Due to the dangerous nature of commercial construction jobs, it’s absolutely critical for construction subcontractors to be on top of their game when it comes to safety. A strong safety program is not only essential for protecting employees from serious death or injury, but it also helps to protect a construction subcontractor’s reputation as well as their relationships with the general contractors they rely on for business.
Because the importance of construction site safety can’t be overstated, below are seven ways construction subcontractors can create a safer workplace and reduce the number of employee accidents.
1. Ensure Employees Receive Adequate Training
While a construction worker can learn many skills through experience, safety is best taught before work begins. A construction subcontractor’s employees should always receive thorough safety training before stepping foot on a live job site. A training program should be robust – covering OSHA standards, traditional job site hazards, personal protective equipment and everything in between. After completing the program, workers should know how to identify and report safety issues, and they should know exactly what to do in the event of an accident.
Safety training isn’t one and done either. To keep safety procedures fresh, it’s important to hold mandatory safety training sessions on an ongoing basis. By conducting trainings off-site, you can provide employees with a safety foundation which can be supplemented with on-site experience.
2. Generate Awareness
One of the best ways to create an adequate safety environment is to ensure every employee who steps on to a construction site is aware of any and all safety risks. They should also be up to speed on OSHA safety requirements as well as the construction subcontractor’s specific policies. Every employee must maintain a heightened sense of awareness while on the clock, and it should be the top priority of both the safety manager and construction manager to ensure employees are alert and focused. Any employee who is not in the right frame of mind should be promptly removed from the job site.
3. Encourage Communication
Communication and transparency can go a long way towards reducing workplace accidents, as issues often happen when workers are unfamiliar with a jobsite or aren’t sure of what to expect. As a result, construction subcontractor managers should hold daily meetings to discuss objectives and review any potential safety issues. Construction subcontractors should also provide on-site workers with phones, walkie-talkies, or devices that enable quick and easy communication in the event safety issues arise. Creating clear lines of communication on the job site is a good way to mitigate risk.
4. Maintain Records And Documentation
Prior to beginning a new project, a construction subcontractor should ensure all project details, specs, licenses, and credentials are all appropriately documented and stored in a location that is accessible to general contractors. Through proper documentation, all parties can ensure the project objectives are being performed by qualified workers and construction subcontractors and general contractors can protect themselves from liability in the event of an accident.
5. Keep Machines And Equipment In Good Shape
To maintain a safe jobsite, it’s absolutely essential to provide your workers with properly maintained equipment. Construction subcontractors are usually responsible for providing their own machines and equipment. Using faulty machines is a sure fire way to create a construction site accident and the last thing you want is for one of your workers to become injured because your firm failed to maintain its machines.
6. Provide Supervision
Every commercial job site should have a qualified construction manager and a safety supervisor on staff at all times, and both should be capable of enforcing safety standards while work is in progress. While it’s unrealistic to expect a safety supervisor to be able to monitor every action that takes place, it’s still important for them to be observant and flag violations when they occur. A safety supervisor should also be approachable and accessible, so workers can quickly report safety issues as they arise.
7. Leverage Technology
As technology continues to evolve, construction subcontractors and general contractors should keep up and leverage new innovations to increase jobsite safety. Wearable technology can provide worker location signals and also help track vital health signs as a way to prevent injury. Drones can be used to monitor construction site safety and cloud-based solutions can be used to share project details across disparate teams. To improve safety and stay competitive, construction subcontractors should always be looking for innovative ways to improve performance.
Job site safety is essential for protecting your employees, reputation, and relationships with general contractors. A construction subcontractor’s safety record can speak for itself. Putting a robust safety program in place isn’t easy and can be a significant investment, but doing so ultimately makes your firm stand out as a construction subcontractor that GC’s can trust.
If you’re a general contractor looking for a commercial construction subcontractor with an excellent safety record, get in touch with us at Unique Building Group today. From drywall to exterior finishes, our team has been delivering safe, high quality projects to California general contractors for several years.