5 Secrets to Creating a Construction Site Safety Checklist That Works

5 Secrets to Creating a Construction Site Safety Checklist That Works

Construction Site Safety Checklist

With mounds of information about construction site safety checklists available on the web, you would think this industry would be among the safest in the world. However, it's not! As a matter of fact, construction work is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. In 2014, over 20% of worker fatalities in the U.S. happened in the construction industry, which equates to one in five worker fatalities.

Due to these overwhelming statistics, OSHA or the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration has put several safety regulations in place specifically for construction sites. While these efforts may have reduced construction workplace fatalities by over 66% since 1970, there's still a lot of work to do.

It's up to each owner, employer, and worker to exact the highest possible level of safety through the use of construction site safety checklists and safe practices. The following information provides a few valuable tips for building and implementing construction site safety checklists.

Communication Is Key

While the construction site safety checklist is one of the doors to safety, communication is the key. Make sure to set up the proper communication plans and techniques to alert all parties on the project of safety procedures for possible hazard.

One tip is to create a single page Safety Outline, which highlights all of the site rules, such as the required personal protective equipment. The Safety Outline should also designate the parties in charge of the worksite. When anyone visits the site, require them to check in so they can be educated on any relevant safety issues before they enter the site.

Organizational Planning

Safety planning should begin well before the first piece of ground is broken with organizational worksite planning. This simple step will help keep the entire construction site organized, neat, and improve safety.

Start by creating a logistics plan for the project, which outlines the organization of the construction site. The logistics plan should include items, such as:

  • Proper location for storing materials
  • Emergency contacts
  • Safety rally points
  • All other relevant information.

Upon completion, this safety logistics plan should be posted clearly on the worksite and be incorporated into the site construction site safety checklist. It's also a great practice to conduct an assessment of your organizational planning with a construction site safety audit checklist.

Morning Pow Wows

One of the most effective times to review your construction checklist and highlight the importance of safety is in the morning. Why? Because the morning represents the time when workers are fresh and most receptive. At the same time, it demonstrates management commitment to safety over productivity and will help reinforce the items on the checklist.

Each morning, gather all of the workers for a quick pow wow. During this briefing, you can review any critical safety concerns on the sight, remind everyone what they should be thinking about, and what's planned for the day.

Posters and Signage

As previously mentioned, proper communication calls for the notification of hazards. Using posters and signage will help alert everyone of the hazards on the jobsite. While the typical warning sign may work, you can take it one step farther by using posters and signage that speak to your workers.

Far too often, posters and signs are ineffective because they do not require workers to think. Inspire your team to think about their actions. For instance, a sign that asks a question, such as "Would I let my daughter do that?" may truly require your workers to reflect on their actions by providing a completely unique perspective.

Every Construction Site Safety Checklist Needs Training

No matter how unambiguous or clear your construction site safety checklist may appear to be, it's vital to provide training. Nothing can take the place of delivering informative and insightful training to your workers. It's virtually impossible to expect your workers to go out and work safely without education on what safe work looks like and entails.

During the training, it's important to explain why each item on the checklist is important. This simple practice may increase employee buy-in and compliance, while effectively mitigating worksite risks.

Contact Premier Safety Partners

One of the easiest ways to encourage your employees to take notice of their surroundings is with a construction site safety checklist. However, simply providing a checklist alone will not suffice. You must supplement the checklist with superior communication, organizational planning, reminders, and training. When the checklist is bolstered by a comprehensive safety management system, this tool becomes exponentially more effective at creating a safe work environment for everyone.

At Premier Safety Partners, we are the construction site safety specialist. While we provide a long list of services to construction companies, we always strive for creating the safest possible work environment and helping you complete your next project on time, on budget all while achieving safety excellence.

Contact Premier Safety Partners today to schedule a free construction site safety checklist audit.

About the Author

Scott Ray is an industry leader in Health and Safety. Recognized for his business acumen and innovative approach, Scott has a track record in successfully implementing H&S systems that result in fostering a culture of operational excellence. His 25 year Health and Safety career includes both technical and leadership experience within diverse industries including energy/utilities, manufacturing, higher education, construction, defense and aerospace.

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