Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 2 - 22
industry. Safety training should be provided
across all levels - from management and employees to subcontractors and other partners.
Safety events that continually educate
workers about the latest regulations and
CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM VOLUME 16, ISSUE 2
best practices, and give a refresher on the
education they have already received,
should happen as often as once per week
on job sites. Full safety inspections should
also be done at least once every other week.
4. Scheduling - No matter how thorough
you are in providing protection from, and
education about, potential safety risks, if
workers are exhausted and overworked it
drastically increases the chances of safety issues occurring. One of the most critical, but
often missed, ways of preventing accidents
involves creating a realistic schedule and
staffing appropriately from the start.
This can be especially difficult considering the severe talent shortage we're
currently experiencing in the construction
industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
predicts a 13 percent growth rate in the
industry through 2026, creating more than
180,000 jobs in the process. The growth is
there, but the talent to fill these positions
is not. In 2016, the National Association of
Homebuilders estimated that there were approximately 200,000 unfilled construction
jobs in the United States.
This undersupply of talent leads some
firms to overschedule workers, leading to
exhaustion and excessive wear and tear on
their bodies. This can cause even the most
experienced of workers to make simple,
split-second mistakes or have lapses in
judgment that can be deadly. Research
shows that working 12 hours per day is
associated with a 37 percent increased risk
of injury, and extended shifts have been
proven to lead to an increased risk of car
accidents on workers' commute from work.
According to OSHA, extended shifts may
also lead to safety risks in the form of prolonged exposure to hazards such as noise
and chemicals. Companies can prevent this
by limiting extended shifts, ensuring employees and subcontractors aren't working
too many hours and taking any potential
staffing issues into account when creating
the building schedule.
Consider these four strategies to improve
your company's safety record, create a better
working environment for employees and
subcontractors and improve recruitment
and retention efforts during this challenging staffing environment.