help you see new hazards early. Mobile field service solutions can help monitor your measures and give your workers access to information they need to stay safe.
Another thing that can help you keep everything in check is a checklist. Our construction site safety checklist is a free tool that you can easily make your own. Customize it based on your industry and company standards – add photos and videos, keep track of your PPE, or report on work hazards.
Safety is of the utmost importance when managing a construction site, as most accidents in this field are caused by bad or neglected safety practices. So, what are the current trends for managing health and safety on construction sites?
The pandemic brought a sudden wave of remote work. This trend also affected the construction industry, and it is now clear that it isn’t going anywhere.
Most construction workers had no experience with remote work before the pandemic, but digital technologies helped organizations catch up. Digital replicas of construction projects, so-called digital twins, help on-site workers collaborate with remote colleagues. Remote assistance tools and calls allow technicians to follow step-by-step guides and user manuals or remotely collaborate with more experts in the office. That can help companies reduce errors and improve first-time fix rates.
Remote work, however, comes with its own set of risks like using mobile devices and equipment such as computers safely, blurred lines between private and work life, and additional stress and psychological pressure. That brings us to our next trend.
Focus on work-life balance
Employee stress and lack of work-life balance have been issues for quite a while. However, the pandemic further highlighted it. The lack of social interactions and blurred lines between home and work caused many people to experience anxiety, stress, or even depression.
Well-rested workers make fewer mistakes and are more focused. That is why employers are prioritizing their worker’s well-being and mental health. Companies are implementing stress management programs, trying out 4-day work weeks, or providing on-site therapists for their employees. Many employers also promote sports and fitness activities and financially support employees who represent the company in competitive sports events. Quite motivating, don’t you think?
Just a few years ago, we viewed smartwatches as simple activity monitors and smart glasses reminded us of the unsuccessful Google glass project. Since then, wearables have evolved into sought-after devices that are almost able to replace smartphones thanks to their various useful features.
With the help of wearables and the right mobile solution, construction workers can access a vast knowledge base with all the information they need, be it instruction manuals or information about their clients. They can also use their wearable devices to communicate in real-time while keeping their hands free.
Companies can also use wearables to monitor their worker’s health, capturing information such as temperature, fatigue levels, etc. Analyzing this data can help them prevent health issues and create a safe work environment.
Make your construction site a safer place with Resco Field Service 2.0 for Dynamics 365
Mobile solutions such as Resco Field Service 2.0 can help significantly minimize construction site health and safety risks. As information is centralized in the cloud, it can be shared with all the users that need access.
Thanks to mobile reports, workers don’t need to use paper documents. They can fill out reports on their mobile devices and even attach pictures to them.