For owners of a contracting business, safety management is every bit as important as quality of work and customer satisfaction. In fact, effective contractor safety management can result in an improved return on investment and reputation, which is vital for gaining new business. When a contracting business is committed to safety, productivity is improved and risk is reduced. Below, we’ll discuss some steps to include in an effective safety management program.
Safety should start at the pre-project planning stage. Every job should begin with a thorough risk assessment, trying to identify all of the relevant hazards. They should then be studied and placed in order of priority. This way, you can implement safety specifications to ensure that risks reduced as much as possible.
Training your employees (and yourself) is vital to ensure safety procedures are followed. On various job sites, once you’ve identified potential hazards and have developed procedures to deal with them, then going over these procedures with employees and supervisors will help put everybody on the same page. Making safety a part of your next jobsite meeting is an effective way to routinely update everybody on the latest techniques and the current status of any particular risks for the current project. One thing to note about training: make it only as long as it needs to be, since everyone has a job to do and they are more than likely eager to get started. Encourage feedback as part of the training process, as well.
It’s also good to note that preparedness, in the event that something should go wrong on the jobsite, is an important part of safety management. Sometimes things happen outside of your influence and being ready is all that you can do. For example, what will you do when the lights go out? If you are working down in a basement -- equipment and cords strewn about, are you ready for a power outage? A simple fix in the situation would be to install battery-powered exit lights at key locations throughout the job area. That way, your employees and yourself can safely exit the area until the power is restored. This is just one example, but it illustrates how a little planning ahead based on the specific environmental conditions of the jobsite, can reduce a lot of risk for everyone involved.