Construction belongs to the top industries with the highest rate of worker injury and fatality statistics. This is why companies invest a lot of money to improve workplace safety as accidents leading to injury or death can be very costly. However, a company should widen its scope and safety planning to accommodate visitors — inspectors, business partners, suppliers, clients, and even educational field trip groups. As long as a visitor is within the construction site, their safety is the responsibility of the contractor/construction company.
As such, we’ll be taking a look at different tips to help you ensure and improve the safety of those visiting your construction site to avoid any accidents:
Stock Up on Safety Gear
Every worker in the site are required to wear the appropriate safety gear for their task, and you need to have a few extra personal protective equipment (PPEs) on hand just in case theirs is damaged. However, you’ll also want to consider the possibility of having to welcome and escort visitors in the site, so consider adding a few more that are reserved for visitors when you order your site’s safety equipment from your suppliers. But most importantly, you should never allow any visitor from entering the site if without the proper protective gear. If needed, execute the tour in batches to ensure that everyone is geared from head to toe when on site. Lastly, make sure that the PPEs are inspected and cleaned before and after the visit, and have any damaged gear replaced.
Logging, Briefing, and Supervision
Make sure that all visitors sign in (and out) of the site; this is also for your security, and also to keep track of how there are before and after the visit. The visitors need to be briefed regarding the hazards in the site, including respiratory hazards (from dust and fumes), and also the importance of each PPE they’re wearing. More importantly, you should never let visitors wander off into the site unattended; visitors should have an escort to guide them through the ‘safe’ and unrestricted areas of the site. In loud areas where hearing may be difficult, it’s important to either provide visitors with headsets to allow them to hear the guide/escort.
Restricted Areas and Signage
Visitors should be guided through the safest route possible; those with the least hazards and also better visibility (for escorts to keep an eye on each visitor). Certain areas should be considered as restricted, and only workers who are authorised to be in the area should be allowed in. These areas should be properly marked with visible signage and fenced off (or have alarms in case of unauthorised access). Additionally, there should be various safety signage throughout the trip to remind visitors of hazards in the area, and for them to keep their PPEs on at all times.
Emergency Contact Preparation and Constant Communication
The escort/guide should be briefed on who to contact in case of emergencies to avoid delays in accident/injury response. Instead of this, emergency response planning should also include incidents involving visitors and not just workers. The guide should be aware of any activity or incidents in each area, which is why the escort/guide should have continuous communication with the construction manager and supervisors to provide updates to the guide and vice versa.
The safety of everyone in the construction site is a responsibility of the contractor/company, so make sure that your safety plan (and resources) includes not only those of your workers but also visitors by following the tips listed above.