Construction is one of the highest-risk industries in the world. From financial and legal threats to jobsite hazards, contractors are faced with many challenges. Construction Safety Week’s mission is to shed light on creating a safety culture that supports the mental, emotional, and physical health of everyone on the jobsite. STACK stands by promoting a supportive culture in construction to keep our industry physically and mentally safe and sound.
We’ll guide you through the real data surrounding construction safety, why collaboration is vital for your team’s protection, how to improve training, and how cloud-based software increases collaboration and safety.
The Difficult Truth Behind Construction, Jobsite Safety, and Mental Health
According to Construction Safety Week’s website, one in five construction workers struggles with mental health issues. That, coupled with the CDC’s report that construction has the highest suicide rate in any occupation, is truly alarming. Mental Health awareness and education are extremely important, as important as wearing PPE. Empowering your teams with available resources (see end of article) and support is a crucial part of your job and responsibility as their leader.
On the physical side of safety, the construction industry is ranked number one in fatal work injuries. OSHA’s ‘Fatal Four’ Hazards – falls, electrical exposure, struck-by and caught-in/between situations – are truly concerning, but more importantly avoidable.
Uncollaborative Is Unsafe
Without an organized infrastructure to track and share information, you risk jobsite injuries, financial exposure, scheduling issues, and damaging your company’s reputation. You can improve collaboration with new technology to stay in the game and stay safe.
Traditionally, contractors will call a safety meeting, but word of mouth is inefficient. Once the message to meet gets across the jobsite, you’re waiting for everyone to gather at the location. That lag time could be detrimental if there is an emergency.
Another dangerous situation is lack of collaboration with scheduling. Construction projects are constantly being modified, and if subcontractors aren’t being updated with changes you can have people working on top of each other. There are major fall hazards if there isn’t enough room for people to do their job and they are working in unsafe conditions.
Improving Training and Establishing Safety Culture
Be proactive, not reactive, in improving jobsite safety. Collaboration with your team will not only build trust but keep you protected from hazards and mitigate risk. OSHA’s Hazard Identification Training Tool is a great resource to better identify and prevent safety hazards on the jobsite.
– Lead by example, with all leadership fully supporting your training program.
– Your team has incredible insight into job conditions. Use them and their suggestions on how to improve safety procedures.
– Set aside proper budget in your bids to support safety equipment and training.
– Develop plans for emergency and hazard control situations.
– Review new technology available to increase collaboration, efficiency, and communication.
Benefits you will see include:
– Improvements in production and quality of work
– Time and money savings (ex: from work stoppages and equipment damage)
– Boosted employee morale and mental health
– Decrease in workers’ compensation claims
– Better employee retention
– A more favorable business reputation
How Cloud-Based Software Increases Collaboration and Safety
– Using mobile cloud-based software to make quick decisions in real-time on the jobsite is crucial. Software like SmartUse and K-Ops gives you the ability to collaborate in the office and the field with instant document tracking.
– Daily reports are vital for tracking and sharing information with your teams. K-Ops also provides easy-to-use daily reports to ensure safety and compliance with safe work protocols.
– Getting one source of truth for all your data is a must. Plans, revisions, photos, tasks, notes, and approvals in one place streamline your workflow. Track project progress with access to a backlog of communication and changes.
– SmartUse gives you access to data in both connected and disconnected states. Ensure you can download critical information to your device since jobsites are frequently out of service.
– Keep track of all contacts in one place so you can get quick answers or updates, and know who is coming on and off the jobsite.
– The platform you choose should allow access to revisions, with features like side-by-side and overlay plan comparisons. Pivoting quickly on these changes will save you time and money on your project and keep everyone up to date with new versions.
– A mobile platform provides real-time updates for emergency alerts and safety procedures.
– Solutions that search for words in your plans allow you to extract data quickly and find the exact location on a jobsite that may need immediate attention.
To quote Construction Safety Week’s website, “We can replace the caution tape around personal stresses or struggles with open ears and honest conversation.” The risks we all take in construction can be mitigated by following proper safety procedures and supporting your teams with the resources they need. Below are some incredible resources in safety culture education and training.