Construction work has a reputation for being somewhat dangerous. Construction workers use heavy machinery, work at great heights, and typically perform a wide range of tasks that require heavy lifting. Construction workers must be able to work safely. This is important for the well-being of your team and the financial sustainability of your business. All workers are entitled to seek compensation if they are injured on the job, and this compensation needs to be relative – meaning that it can be extremely expensive if a person is seriously injured. Businesses will also lose employees very quickly due to resignations and potential union action if they cannot provide a safe working environment, and rightly so. Here are some basic tips for keeping your construction workers safe.
It is worth mentioning that accidents do happen, no matter how many precautions you take. It is important to insure your company so that you can pay out any compensation to workers without being bankrupted in the process. Comprehensive construction insurance is an essential purchase.
Provide Safety Clothing
All construction workers should be provided with special protective clothing that is appropriate for their working environment. Basic protective clothing includes a hard hat, high visibility vests, waterproofs, work boots, goggles, and gloves. More specialized protective clothing is necessary on certain construction sites. Respirators, cut-proof gloves, and welding masks should be provided to construction workers where appropriate. The failure of a company to provide the right protective gear is a serious issue and could lead to huge compensation pay-outs, visits from the inspector and a whole lot of injuries. Personal Protection Equipment – or PPI for short – is an essential investment.
Assess Site Risks
It is vitally important that a construction site is assessed for dangers regularly. Regular assessments allow an employer or foreman to notify construction workers of specific risks so that they can take the necessary safety precautions. A pre-work assessment is not enough. Assessments need to be made as work goes on and the environment changes around the construction staff. Specialist health and safety inspectors are necessary hires for these assessments. They can draw up a list of risks that can then be used to inform staff training and equipment requirements. Knowledge is safety.
Only Hire Union Staff
There is a direct correlation between union membership and workplace safety. Unions make sure that every worker has their rights protected and will take responsibility for contacting the health and safety executive when things don’t look right. They will prevent their members from working on unsafe sites and ensure that they are provided with the right gear.
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Most workers dying on construction sites are not protected by unions. Even if union workers are more expensive to hire, they should be your number one pick. Do not fight union recruitment in the workplace and encourage discussion of health and safety among staff. Don’t be offended if changes need to be made, as the safety of your employees should come before anything else.