5 Ways to Improve Worksite Safety in the New Year
The New Year is an excellent time to kick start company improvements to help work towards new goals. Sometimes even small changes can lead to major improvements, especially when it comes to worker safety. Worker safety is particularly important in the construction industry and is an excellent goal for a new decade. Here are five simple ways your company can improve worksite safety!
- Clean and Maintain Equipment- Take advantage of the off-season for paving and get your equipment ready for a new year! Particularly in the paving industry, asphalt builds up and hardens, adhering to valuable machinery and equipment. If a proper asphalt remover is not used, the built-up asphalt damages the equipment, causing it to break and depreciate more quickly. Furthermore, suspect equipment causes accidents and worker incidents. Minimize these risks by cleaning equipment regularly and especially at the end of the day. Even if your machinery appears to be clean, it is essential to consistently perform maintenance checks and ensure that all equipment is safe for operators and surrounding civilians.
- Take Stock of Crew Member PPE- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) includes safety vests, hard hats, glasses, and respirators. While workers may not enjoy wearing PPE, it is an important safety measure that can prevent on-site or road-side accidents. Make sure that every worker has the appropriate equipment and that it fits correctly. Check to see that respirators are properly fitted to each worker’s face, or else they are rendered useless. It might seem small, but PPE goes a long way in construction safety.
- Eliminate Silica Dust Exposure- OSHA has been cracking down on silica dust violations, and it is a topic that is gaining more coverage in the news each day. Respirable silica dust-producing activities include sawing, jackhammering, grading, earth-moving, mining, crushing, sweeping, and milling. These invisible particles, when inhaled, can cause lung cancer, silicosis, difficulty breathing, and COPD. It’s time to be proactive to protect your workers. Make a safety plan, implement proper engineering controls, and let your crew know that you are looking out for them. Your crew, and their families, will thank you. For more information on silica dust and an easy-to-implement solution, visit nosilicadust.com.
- Hold Training for New Safety Practices- Any new protocol or operation being implemented needs to have the appropriate training to be carried out. This ensures that all employees are on the same page and there is no confusion stemming from interpreting new protocols differently. Training also allows opportunities for questions and concerns to be voiced by your team members. Safety training is an essential element for understanding and communication in a work or construction site. A simple training is an easy way to prevent accidents before they happen!
- Conduct a Chemical Safety Audit- Often overlooked, chemical safety on construction sites is critical. Conduct an audit of all chemicals present on your worksite. In any industry, chemicals must comply with OSHA regarding their labeling and formatting of Safety Data Sheets (SDS). Check the SDS to ensure proper containers, storage, and transport methods are being used, especially with flammable liquids. Furthermore, use chemicals for their intended use only. In the paving industry for example, diesel fuel should only be used to fuel vehicles, NOT as an asphalt cleaner. This is illegal, but also highly dangerous for your workers. Work to incorporate safer and environmentally friendly solutions instead!