Supporting Employee Health in the Construction Industry

construction worker wearing safety gear on a construction site

Employee health and safety is a top priority for construction contractors. Construction work presents more risks and hazards than the average job. Not only that, but construction work also exposes workers to extreme weather elements; heat, humidity, and sub-zero temperatures. As a contractor, you have a responsibility to implement and promote safety and health, on and off the job site. Here is are a few best practices to see if you’re on the right track.

Eliminate the risks. To support employee health and safety, you need to reduce the risks as much as possible. Establish policies and procedures that will help keep your employees injury-free. For instance, you might implement a standard process for handling and disposing of chemicals on your project sites. Communicate your safety policies often and provide training to new employees. Every job site comes with its own unique set of hazards. Not to mention, construction sites are constantly changing as the project progresses. This is why regular site audits and equipment checks are so important. A lot can change from one day to the next on a construction site so establishing consistent procedures is important.

Plan ahead. One of the best ways to prevent injuries in construction is to plan each task out ahead of time. Pre-task safety planning allows your team to think through all of the potential risks and decide on the safest way to complete the task. Pre-planning also helps ensure employees choose the right personal protective equipment (PPE) and tools for the job. Using the right safety to protect eyes, hands, etc. can eliminate some of the more common injuries seen on construction sites. The same is true of using the right tool for the job.

Implement “Stop Action Authority.” On any given project, there is a general contractor and multiple subcontractors working alongside one another. Give your employees the permission and authority to stop unsafe work by any employee on the site. Creating a safety-focused culture where all employees on site are held accountable is the best way to keep everyone safe.

Health Challenges. Aside from staying safe on the jobsite, there are a lot of other ways you can encourage your team to be healthy. Consider providing incentives for quitting smoking or losing weight. Starting a team challenge or competition is a great way to motivate employees to eat healthy and stay active.