May 17, 2019

How to Audit Your Construction Firm’s Safety Standards

Naturally, you should do everything within your power to prevent these mistakes. After all, every member of your team is valuable, and they deserve a work environment where they can focus on their responsibilities. It's your obligation to provide this for them, accounting for potential hazards and health risks. With that in mind — what should you focus on as you review your company's safety standards? How can you expand your existing guidelines? As you consider those crucial questions, review the three suggestions below and see how you might adapt and improve upon your current practices.

How to Audit Your Construction Company’s Safety Standards:

1. Establish a Regular Inspection Checklist

Your supervisors should conduct an inspection of your jobsite on a routine basis. With these inspections, you can effectively identify smaller issues before they escalate into larger problems. It'll lessen the likelihood of accident and injury, and, by extension, reduce the risk of expensive downtime. As for the content of your checklist, your supervisors should perform an extensive audit that covers multiple areas of the site. It might include checks for your first aid facilities, fire prevention, site security, emergencies, PPE and more. You have a wide variety of audit checklists to select from. Whichever checklist you choose, the point remains the same. Regular inspections will improve the safety and security of your job sites. The frequency of these inspections will depend on factors like the scale of your company and the number, size and potential risk of various work operations.

2. Review Health and Safety Training Materials

The health and safety training materials you presently distribute may have changed since you first reviewed them. As you look through your materials, make sure they're up to date and conform to applicable OSHA standards. If you notice an area that requires revision, attend to it as soon as possible. An updated training program will prepare your managers, supervisors and workers to navigate a modern jobsite. They'll have the resources they need to identify, report, and control hazards which may otherwise harm them or their peers. An investment in the ongoing education of your workforce has high returns. In looking at the advantages of training, a healthy site improves employee morale and reduces employee turnover. In short, your employees will report a high degree of job satisfaction. Beyond the primary benefit of increased safety, you'll enjoy the secondary benefit of a happy, productive workforce.

3. Involve Employees in the Audit Process

Safety is a shared responsibility. Your supervisors may play an important role in the security of your job sites, but your workers have to participate as well. It's unrealistic to depend on a single person, and that constant pressure is counterintuitive to reducing risk — more likely to cause accidents than prevent them. As you refine your company's safety standards, prompt your workers to attend to any smaller issues they find. If they come across a tripping hazard, for example, they should immediately address the problem to preempt any potential accidents. When they take the initiative, they inspire their peers to do the same. It's also wise to seek input from your workers. Maintain an open-door policy that encourages them to contribute any suggestions they may have for improving safety on the site. Implement their advice in your health and safety program and provide positive reinforcement.

Create a Culture of Safety

The continued success of your construction company depends on its safety standards. If you follow the three suggestions above, you can feel confident those standards will keep your crew free from harm. As you move forward, evaluate your current practices and make the necessary changes today.