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Construction Safety in 2022

Hazards are always present on construction sites, so companies must work hard in 2022 to ensure safety and attend to common threats. As the pandemic continues, worker safety will continue to be a top priority in the new year and will be a top challenge for construction site managers.

Safe Contractor Traits

According to the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), contractors that engage in five safety practices are six times safer than the industry average.

  • These safe contractors will have a robust substance abuse policy that includes testing, where permitted.
  • They have an intensive onboarding process and great orientation programs that outline expectations and policies.
  • These contractors host regular toolbox talks at the beginning of shifts and sometimes during lunch breaks. They emphasize performing with safety in mind.
  • Safe contractors implement and practice safety measures from the top down. As a result, every executive and every supervisor follows the same safety protocols that the frontline workers follow daily.
  • The safest contractors use protocols to measure and use safety data from their worksite so they can consistently raise the bar on safety issues.

According to ABC’s Safety Performance Report, the recordable incident rate for all companies the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics tracked was 3.0 per 1,000 hours worked in 2019, dropping to 2.7 per 1,000 hours in 2020. Among its best-performing members instituting the five specific workforce programs, the incident rate was only 0.41 per 1,000 hours, up a tiny tick from 2019’s rate of 0.37.

Those five safety measures are the leading indicators of incident rates so, companies that practice them are statistically more likely to have fewer safety incidents in the future.

By focusing on those five principles, you can improve safety performance.

Even with a slight uptick in safety-related incidents among the safest contractors, that does not necessarily reflect an increased number. Contractors were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and so were their hours, so it was more a reflection of the same number of incidents spread over fewer hours.

The industry also kept workers out of harm’s way during the pandemic by stopping work and evaluating what was needed to work safely, then resume work with no increase in viral, physical, or mental hazards.

The pandemic has revealed what is needed on a construction site in the way of hygiene. It has also led contractors to focus on their employees’ mental health and total well-being. That initiative is reflected in leading companies offering better

wellness programs, which has been highlighted as workers face additional stress during the pandemic.

A total health approach is a new frontier for worker safety. That includes wearing the high visibility vest, the goggles, the hard hat and the steel-toed boots every day on the job. It also includes asking workers if they are ready for their workday, both mind and body.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.