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In this day and age, there’s little room for unchecked health and safety hazards in the workplace. So, when it comes to construction, where fatal injuries are around four times more common than in other industries, the importance of a safe and secure site is paramount. Whether it’s a small-scale home extension project or a grand residential scheme, construction companies and tradesmen have a duty to keep themselves and their employees safe from harm.
And that’s why, in today’s article from Action Storage, we’ll be taking you through five crucial changes you can make to show that security and safety are at the top of your priority list.
- Involve staff at each level
As site safety involves everybody – from senior management to apprentices – it’s crucial that everyone is on board. Tradesmen and construction companies often fall down when they keep safety at a management level – and that can be a costly mistake to make. It’s worth setting up a system or forum that staff can use to raise safety concerns, whether that’s a dedicated safety officer or a monthly meeting with representatives at each level of the business. This way, you’ll ensure concerns are raised with the people who need to hear them and any updates are filtered through the entire workforce.
- Appoint a safety officer
While personal safety is everyone’s responsibility, appointing a staff member who is available for discussing concerns and actioning changes will ensure nothing slips through the cracks. This doesn’t necessarily mean hiring someone specifically for that role (unless your company is large enough to warrant it), as, with some training, an existing employee should be capable of taking on the responsibility day-to-day. Whether they’re speaking to fellow team members, reading up on the latest safety regulations or carrying out regular checks of the site, having a dedicated safety officer on hand will ensure site safety is always on someone’s mind.
- Stay organised
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Because safety is sometimes seen as an inconvenience in operations, making things more difficult than they have to be can cause things to be missed – and that means organisation is key. From the site equipment to the procedure for raising concerns, keeping all aspects streamlined and straightforward will make it as easy as possible for staff to follow safety rules. Whether that means installing dedicated lockers for PPE, managing spreadsheets to ensure that pipelined concerns get through to management or setting up a basic intranet for employees to log queries anonymously, try your best to make safety improvements accessible and easy to understand for all staff.
- Set aside some resource
The reality of site safety is that it will probably cost something – whether that’s time, money or both. And that means that setting aside resource specifically to support with new procedures and equipment is crucial to ensuring security and safety updates are always possible. From a small financial budget to fund extra helmets, gloves and goggles to time allocated for a safety officer to read up on the latest regulations and perform checks, ensuring you have the time or money to accommodate necessities will mean you won’t be scrambling for cash, should something crop up.
- Encourage younger workers
In any trade, you’re bound to find young and motivated workers eager to learn about their chosen industry – and it’s these impressionable youngsters who comprise the workforce of tomorrow. This means that communicating the importance of safety to them is vital if you want to create a culture where health, safety and security are respected. Whether you develop a training structure with these aspects at its core, or set up a buddy system where experienced workers show them the ropes, setting the precedent from the moment they walk in is essential for today, tomorrow and the years to come.
Site safety doesn’t have to feel like a chore. By taking steps to create an atmosphere that actively promotes the welfare of employees – whether that’s 10 people or 100 – you can ensure your team becomes safety-conscious by default. By putting these tips into action today, you can gain peace of mind that your sites will always have staff welfare at their heart.