The construction industry is one of the biggest employers globally, putting around 100 million people to work. However, the biggest problem is the industry’s safety challenges. Moreover, the sector employees are rarely updated with the latest safety protocols. This makes navigating across daily tasks taxing, as construction involves working at heights and depths, and the complexity of structures becomes more demanding.
The biggest safety challenge in the construction industry is to continually ensure that human lives are unaffected by the various activities at the site. Since this industry is labour-intensive, it becomes imperative that a large number of safeguards should be deployed at the work site to deliver the project safely and efficiently. Securing construction workers and creating a safe construction environment requires companies to go beyond the minimum safety rules and address common construction safety challenges. This article will discuss the common issues that swarm the industry.
Common safety challenges in the construction industry
Let us begin by exploring the common safety challenges:
Distorted perception of risk: Some of the largest and loudest safety challenges on the construction site rarely are the ones that lead to injuries. This is because construction workers are accustomed to these prominent dangers and navigate vigilantly across them. Your workers remain focused on the hazard, and their hazard awareness is at its peak during complex tasks as these risks are evident. However, one of the biggest safety challenges is that workers who have been on construction sites for an extended period of time tend to become desensitised, especially to smaller but very real risks. Safety experts claim that workers who have been on construction sites for many years begin to underestimate their chances of getting hurt while performing routine activities as they have gotten used to a specific way of carrying them out regularly. Moreover, as they are constantly exposed to these risks daily, it instils an unshakeable belief in them that they have become invulnerable or immune to such hazards. Unfortunately, this overconfidence is what leads to an accident. Safety training programmes must be regularly conducted on the site to mitigate the safety challenges, highlighting how small risks escalate and damage human life.
Inescapable environmental hazards: Construction workers must constantly battle the shifting environment. This could change the landscape or weather changes during the construction project. Due to these unavoidable and inevitable environmental hazards, old hazards shift shape, and new hazards can be born. So, in a site where no one was stumbling or twisting their ankles, suddenly there can be an increase in the number of slips, trips and falls in addition to same-level falls because the environment has changed and construction workers have not mentally made the necessary adjustments to avoid injury. This is one of the most infuriating issues for construction safety managers as they cannot eliminate small hazards or change the manner in which employees behave on sites. The only way to mitigate this issue is to integrate human factor training into construction safety and conduct regular site inspections to highlight newly developed issues.
High turnover rates: Many construction companies have a high turnover rate because contracts tend to be short and employees are constantly changing. As a result of this high turnover rate, there is very little time for employees to be trained in safety measures beyond the mandatory minimum requirements. This is ironic, as in order to protect workers, construction safety managers must go beyond minimum compliance requirements. The challenge is to provide training in such a manner that it incorporates standard training requirements and human error prevention training in the shortest amount of time.
Lack of communication: Not everyone is a natural communicator, which becomes challenging when your supervisor is inefficient at communication. Efficient communication can ensure that your job gets done well and safety issues are appropriately handled. It could be as simple as clearing the area up and putting the tools back in storage. The inability to communicate such necessities makes the place more hazardous. Employees who are less engaged in safety protocols tend to make more mistakes. The only solution to mitigate this issue is to create condition and training programmes that are focused on safety leadership, competencies and skills.
How does construction safety management software improve safety?
Construction safety management software, such as Edara Software, helps support your safety programmes, allowing you to mitigate issues before they become potentially harmful. Not only does such software help the foreman keep track of attendance, record safety meetings, and identify the root causes of the safety risk, but it also improves project outcomes through better quality and safety management tools.
The common safety challenges in the construction industry include a lack of effective communication, high turnover rates, certain environmental conditions, and a distorted perception of risk. To use the best construction software Australia, you can contact Edara Systems.