Safety audits and safe work practices play a key role in keeping your job site safe and ensuring the entire project stays on-track and within budget.
But, considering human nature, is it even possible to have a safe job site? Some doubt this. After all, it is estimated that over the course of a year, about 1 out of every 10 construction workers are injured, some fatally. The most common job site injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Eye injury
- Repetitive motion injuries
The sad thing about many of these common injuries is that they could have easily been prevented by following safety protocols and using the proper personal protective equipment (PPE).
Many in the construction industry claim that the nature of construction work makes accidents inevitable. Yet records prove otherwise. Many contractors who make safety a priority on their job sites report substantially fewer injuries than others. This is not a coincidence – safe work practices do make a difference!
Safety audits can make a huge difference on your construction site. Let's look at how these audits impact the safety of construction sites and why you should institute your own.
10 Reasons to Implement Regular Safety Audits Now
1. Evaluates Effectiveness of Safety Programs
An audit will help everyone learn from mistakes made by evaluating how accidents could have been avoided. It helps you to make your safety program stronger and more effective for future projects.
Recommended Reading: Safety First: How to Keep a Jobsite Safe
2. Saves Money and Lives
It is better to find out about a safety risk during a regular audit than after an accident has already happened. It keeps workers safe and keeps costs low – a win-win on any job site.
3. Discover New Safety Hazards
Every year, new tools and construction equipment are rolled out. With these new tools and equipment come new hazards. In addition, each new job site brings unique challenges and hazards. A regular audit ensures that you stay in step with the regulations that OSHA sets forth for job site safety.
Recommended Reading: 5 Safety Tips for Performing a Commercial Building Inspection
4. Ensures That Equipment is Safe to Use
Equipment can pose a safety hazard if it's not properly maintained – dull blades, exposed wiring, and tools that don't work properly can lead to injury for the user. Larger equipment should be checked for damage prior to use. You should also make sure that all users receive the proper training for operating any large equipment.
Could you improve the safety of your equipment by making simple replacements? How about by ensuring all safety covers are in place? Is there any damage to tools or equipment that would make it unsafe to use? These are just a few of the things that you can watch for during regular audits.
5. Allows You to Evaluate the Level of Safety Training
Has everyone on your team – including supervisors and employees – received safety training? During your safety audit, check on who has attended safety training. If anyone hasn't attended safety training yet, or perhaps his or her training has expired, you should schedule up-to-date training sessions as soon as possible.
6. Keeps Everyone on High Alert
Safety is an area that often gets overlooked as soon as no one's looking. A regular audit of your safety program will ensure that everyone on the job site makes safety a priority and follows safety protocols closely.
7. Increases Productivity
A safe and clean job site allows workers to move around with ease and accomplish their tasks in record time. When everyone knows how to work safely – eliminating the delays and interruptions that job site accidents cause – the project can be completed on schedule.
8. Attracts New Clients
With the rising cost of job site injuries, it's no wonder that investors look for contractors with a reputation for safety. It keeps their costs down and ensures that the job will be completed on time.
Recommended Reading: How Excellent Construction Safety Helps Keep Costs Under Control
9. Verify OSHA Compliance
OSHA has required standards and strict rules for all construction sites. If your job site is not compliant with these standards, you could be facing a major fine on top of a delay in work while issues are resolved. A safety audit ensures that every part of your job site – from equipment to workers – are OSHA compliant.
10. Keeps Everyone Prepared
While audits are meant to cut down on unsafe work practices, accidents will happen. An audit also serves to prepare people for these occasions. For instance, if someone falls, everyone should know the steps to take to get the person the care they need. If your crew works around hazardous materials, such as lead, everyone should know what signs to look for to identify lead poisoning. These are the types of things an audit can prepare your crew to handle.
How does your construction safety program measure up? Perform your own safety audit and see the results for yourself!
The Ross Group has a high regard for safety. Our proactive safety program, maintained by our Safety Committee, has earned us multiple third-party safety validations as safe contractors. This year we were also proud recipients of the Excellence in Safety Award for the 3rd year in a row!