Guest Author: Trey Trimble, CTO at Transportation Safety Apparel
It’s no secret that safety should be an absolute priority in the eyes of any type of construction worker. However, there are a number of potentially deadly hazards that subcontractors face every day on the job, and being aware of the most viable workplace injury prevention methods is the best way to keep all employees safe. Here are just a few ways to prioritize subcontractor safety and reduce accidents during any construction job.
Always Use Fall Protection
Many construction workers and managers would be shocked to hear that about half of workplace deaths from falls occur from distances of 25 feet or less. The reason why may seem to make sense, but it just doesn’t add up: many workers tend to feel as though they have enough experience working from shorter altitudes and therefore don’t use full fall protection unless working from higher altitudes than normal, such as 80 feet. As a subcontractor, you can make sure that all of your employees wear full fall gear from even short altitudes. It could be the small change in protocol that saves an employee’s life.
Prioritize Training (And Re-Training)
When it comes to training, the industry is rather widespread and all over the map. A recent study concluded that more than two-thirds of construction worker deaths were connected to employers who simply did not participate in any state-approved training programs or apprenticeships. Implementing state-approved programs and curriculums would certainly be a drastic change, but it could yield some significant results that improve safety across the entire construction industry.
In the same realm, some workers simply don’t see a need for additional training after initial onboarding. However, in the case of an accident, injury, change in protocol, or new piece of equipment, supplementary training is certainly warranted and should even be encouraged.
Finally, it’s important to address the growing issue of distractions in the construction industry. Currently, OSHA does not provide specific guidelines for workers. However, it has become a known and virtually indisputable fact that engaging in manual subtasks such as cellphone or electronic device usage while driving an automobile significantly increases the risk for an accident. Extrapolate those damages to those that become possible when subcontractors use their cellphones when operating heavy duty machinery, and it’s easy to see why it’s such a risk. In fact, multiple studies have also shown that listening to even one sentence through a cell phone has the ability to reduce driving-related brain activity by a whopping 37%.
When it comes down to it, contractors and subcontractors, and the companies that employ them, have the same underlying goals: to stay safe on the job. Under Health and Safety Law, businesses that employ both contractors and subcontractors have a responsibility to protect their workers from harm that can be caused by work-related activities. In the same realm, both contractors and subcontractors alike have to coexist with the client in addition to one another in order to protect themselves from any number of project risks.
Ultimately, safety is always a hot topic for discussion in the construction industry. It’s impossible to prevent every accident that occurs, but by taking even a few small steps such as those listed above, your construction firm can significantly lower workplace accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
About the Author
Trey Trimble is the working CTO of Transportation Safety Apparel. He has been a member of this family business since their beginnings in 2001, and has worked in plenty of different sectors from customer service and marketing to Magento Software Development. He is passionate about everything and anything to do with the transportation safety industry and the world of technology. Trimble holds a degree in Computer Engineering from Clemson University.