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Best Practices for Site Safety

The construction industry has come a long way from the iconic photo of the empire state building being built with nearly a dozen men perched atop a beam with paper blueprints, cigarettes, and newsboy caps. In the past century, safety has become a top priority for many construction companies. A safe construction job prevents accidents, deaths, and injuries, of course, but it also helps to avoid financial losses as well. Now, ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors) is claiming construction companies can be nearly six times safer than the industry average through best practices.

The Annual 2024 Safety Performance Report provides an analysis of how to implement ABC’s STEP Safety Management System. Let’s walk through a few of the best practices now.

Engagement from the top. Companies with high levels of involvement from management produce a 54% reduction in total recordable incident rates and a 52% reduction in days away, restricted, or transferred rates, proving management is a key component to safety.

New hire safety orientation. As I always say, training is key to ensure a culture of safety and innovation. In fact, companies that have an in-depth process to bring new employees into the safety culture using a documented orientation process experience will see incident rates that are 45% lower than companies that limit their orientations to basic health and safety compliance topics.

Frequency of toolbox talks. These talks are key to driving a culture of safety. Companies that conduct daily, 15-to-30-minute toolbox talks reduce their total recordable incident rate and their days away, restricted or transferred rates by 81% compared to companies that hold them monthly.

Certainly, these are only a few examples of best practices. We also know good technology and PPE (personal protective equipment) can help make a jobsite a little bit safer as well. Case in point: Both Clayco and Miron Construction are using a new safety helmet from STUDSON, which provides better protection than standard hard hats.

For Clayco, helmets have numerous innovations to keep workers safe. Inside, the safety helmet features Koroyd welded tube polymer for absorbing impact. The Koroyd material provides more effective heat dissipation and venting via its cellular structure design.

Here’s where this gets a bit innovative. On the shell, the embedded Twiceme technology digitally integrates a wearer’s health data. In the event of an emergency, that data is accessible via a smartphone NFC (near-field communication) chip reader viewable through an SMS text message or the TwiceMe app available for iOS or Android devices.

Meanwhile, Miron conducted a helmet pilot program in 2023 to evaluate different models of Type II safety helmets. After extensive employee testing, Miron selected the STUDSON SHK-1 vented varieties due to protection, comfort, and existing face shields and welding hoods compatibilities.

At the end of the day, a combination of best practices and technology will be key to ensuring greater safety on the construction jobsite. And, of course, the people on the job will be central to ensuring everything is carried out. How do you ensure a safe construction jobsite?

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