Anyone who’s mispoured concrete or failed to “measure twice, cut once” knows that. But mistakes in safety and occupational health — or downright negligent oversights — can hit differently than those elsewhere on the site or in the job plan. We got a reminder of that recently while looking through OSHA’s release of some of its biggest recent fines, a hit-list of the usual hazards related to working at height, trenching and, in a slight change-up from the usual top citations, a very serious breach of safety protocol for asbestos removal.
Most of these problem areas are hardly news to anyone who’s been around construction for a while. Slips, trips and falls represent the single-most OSHA-cited hazard area in any given year, and trenching can be notoriously dangerous without the right approach. Still, even when we all know the parts of the job that may be unsafe, it can be challenging at times to maintain that complete diligence when moving through a busy schedule.
That’s why it’s absolutely vital to get full safety buy-in from everyone on your site. True accidents do happen, but often the worst occupational health failures often happen in environments where the small stuff slides— we’re talking near misses, lucky calls and incidents swept under the rug. That kind of attitude multiplies among crew members, but is only allowed to exist due to a lack of engagement on the higher levels of an organization.
We can bust that apathy and improve employee buy-in by sharing the message that it’s on all of us to build a safer workplace. OSHA actually provides some good advice here in the form of five action items we can all work on:
For those managing the project from the highest levels, the tone starts from the earliest stages, from being mindful of safety when staffing, scheduling and setting timelines, all the way down to taking proactive steps to identify hazards purposely before workers do it accidentally. And for those managing the day-to-day haul, these kinds of action items can provide a quick blueprint to building a program that everyone can feel ownership of.
Looking for more information? We’ve got a full suite of safety resources, trainings and expert connections to help your organization get a leg up on the competition while keeping your workers happily on their feet and off the workers’ comp list. Get in touch with us today to see how what AGCW can do for you.