Safety in the Construction Industry: SBC’s Approach to Limiting Accidents

Safety in the Construction Industry: SBC’s Approach to Limiting Accidents

At South Bay Construction, safety is our top priority. We make it a point to stay informed on the most recent regulations and procedures, and regularly communicate with team members about how to implement them. By following these construction-safety fundamentals, you too can create a safe and productive environment for everyone on your job sites.


Training Employees to Assess Risks and Exercise Caution

Ensuring that employees have completed their construction training is the first line of defense against workplace hazards and injuries. A general industry training course, offered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), lays the foundation for safety by educating foremen and supervisors about construction environments and associated risks. However, workers also need to receive training for specific on-site tasks such as using power tools, handling heavy materials, and building at elevated heights. By understanding common workplace hazards, as well as operational and safety procedures, employees can greatly reduce the chance of accidents.


Identifying Hazards Through Routine Inspections and Education

Taking steps to identify hazards before construction begins can also minimize risks. South Bay Construction supervisory personnel visit sites prior to when a project starts so they can assess the potential dangers, determine the appropriate accident prevention measure, and inform teams how to proceed. This process helps guarantee that all employees involved on a project are aware of a site’s hazards and how to manage them.


Equipping Workers with the Right Gear

Equipping Workers with the Right Gear

Construction safety is largely dependent on what someone wears to the job site. After educating workers and assessing a project for potential hazards, it’s important to provide employees with an extra layer of protection (goggles or face shields, close-toed shoes, visibility vests). Not only can this Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) keep a worker safe when risk is high — for example, on job sites where there is a lot of air debris — but it can also prevent injury when an unexpected incident occurs. Staying up to date on PPE requirements, and knowing what to use for each situation, should be a priority for every construction industry employer.


Preventing Fall-Related Injuries and Heat Illness

Employers and workers alike should make special note of these two construction safety hazards. On-site falls — usually due to unprotected surfaces, improper scaffolding construction, or incorrect ladder setup — are the nationwide leading cause of death in the construction industry. Whatever the cause, they can be prevented by taking the following steps: planning ahead to get a job done safely, providing the right equipment, and training everyone in proper usage.

Those working in California and other warm locales also need to be wary of heat illness. In summer, when temperatures rise and workers have to perform labor-intensive tasks while wearing heavy protective gear, the risk of heat-related illness becomes even more serious. OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention Standard outlines three ways to keep workers safe in hot environments:

  • Engineering controls: Any number of precautions that regulate the temperature of both the environment and the materials being used: fans, ventilators, and insulation for hot surfaces are all exemplary measures.
  • Administrative controls: Ensuring that employees are capable of handling the work, and don’t overexert themselves. Examples include scheduling work during cooler hours of the day, regularly rotating workers, and minimizing productivity expectations.
  • Personal heat-protective equipment: Heat-reflective clothing, water-cooled garments, and supplied air cooling systems can make all the difference on a hot day. The recent wildfires have also required all employers to keep workers safe from fire- and smoke-related hazards — by identifying and monitoring the harmful effects, workers are more likely to stay healthy on the job site.


Communicating Construction Safety to the Team

Communicating Construction Safety to the Team
In order to implement all these safety measures, it’s important to hire personnel whose priority is understanding safety issues and communicating them to the rest of the team. South Bay Construction employs a Safety Program Administrator, who supports employees with the right communication technologies, while also documenting safety-related activities. We also have a third party Safety Consultant who trains the staff and provides site-specific support, and regularly engages in safety coordination meetings. OSHA-required “Toolbox Talks” take place weekly at our job sites, where we encourage employee participation and contribution.

At South Bay Construction, we care about team members as if they were family. Our dedication to creating a safe, hard-working, and reliable organization is what helps us to deliver excellence throughout the Bay Area. If you’d like to learn more about our company, or get started on a project, please contact us at (408) 379-5500 get a quote today!

Photo Credits: Zivica Kerkez / Shutterstock,  Love Silhouette / Shutterstock, Snezana Ignjatovic / Shutterstock

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