According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the construction industry has one of the highest rates of fatal occupational injuries1. Due to the nature of this traditional construction, stringent safety rules are in place to ensure that workers have secure environments in which to work. However, since accidents happen when least expected, the construction industry must strive for safer work conditions especially when employees handle heavy machinery, tools, heights, and construction equipment.
Construction firms and agencies have the burden of responsibility to keep workers safe. Maximized safety measures in construction not only put workers at ease, but it also drastically improves productivity, building quality, and most importantly, the safety of construction workers.
In this article, we will look at ways in which worker safety can be improved as well as reviewing how modular construction is a viable option for the safety of construction workers.
How Can You Enhance Safety of Workers?
Safety Gear and Supervision. The importance of consistently using high-quality safety gear cannot be stressed enough. Supervisors must insist and regularly check if all workers are adhering to safety rules and are wearing the right safety equipment. Accidents occur when workers become negligent and have no proper supervision.
Routine Training and Briefings for Workers In some construction sites, it is difficult to pinpoint which workers thoroughly understood the proper safety requirements. The best way to make sure all workers are following safety norms is to regularly hold training sessions, tail-gate meetings or workshops to ensure that workers understand:
- -Mandated safety protocols
- -Safety and emergency drills
- -How and when to use safety equipment
- -How to safely operate new machinery
Good Quality Machinery. The use of good quality materials and machine components make a world of a difference not only in construction quality, but also in construction safety. Machinery that is poorly designed, or that hasn’t been serviced or repaired carefully can become a danger to operators. Faulty tools and equipment are a major cause of accidents at construction sites.
Safe Alternatives - Offsite Construction. Apart from safety measures, alternate construction methods – making modular buildings offsite, for instance - can enhance worker safety in more ways than thought possible.
According to the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 2, the three most common fatal accidents that happen at construction sites (in the order of most to least) are:
- Being struck by an object
Offsite construction solves a lot of these problems by its inherent advantages:
- -In a controlled factory setting, there is little likelihood of workers “falling” from high locations like scaffolding
- -Assembly line-like processes allow more space for workers to operate
- -Offsite construction drastically reduces onsite traffic – thus reducing the likelihood of workers being crushed or caught in between objects
- -Electrocution can be almost eliminated with established safety protocols that are mandatory in every factory environment
The factory setting allows for greater control over operations and better safety management, apart from significant time savings and flexibility that modular construction is known for.
How Does Modular Construction Enhance Worker Safety?
Studies have shown that prefabricated buildings are much safer to build than buildings built on site3. Offsite construction being at the very core of modular buildings makes modular construction a solution, to most construction site accidents.
Whether it is a mobile office, portable construction office or a modular complex, the very method through which it is built makes modular buildings safer for construction workers.
To learn about modular buildings that fit your specific needs, request a quote from Mobile Modular today.