Planning for Your Next Meeting: 6 Safety Tips for Your Construction Company
Construction is a dangerous industry, and company leaders must be aware of safety and proper training. Lack of safety can result in reduced quality of production, lowered morale, poor reputation, reduced retention, higher costs for business owners, lowered ROI, and potential lawsuits. On the other hand, studies on the effectiveness of safety training saw companies with strong safety cultures usually have lower rates of accidents, illnesses, and injuries. They also witnessed improvements in behavioral performances.
Essentially, safety is in the best interest of everyone, but how can you ensure health and safety in construction businesses?
The best way is with the help of PEOs that specialize in creating a safer work environment in a dangerous industry like construction. However, these tips for behavior-based safety in construction can make a substantial difference.
1. Create a Culture of Safety
Workplace culture represents your company's mission, values, behavior, practices, attitudes, etc. It embraces your brand personality and character, bringing together a talented team that aligns with your company's culture so that operations run smoothly and efficiently. Some examples of workplace culture values that many companies prioritize include teamwork, work-life balance, diversity & inclusion, and trust & integrity.
Safety should be a primary value in the construction field's workplace culture. This is especially true since OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, reported that construction is among the most dangerous industries to work for in the country, resulting in 1,008 deaths in 2020 alone — of which 351 were fatal falls to a lower level that could have been prevented.
By prioritizing safety and training in your workplace culture, employees would be held accountable for being a representation of these values and living by them in their work every day.
How does Safety Culture Affect Workers?
According to Industrial Safety and Hygiene News (ISHN), a safety culture impacts workers in several ways, but the three most significant are:
- As evident as it is, it boosts their safety by keeping it in the forefront of importance (above productivity, convenience, etc.)
- Improves productivity by reducing disruptions and accidents
- Lower turnover rates by showing employees you care about their safety and wellbeing
Fortunately, you don't have to build and manage your construction company's workplace culture on your own. A PEO can help develop and improve culture, making safety and training a priority.
2. Implement Ongoing Safety Training
The truth is that accidents can happen in seconds. Safety needs constant reminders, and training is never finished. In fact, it should be periodic to remind and update employees on the proper procedures they should be following to ensure their safety and the safety of those around them. According to research, this is due to the 'forgetting curve' that often results in 70% of workers forgetting training in a day and 90% forgetting within a week.
How do you beat this forgetfulness? Repetition and consistency. Regularly teaching employees about safety can decrease the number of accidents that important updates and reminders could have prevented.
Note that laws and guidelines regarding safety are also constantly changing. PEOs like PRO provide ongoing training to ensure construction businesses are compliant and staff is safe.
3. Have a Company Safety Manual
Did you know that most companies don't have written policies? While workplace policies should be in writing and enforced, not every business has done it — let alone updated with modern-day procedures and circumstances.
Each employee should know and have access to the company manual for reference. This way, all employees and leadership can be on the same page regarding responsibilities, what is expected of each employee, how the job should be done (i.e., safety procedures), and the consequences of not following directions.
PEOs can help you create and enforce an employee safety manual to ensure it meets all the criteria that need to be addressed.
4. Provide Safety Incentives
People love incentives! Studies show that incentivized programs can boost performance by 44% and motivate employees to work harder and safer to earn those rewards. To take advantage, start a rewards program to reward good behavior with gift cards, apparel, meals, etc., that are used as incentives for safety. This, in turn, will promote more safety, teamwork, etc., while also acting as a daily reminder to take proper precautions at work.
According to Business News Daily, the following incentives are the three most popular:
- Cash incentives
- Gifts like electronics, gifts cards, and ride-share credits
- Experiences such as tickets to concerts and sporting events
5. Empower Leadership and Employees
As part of the safety culture, employees and leadership should feel empowered to speak up about unsafe practices. Open communication should be a shared value within the workplace as it is the key to preventing accidents and improving safety.
So ask yourself: Do employees feel safe and, more importantly, do they feel comfortable speaking up if they don't?
If your answer is anything but yes, consider partnering with a PEO to identify why your employees feel unsafe, why they aren't comfortable talking about it, and what you should do moving forward to correct that problem.
6. Improve Employee Benefits
Employee benefits are essential to the health and wellbeing of your workers — which is why it has become a priority among at least 60% of job searchers and employees considering new job opportunities.
For safety reasons, provide each employee with proper scheduling to ensure a good work/life balance and enough sleep to properly function every day. You should also give them paid days off since more days off offer a 'reset' that boosts productivity and ensures better retention.
Keep in mind that PEOs can help companies provide better benefits and workers comp — all at a lower cost than hiring an entirely in-house HR team.
Need Assistance in Creating a Safer Construction Business? PRO is Here to Help
Creating and maintaining a safe environment for your employees is not easy, especially if you don't have the expertise and experience to ensure it is done efficiently. When you partner with a PEO like PRO Resources for assistance in creating safer construction businesses, you can spend less time agonizing over whether or not you're doing it right and more time on your areas of expertise and experience. Contact us to learn more about what we can do to improve the safety of your construction workers.