Every year, thousands of workers are injured, and millions of dollars in damages occur on construction sites. Among the primary causes of accidents and loss of productivity are distracted employees. To maximize safety and performance, it’s imperative to keep your staff focused and engaged while operating in and around heavy equipment.
If your goal is a hazard-free work environment, consider these safety tips for ensuring your team is paying attention on the job:
- Stress the Importance of Communication – Like a great sports team or long-term relationship, communication is key in capturing and holding the attention of your workers. By conducting pre-shift meetings emphasizing daily safety concerns to providing the tools and techniques for employees to remain in contact with each other at all times, you’re cultivating an environment where everyone is aware of what’s going on around them and capable of alerting and responding to hazards and dangers.
- Reduce Sound Levels – Using all of your senses, especially hearing, is critical to staying safe on the job. However, in certain situations, extremely loud noise levels become a distraction that impairs the ability to communicate and takes attention off of the task at hand. Investing in equipment with sound-attenuated cabs and reduced vibrations and providing protective ear plugs to workers engaged in applications that require their full attention will contribute to reducing job site distractions and avoidable accidents and injuries.
- Promote Wellness – Often, construction workers are under pressure to work fastest over longer shifts to maximize productivity. However, studies show providing regular breaks and encouraging healthy behaviors helps employees perform with greater focus and precision. Giving your team the opportunity to rest and recharge will help them get more done with improved safety and efficiency.
- Have a Strict Personal Device Policy – In a world where workers can receive a call, email or text at any time, check to see how their favorite sports team is doing or even stream a movie, it’s imperative to guard against dangerous distractions. Employers need to state in no uncertain terms that accessing a personal device such as a cell phone or tablet on the job will be met with zero tolerance. If using a mobile device is as unsafe for everyday drivers on the road as studies show, looking at a screen while working on construction is treacherous and alarming.
- Be Persistent – Improving safety by making sure employees are paying attention takes an ongoing effort. From providing additional training and reiterating policies to continually reviewing procedures and soliciting feedback directly from employees, your persistence will be rewarded. Take a moment to celebrate successes such as a reduction of incidents to demonstrate your consolidated efforts are yielding results.
For more ideas on eliminating distractions and ensuring workers are paying attention on the job, contact MacAllister Machinery online today. We’re the authorized Cat® dealership for the region, offering a broad range of products, services and solutions for helping your business operate safer and more efficiently.