Now that Construction Safety Week is in full swing, the team at BirdDogHR wants to thank you for your efforts to keep your teams safe, especially as the busy season starts to fill the calendars. While we know there are many things that contribute to employee safety, there are three pieces of the puzzle that are often overlooked, leading to higher risk of injury, death or delay. Here are the ways to fix them.
Never Rush Onboarding
Onboarding new team members is a crucial part of their integration into your company culture and often, especially during the busy season, it takes a backseat to the projects on the calendar. This could end up costing the lives of your employees, since onboarding is largely made up of safety training and best practices. Even if your newest team member has decades of industry experience, be sure to get them up to speed on your company’s best practices before putting them to work, since each team operates differently. Onboarding is one of the most proactive things you can do to give your team the tools to avoid accidents, delays, injuries and deaths.
Understaffing is a huge problem in today’s construction workforce. With a labor shortage, it can be a huge undertaking to hire enough people for the number of projects you plan to take on in a given time period. One of the worst things you can do for your company is spread your staff too thin. When there aren’t enough workers on a site, the potential for life-threatening accidents grows. That being said, don’t just hire people to have bodies on the team. Make sure you’re hiring the best possible team. Hire early to get the jump on top talent. Take on new projects with realistic capacity in mind. Don’t overextend your crew and make sure they have days off so they aren’t operating heavy equipment while fatigued, which can increase your risk of injury. It’s better to take five percent off the top of your workload and have the other 95 percent done well with no accidents or delays.
See Something, Say Something
Make sure your team members know that they will not be penalized for finding safety issues. All team members should feel comfortable telling their foremen and managers if they see something that may lead to an accident or is in violation of OSHA standards. Take these discoveries as an opportunity to teach team members about what the standards are—often people have just forgotten over time — and make sure everyone is on the same page. Thank the reporting team member for noticing and continuously remind your other team members to report safety issues they see. Embarrassment or worry should never be the reason for an accident.
While it is impossible to anticipate every single risk that your workforce might face, it’s crucial to take steps to mitigate the ones you can control. Even small changes can make a big difference and can end up saving the lives of your valued employees.