By HSE East Africa | Friday Oct 6, 2017
Construction sites are busy places. Heavy-duty equipment, teams completing different tasks, moving parts and noise can all contribute to the hectic environment on the job site. As the job site constantly changes, it is essential that safety staff are on hand to review and assess any potential hazards that may affect the safety of the workers. Here are a few questions that every safety professional should ask themselves about the job site they are working at.
1. Have I made the job site safer today?
As workers get ready to end the workday, have them contribute in the task of finding and fixing hazards that could cause injuries the next day. Being alert and thinking ahead addresses safety as a priority for everyone on the site. It also makes workers more informed about potential safety risks.
2. Are the employees using the safety equipment they have been provided?
It goes without saying that simply having the appropriate equipment is not enough. To instill good safety habits means utilizing and working with safety equipment on a daily basis. If the workers have been trained about the required safety equipment, they will understand the importance of using it properly.
3. Am I communicating regularly with the workers and updating them about safety on the job?
Practice safe behaviour yourself and lead by example. Make safety part of daily conversations with workers and provide them with any additional information they request.
4. Has anything changed on the jobsite since yesterday?
Inspect the job site with workers on a daily basis. Ask them to identify any activity, piece of equipment or material that concerns their safety. Use a checklist to identify problems and keep the workers involved and committed to safe practice.
5. Have I walked around the job site to look for unsafe behavior or equipment?
Set aside a regular time to take a walk around the site with the intent of looking for possible hazards. This will ensure that good practice is followed and foreseeable emergencies can be identified.
6. Have I talked to my boss about safety issues on the job site?
Setting safety and health as a priority includes addressing concerns with management. Outlining and identifying hazards allows for improvements to be made and for the job site to become a safe working environment.
7. Have I checked the OSHA regulations to make sure that all safety requirements are up to date?
In an industry that is constantly changing, it is important for safety staff to stay informed about updates and/or changes to legislation. Staying abreast of current legislation protects the employees as well as the employers.
8. Am I willing to take action against employees who continue to behave in an unsafe manner?
Part of the role of a safety professional is to educate and train employees about safe practices. If an employee is unwilling to follow identified procedures, they can be putting themselves and others at risk.
9. Do employees feel they can come to me about safety concerns?
Keep communication open by allowing employees to feel comfortable with identifying issues they deem as hazardous. Develop a simple procedure for workers to report any injuries, illnesses, incidents, hazards, or safety and health concerns without fear of retaliation. Include an option for reporting hazards or concerns anonymously.
10. Have I done what I promised others I would do to take care of potential hazards?
Setting personal standards sets the standards for the workers on the job site. Safety becomes a priority that everyone is involved with. Safe worksites function efficiently and standards are set that become goals for identifying and improving the job site for all workers.
Source: Les Anderson