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9 Best Practices to Improve Florida Construction Site Safety

Construction sites are dangerous and filled with risks. Despite the efforts of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to set safety standards and enforce them, accidents are still quite common on construction sites.

Construction work is a dangerous profession. Recent data released by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) demonstrated that even though the overall rate of fatal work injuries in the U.S. fell in 2017 from the previous year, Florida’s workplaces have become less safe. In 2017, Florida’s rate of fatalities increased from 2.7 to 3.1 for every 1,000 workers. Florida had a larger increase in worker fatalities than the nation as a whole.

During the last two years, workers have died amid Interstate 4 construction, during construction at Universal Studios, at a mushroom plant and elsewhere. Some of the workers were performing high-risk duties while others were completing fairly mundane tasks.

Some of the most common construction site accidents and injuries in Florida include:

  • Accidents by falls
  • Being struck by equipment or an object
  • Electrocutions and burns
  • Getting caught in-between equipment or other worksite objects
  • Falls off scaffolding, ladders and other heights
  • Slipping or tripping
  • Crash injuries
  • Lacerations and disfigurement
  • Trench collapses
  • Falling objects
  • Heat and sunstroke
  • Toxic chemical exposure
  • Hearing and vision loss

Here are nine ways construction companies can reduce construction site injuries.

  1. Employee training

Continual training programs are essential for preventing workplace injuries. Make sure your employees have access to – and complete – all safety trainings that apply to their job position.

  1. Incentives and rewards

Construction businesses can end up with significant costs due to workplace injuries. Incentives and rewards for those who follow company safety policies is a wise investment that will not only mitigate costs but improve worker safety.

  1. Use labels and signs

Labels and signs are an inexpensive but effective way to remind workers of safety hazards. They are usually simple and rely on images to detail hazards and proper procedures. Signs are a good way to remind and warn even experienced workers.

  1. Keep things picked up and orderly

An unorganized worksite can lead to unnecessary accidents. Make sure equipment and tools are put away properly and spills are cleaned up quickly. Assign someone to conduct regular inspections to check for potential dangers.

  1. Supply the right tools and equipment

The right tools and equipment lead to a better final result and safer work environment. Make sure all equipment is serviced regularly and tools are kept in good repair. Machine and tool malfunctions are one of the most dangerous workplace hazards.

  1. Encourage regular breaks

Breaks are an easy way to encourage worker health and reduce stress. Taking even five minutes can help workers ease muscle tension and loosen joints, reducing the potential for motion injuries.

  1. Implement safety protocols

Workplace safety starts with employees who follow safety standards and perform their job following established procedures.

  1. Maintain an open dialog

Make it easy for employees to let you know about their health and safety concerns. Workers often recognize a potential hazard before supervisors, so encourage them to communicate their concerns to leadership on a consistent basis.

  1. Have regular safety meetings

Safety meetings are a good way to review safety standards, policies and procedures as well as facilitating discussions about how to improve on-the-job safety risks.

The ultimate goal for Florida’s construction industry is to reduce worksite accidents, injuries and fatalities to zero. It’s important the construction companies keep workers safe by making them aware of safety issues, train them on safety procedures and keep the lines of communication open. Following the above nine safety practices will help improve construction worker safety in Florida.

The experts at Lanier Upshaw invite you to explore the upside of risk. We offer advocacy, expertise and service to help turn your business risk into reward. Contact us here to learn more about how we can help your business prepare for the future with innovative insurance solutions.