There are roughly 150,000 construction site accident injuries each year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, the BLS reports companies in America pay $62 billion per year for workplace injuries — that’s more than $1 million per week. A medically consulted injury has an average cost of $39,000, while a death has an average cost of $1.15 million. It is no secret that working in the construction field is inherently dangerous, but did you know that out of every 5,000 private-industry worker fatalities, 20 percent are in construction? One out of every five worker deaths are construction-related! When taking all the above into consideration it might feel a little overwhelming, but there are safety methods that can help identify the issues that are most likely to develop into unsafe or unhealthy conditions. I am of course referring to the implementation of regular site safety inspections and audits. These are a great tool and resource that can be used to identify hazards as well as safety trends at the worksite.
Safety Inspection vs Audit
Safety inspections identify safety hazards and unsafe work practices in the workplace. They are typically conducted by a safety professional but can be a beneficial learning tool for anyone involved with the process. Companies can perform them internally or can choose to have outside organizations perform them like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), or a independent safety entity like Trivent Safety Consulting.
Safety audits are similar in principal but have a slightly different focus. Audits are beneficial in determining whether your company is compliant with current safety regulations, as well as identifying potential weaknesses in a company’s safety program. At least one comprehensive safety audit should be scheduled every year. A different, but effective, approach is to schedule targeted safety audits throughout the year.
Benefits of a safety inspections and audits?
It is all in the name! The purpose of any safety inspection/audit is to identify and eliminate anything that could pose a hazard to the health and wellbeing of the worker. There are all sorts of catchy fun safety slogans, but at the end of the day the one that makes the most sense to me is “Safety Is No Accident.” Here are benefits to performing site safety inspections/audits:
- To discover and identify potential hazards in the workplace.
- To check the safety of your workplace.
- To gain further understanding of jobs and tasks
- To Listen to the concerns of workers and supervisors
- To verify that your processes are following company policies and regulations.
- To determine if you your Safety & Health programs and procedures are working.
- To confirm that employees and management are following company or site safety programs.
- To inspect safety equipment
- To determine if you are documenting your safety and health program activities properly.
- To verify compliance to OSHA regulations.
- To evaluate the adequacy of your supervisors’ safety training and performance.
- To evaluate the adequacy of your employees’ safety training and performance.
How often should I perform a site safety inspection?
Construction safety inspections, or self-inspections as OSHA refers to them, are recommended to cover the entire worksite and be done weekly. There are additional variables that should be considered when determining the frequency of conducting site safety inspections. Here are a few for consideration:
- Company or project specific guidelines for safety inspections.
- Number of workers per shift
- High risk activities and imminent danger
- Introduction of new workers, pieces of equipment, or work processes
- Incidents, accidents, near misses
Who should perform the site safety audit?
With any inspection or audit, it is important that the person conducting it is competent and has the proper experience and knowledge to identify potential hazards. A good viable option for conducting audits/inspections are independent safety consulting companies. Third party safety inspectors can make a difference and shows OSHA that your company is operating in “Good Faith”. When OSHA sees a company, who is working hand in hand with an outside consulting company, it shows that a good faith effort is being put forth towards improving the safety of your employees. It can also be beneficial to get an assessment from someone who is completely independent of the project. At Trivent Safety Consulting we are a third-party safety resource that is committed to ensuring the safety of all construction working trades and have over 75 years of field time experience to draw from.
Jobsite and facility safety inspections are one of the most effective ways to identify unsafe conditions at your location. Our team of trained professionals in onsite safety services will happily walk with you to identify OSHA compliance and general safety concerns for your company. Through these inspections, we can work with your company to help establish a practical way to mitigate these deficiencies. Whether it be through training your personnel, changing the procedures, or other methods, we believe in finding solutions to your problems. By identifying hazardous situations through inspections, we can fix problems before they become a serious incident.
Trivent Safety Consulting is committed to helping solve your safety concerns, affording you more time to focus on other areas of your business.
Interested, Want More Information?
Contact us today to schedule a free site safety inspection & audit. (800) 819-6092 or www.triventsc.com