Safety in the Building and Construction Industry.
The construction industry has always been known for the high-risk work environment it involves. Statistically, it’s one of the topmost dangerous jobs there is. In recent years there’s been a much greater emphasis on Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) and builders and contractors are now paying more attention and becoming more safety conscious.
A safety focus also results in better working conditions, better performance, and a more pleasant workplace.
The Role of a Construction Safety Manager.
Every construction site has a Safety Manager, and every Safety Manager has a very important role in the Site Team of that project. The primary responsibility of a Construction Safety Manager is to make sure all the workers on site are working in a safe environment and are following all correct safety procedures.
Construction Safety Managers must have a strong knowledge of federal, state, and local safety rules and regulations. Safety Managers must be up to date in their knowledge of safety methods and standards so they can renew the safety policies when new risks are discovered. They must be able to identify potential hazards and develop safety plans to eliminate them. They must also be able to communicate well with the workers, supervisors, and other professionals on-site.
Safety Managers oversee all aspects of safety and provide expert advice in creating, implementing, and enforcing safety policies that reduce the risk of accidents, injuries, and fatalities. The responsibility to determine which policies are best for each site, and how to enforce the policies, is on the Safety Manager.
A Safety Manager is a bit like an NRL Coach. Think of the rugby team as the site crew and safety is the game they’re playing. Like NRL, in the game of safety, especially in the construction industry there are two types of plays.
It’s a dangerous game and it’s on the players to protect themselves. The offensive side needs to know where they are headed and if there are any hazards or risks that should be avoided. They also need to work together as a team by communicating safety concerns or asking for help when needed, to achieve a common goal.
The defensive side, also known as the supervisors and inspectors, need to keep their eyes peeled for potential hazards on the field. They need to understand the game and how construction is carried out in an area to be able to anticipate risks before they become an injury. A good defensive team also has a plan of action so that if the unexpected should happen they’re able to navigate their way through it. They are responsible for making sure everyone is kept safe throughout every phase of construction.
To ensure the safety of a construction site is up to the relevant standards and regulations, a Safety Manager has some tasks they’re responsible for, these include:
- Reviewing contractor safety programs
One of the key responsibilities of a Safety Manager is to review and approve the safety programs of all the contractors working on-site, ensuring they have a written program that is being implemented properly and meets all WHS requirements.
- Planning and implementing WHS policies and programs
WHS policies and programs of construction sites are like a security guard to a museum. The security guards patrol the site and ensure no one is doing anything they shouldn’t be, they also act as guides for visitors to the site.
- Conducting safety training and inductions for all workers
Safety training helps workers learn what the hazards are, how to avoid them, and what they should do in case of an emergency. Onsite training is important for each specific site because each site may have different risks and hazards.
- Making onsite inspections
Onsite inspections act as a preventative, ensuring safety risks and potential hazards are identified and corrected before they cause a workplace accident.
- Investigating accidents and incidents
Despite taking good precautionary measures, accidents and incidents still can occur. Safety Managers investigate these to determine how the accident occurred and what needs to be done about it to prevent it in the future.
- Monitoring the site for safety compliance
A Safety Manager is responsible for monitoring the site for compliance with up-to-date safety policies. They need to ensure all site personnel, including suppliers delivering materials, are aware of their obligations.
- Keeping records of incidents and safety concerns
The Construction Safety Manager has a duty to work with the Site Manager, the Foreman, and the Subcontractors to create a system for recording incidents and safety concerns.
Safety Managers must be up to date on the latest issues and changes in WHS regulations to be able to communicate them to all staff effectively and efficiently. They also need to develop a way to transmit information to the team quickly, ideally in real-time. Making sure all staff understand and communicate well is the best and easiest way to ensure a safer work environment that will reduce workplace injuries and increase productivity.
Safety is a 24-hour responsibility because construction never stops.
How FTI can help to reduce safety risks and hazards on site.
FTI Group is a leader in prefabricated formwork systems, creating innovative solutions that make building faster, safer, and simpler.
Prefabricated formwork itself is a safer construction method because with less construction happening on site, there are going to be fewer hazards and fewer injuries.
By using Fast Tread® preformed stairs, you will also get level, accurate treads every time which further reduces potential trip and fall hazards caused by uneven stair treads and risers. This is because Fast Tread® stairs have a screed fold. The screed fold is a right-angle fold at the back of the tread that lines up perfectly with the lip of the riser, meaning that the concreters will always screed level treads.
The Safe-T-Tread™ temporary tread system by FTI Group was designed purely for added safety onsite. The temporary treads lock into the frame of the Fast Tread® stairs, providing immediate safe access in the stair shaft before the stairs have been core filled with concrete. Essentially, you’re turning your permanent stairs into temporary access stairs.
Another safety aspect of working with Fast Tread® stairs, is the immediate edge protection. The handrails can be installed before the flights of stairs are installed, meaning you already have immediate edge protection in the stair shaft further reducing fall hazards.
For a safer site, try FTI Group’s Fast Tread® stairs with Safe-T-Tread™ temporary treads.