Today, there is no surprise that technology is paving the way for safer and enhanced practices. Similarly, like any major industry, the construction industry is always evolving. It needs to constantly adjust its key methods and processes to ensure optimum health and safety for employees.
The overall cost of accidents can be massive! And as such, these new trends in construction safety aim to minimize risk as much as possible for workers. Luckily, there are many new and innovative practices that companies can put in place to prevent accidents and injuries.
6 Top Trends Emerging In Construction Safety
Whether you work in construction management or simply want to keep updated with the latest trends, we’ve created a quick list of the biggest trends in construction safety today.
Like in most major industries, there are a variety of training protocols that construction companies have to have in place. These ensure that they minimize risk and keep their workers safe. Safety training has become more and more important so as to limit injuries and incidents.
Research shows that by demonstrating how a worker can do their job safely and correctly in the work setting, you will have a much higher likelihood of them executing their craft effectively and safely. For newer employees, there are two key types of training that companies can conduct on-site.
The first type of training is to conduct a comprehensive walk-through of the employee’s responsibilities. This provides them with the necessary information and knowledge they will need to get the job done. For this training, companies provide new workers with information on equipment, safety and compliance procedures, and general operations.
The second type of training involves a buddy system. This is where the more experienced workers spend time enforcing procedures and policies in the workplace. As a result, companies can decrease the risk of a new employee developing bad or unsafe habits on the job, thus better risk management.
By constantly testing and educating employees above and beyond basic training protocols, you can avoid any indirect costs that could result from workplace incidents.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now more important than ever to protect workers against a variety of short and long-term ailments. Using gear (such as masks, goggles, and air filters) has become mandatory to ensure the safety of all employees.
Today, there is a wide range of personal protective equipment (PPE) available. And there are many that meet the exact requirements of construction workers. These new and innovative PPE items include:
Transparent and reusable N95 masks, allowing for better facial recognition and communication.
Respirators that can accommodate facial hair, such as beards.
3D printed masks, ensuring a more comfortable fit
Better fitting and more comfortable gloves
Innovations in Technology
It is no secret that the internet is quickly revolutionizing most industries. Devices can now provide biometric data through a WiFi connection to record important information. This includes blood pressure, heart rate, and blood oxygen levels.
With these technological innovations, safety professionals can monitor employees’ vital signs while they’re on the job. In turn, they can quickly identify any problems or causes for concern.
Smart PPE devices also have the ability to read blood alcohol levels. This ensures that all employees comply with worksite regulations. These innovative advances will continue to evolve and improve on-site safety protocols. Ultimately, this will help ensure the safety and health of all employees.
Furthermore, the advancement of technology allows for the use of drones and bots that can assist in completing tasks that only humans could previously do. These advancements can also decrease the number of workers required on a job site at one time. They can also perform tasks that are high risk - such as accessing difficult-to-reach places so that a person doesn’t have to.
IoT, or “The Internet of Things”, refers to the wireless connectivity and automatic communications between all the important devices in the workplace. This allows for smart devices and technologically advanced devices to communicate with each other in real-time. As such, they can efficiently inform employees about any malfunctions, potential hazards, or job-site challenges.
IoT technology helps promote worker safety by monitoring the work site for safety hazards or concerns. Under certain extreme cases, IoT-enabled equipment can go as far as shutting down operation completely if safety protocols have been jeopardized and if emergency safety measures are required.
Having safety plans is a crucial part of on-site safety. Increased Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspections in 2021 will reinforce the need for comprehensive awareness of pepper construction protocols.
Here are a few key tips to keep in mind:
Promote a safety culture on all job-sites
Offer regular and up-to-date training sessions
Daily safety meetings are crucial
Encourage workers to constantly be on the lookout to identify any on-site safety issues
Most importantly, it is essential that on-site safety professionals stay informed of any updates in OSHA standards.
Effective Alarm Systems
One of the most dangerous things for construction workers is on-site unknowns. This could include being unknowingly exposed to dangerous elements or toxins such as asbestos. Such toxins could cause serious health problems to employees over time with most workers being unaware that this is happening to them.
Today, sensors have been developed to activate an alarm when they detect any harmful toxins. This will allow all workers to take any necessary precautions to protect themselves in dangerous work environments.
Safety is by far the most important part of any construction site. From heavy machinery and steep heights to dangerous demolitions, all construction sites are filled with safety hazards. According to OSHA, 23% of all private-sector-related deaths occurred in the construction industry, with high numbers of workplace fatalities and accidents.
Implementing and achieving sustainable and consistent health and safety improvements is not always easy. But, by integrating these new industry trends and innovative safety protocols, you can reduce error rates and injuries on the job. By doing so you can improve overall employee safety and job quality!
SkillSignal safety software solutions can help! With the all inclusive safety management app, all of a company's health and safety information is easily accessible. There is an area for safety orientation, JSA’s, safety videos, and employee profiles where a company can compile all safety education each employee has. Give SkillSignal a try today!