Safety is a concern in many construction and manufacturing industries. Employees are exposed to hazardous material handling, climbing multiple story heights, and are at risk of serious falls. For this reason, safety needs to become a priority in terms of both prevention and preparation. Safety prevention and preparation can be improved with the following techniques.
Extended training for both workers and crew leaders
Education and training is key in safety preparation. Many workers that are harmed on the job were done so because mistakes were made. Mistakes often come from a lack of education or training. By extending education and training for both employees and crew leaders, there is likely to be a decrease in risk and an increase in safety. Specific safety classes can be even more advantageous. Fall protection courses, for example, inform workers of proper safety practices when climbing high buildings. It is also important to educate crew leaders extensively on these practices because they play an important role in providing necessary safety equipment and environments to the workers.
Keep up to date on OSHA standards
OSHA sets minimum safety standards in high risk work settings. For example, OSHA requires that fall protection is provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces, five feet in shipyards, six feet in the construction industry, and eight feet in long shoring operations. These OSHA standards are constantly changing to keep up with current research about what is optimally safe. Additionally, businesses and crew leaders can go above and beyond these minimally require safety standards. If the minimum requirement by OSHA is six feet, reduce the regulation to five feet or four feet.
Reprimand and educate when safety practices are not practiced
Even with advanced training and proper material handling courses, employees will neglect to practice safe practices. Not only does this put the employee at risk, but could also result in a potentially costly lawsuit against the business. Even if the employee ignored safety regulations, the business could be found liable. For this reason, it is important to reprimand when necessary. While you do not want to go around reprimanding your employees for minimal mistakes, it is necessary when outright avoidance is occurring. This is especially true of crew leaders. When they do not make safety a priority, the workers are less likely to practice safe material handling. They are also less likely to use proper safety equipment like fall protection systems and crane services.
Model proper safety techniques
Many employees and industrial workers follow the same safety procedures that their superiors do. If you practice proper safety techniques, they are likely to do the same. If you skip important safety practices, they are also likely to skip them. This rule should apply to even the smallest of work, including lifting heavy equipment. Lifting products can be hard on employees, but materials like lifting slings can make it easier. Always use lifting slings and proper material handling when around your employees.
OSHA uses a three step process to prevent dangerous falls and save lives. The steps are to plan, provide, and train. Without these fall arrests or safety equipment, a person can fall up to seven feet in two thirds of a second. Practice other safety precautions by encouraging additional training, modeling safe work practices, and keeping up to date on current OSHA safety standards.