Why Is It Important To Have Safety Meetings?
In many industries, safety is everything. That is especially true for the construction industry.
Without correct safety measures in place, the doors are open for all kinds of trouble.
You can end up with injured workers, lawsuits, lost jobs, high insurance, OSHA, bad EMR ratings, or worst of all, a job site death.
Construction hazards are abundant.
With the various building materials, toxic chemicals, machinery, heavy equipment, heights, sharp objects everywhere, it's no secret that working on a construction site can be dangerous.
One of the biggest weapons against construction hazards is prevention.
With the right preventative measures like toolbox talks and safety meetings, injuries, fatalities, and other adverse consequences can be avoided.
We'll learn more in the article below.
Table of Contents
Project Kickoff Safety Meeting
Before starting a new construction project, you should hold a safety meeting with all employees who will be setting foot on the job site.
Even if someone is only on the job site for a few hours one day, they should be involved in the safety meeting.
Kickoff meetings should be structured to cover the risks and hazards that will be present throughout each stage of construction.
Several topics should be covered in a kickoff safety meeting, including safe work practices for the various activities and tasks being performed, the selection and proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and basic first aid practices.
The engineering safety measures that will be in place on the job site should also be discussed.
Everyone involved in the project should visit the job site to familiarize themselves with the layout and location of the project.
The location of the job site trailer or office, where materials, tools, and PPE are being stored, the location of first aid kits and directions to the nearest hospital should be pointed out during the visit.
Everyone involved in the project should know who the safety manager or supervisor they should report to if an accident occurs or if they witness unsafe work practices.
Every employee should know that they have the power to stop work to correct unsafe work acts or conditions.
Toolbox talks are brief safety meetings conducted on the construction site that focuses on bringing awareness to safety topics.
Things like job site hazards, potentially dangerous workflows, essential precautions, and site-specific safety concerns can be discussed during a toolbox talk.
Toolbox talks are necessary safety refreshers and also serve as a chance for the open discussion of questions, comments, and concerns regarding safety.
Also referred to as tailgate meetings or safety briefings, toolbox talks are an effective way to bring workers together, strengthen safety culture, and educate the field on the best safety practices.
Whether they are done once a week or multiple times a week, the superintendent should take the time necessary to prepare a successful and productive toolbox talk.
The workflow usually looks like this:
- Decide on a topic.
- Research the topic.
- Print a toolbox talk pdf.
- Perform talk and collect signatures.
- Scan toolbox talks and sign-in sheet at the office, or keep it in a binder.
Even after the toolbox talk has been finished, the work isn't complete. Safety managers still have to manually enter toolbox talk information into an excel spreadsheet so that executives and clients are aware of the safety precautions taking place.
In addition to safety meetings and toolbox talks, proper safety training is crucial for every job site.
All new employees, regardless of their work experience, should be trained in safe work practices, PPE requirements, and adherence to safety regulations.
Formal safety training should be structured into digestible blocks of information to build on the lessons previously taught.
Each employee should be able to recognize hazards and unsafe working conditions.
Your employee's safety knowledge should be evaluated with tests and quizzes to ensure that the training they have been provided is understood, and they retained the knowledge they learned.
Safety training shouldn't be limited to new employees.
Refresher courses and ongoing training helps keep safety a top priority for your employees and reinforces your company's commitment to safety.
Corrective measures such as retraining should be part of any disciplinary action when an employee is found to be working unsafely or disregarding safety requirements.
It's always a good idea to do a little research before handing down a random punishment. Determine if the behavior was a blatant disregard for the safety rules or whether it was a result of inadequate safety training.
Regularly evaluate and make adjustments to your training as needed to ensure you are providing your employees with the knowledge to keep them safe on the job site.
It's also an excellent idea to make sure everyone feels like they have been adequately trained during the toolbox talks.
Construction Safety Is Important
Unsafe circumstances on a job site can undoubtedly hurt a construction firm from a regulation perspective.
Improper safety practices lead to accidents and impact the general contractor or subcontractor's EMR rating. The more accidents, the higher the rating. And with that higher rating, the more expensive things get.
Your insurance cost goes up, job costs go up, and bids have to go up, resulting in fewer jobs won.
But worst of all, unsafe circumstances on a job site make way for accidents and even death.
Safety precautions should be taken. Construction safety talks and toolbox talks are a couple of simple ways to ensure safety on the job site and cut down injuries in the construction industry.
When hiring a construction company for your next project, it is important that they are focused on safety. Creating a safe work environment not only minimizes accidents and lost production time, but it also creates a higher quality end product that keeps everyone safe.
At STEVENS, we are committed to endorsing and protecting the safety and health of our employees by providing a safe work environment through the cooperative efforts of every branch of our organization.
Our commitment to a Zero Accident Safety Policy allows us to offer our employees the tools they need to be successful.
Click on the button below to see how STEVENS can make safely help you with your next project!