Does Safety Drive Productivity? Here’s how to increase performance at the working site
The construction industry is famous for being one of the riskiest fields to work in. According to the U.S Bureau of Labour Statistics, out of 4,779 worker fatalities in private industry in 2018, 21.1% or 1,008 were in construction.
The leading causes of deaths in the construction industry were electrocution, falls followed by being struck by an object, and caught in between, which brought more than 58.6% deaths in 2018. Moreover, construction may also result in non-fatal injuries that might still cost your business millions of dollars per year, making safety training programs and strategies paramount in the industry.
A successful construction business relies on OSHA regulations to maintain an effective safety program and stay updated to the latest policies to ensure excellent performance. However, to better clarify how safety may improve your business performance, consider the following.
No training, no safety
First things, first. No matter the industry you’re in, anyone who operates a heavy piece of equipment must be properly trained and certified to use it. Meaning that even by simply moving a piece of machinery to a new area, even though there is nothing too complex in this process, you should never allow an untrained operator to handle the machinery.
OSHA safety programs provide business safety training programs for employees to better operate pieces of equipment such as telehandlers or rotational telehandlers and what steps they have to follow in case of emergency. However, when your organization already has well-trained personnel it might be tempting to skip this crucial step. But a regular review is never a bad thing for your business performance. We suggest you consider a monthly training session for equipment operation to renew your employee’s safety skills, knowledge and successfully avoid accidents.
Safe environments decrease lost working hours
It goes without saying that an organization that provides a safe working environment can be rewarded with an increase in the performance of its employees. Where to start? Learning how to better reduce downtime is the key to maintaining peak performance. On the working site, workers rely on machines and equipment in order to maintain optimal productivity. But because many organizations depend on employees to achieve optimal productivity by speeding up the production time, it can also lead to loss of productivity and increased downtime.
This strategy can surely be profitable and productive for the organization, but in the long term, such environments can also be hazardous. Nevertheless, an organization that values its employees’ health and cares to invest in safety programs is less likely to face downtime produced by risky environments. When it comes to investing in your worker’s safety, the perceived negative effect on performance and productivity is the key concern. So, the safer the working environment, the less working hours you’ll lose.
Regular machine inspection boosts on-site efficiency
Even though technical issues can’t be seen, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist. To successfully promote safety throughout your business, we advise you to focus on a preventive inspection of your equipment and working machines.
Damaged equipment and machinery are detrimental to your business operation. If a critical piece of equipment or machinery ceases to work while being operated, this might bring your employees in a very precarious situation. For instance, if one of your heavy trucks fails while it’s moving at high speed, it could cause major damage not only to surrounding structures and equipment but also to your employees.
To avoid that, make sure you stress the importance of regular inspection and safety programs. This could better prepare your equipment operators on how to inspect the basics such as fluid levels, brakes, headlights, and tires daily. But if your team cannot tackle this task, you can always hire a trained professional to service your equipment regularly.
Great communication makes for engaged employees
Communication is crucial for your business performance. When your team communicates efficiently, things go smoothly and untroubled. Excellent communication ensures that your workers are constantly aware when a heavy piece of equipment or vehicle is occupied and in operation.
Indeed, your team alone cannot tackle all this task without a responsible supervisor and spotters to keep workers away from hazardous areas and announce when a vehicle passes by. Thus, when it comes to safety, effective communication on the job site is priceless. By communicating successfully, your team will be able to operate machinery safely and avoid delays due to accidents and safety protocol breaches.
A safe environment makes for happy employees, and there is nothing to prove the opposite. When an employee feels safe at work, he is more likely to go “above and beyond” with his work and be more loyal to his employer.
Safety means less Distractions
Apart from the basic communication equipment that is crucial for your business performance, other communication devices that might distract your employees should not be allowed. As you know, working sites are pretty hazardous, and besides the usual obstacles a worker must face daily, a ringing phone might be distracting for them, especially when handling a heavy piece of machinery.
OSHA regulation forbids using a mobile phone on a working site without a specific necessity, and as a business owner is in your duty to expand this policy to every employee on the working sites. No matter how vigilant one of your operators might be, if a phone rings in the most unexpected moment, this could easily cause an accident.
Love it or hate it, but for many successful businesses, a better performance comes from increased safety. When you provide a less threatening working environment, your employees reward you with an upsurge in productivity. It follows that a worker who is adequately trained and confident in doing his task is more likely to perform better than a worker who is uncertain of the environment safety and his responsibility. But when it comes to increased performance and confident workers, there’s nothing a proper safety training can’t do.