The economic recovery is bringing a boom in construction projects across the United States and abroad. This is good news for the industry, but the figures suggest that the availability of skilled workers is not growing at the same pace. The industry lost laborers during the recession, and their number has not fully recovered. This is leading to safety concerns because of the risk of bringing on less experienced workers.
Construction and insurance companies are pushing for greater adoption of safety training programs. Speaking to Business Insurance, several experts stressed the importance of adequate leadership to ensure workers' well-being. The construction industry has improved its safety record significantly over the past few years thanks to the adoption of better physical protective measures at building sites, but if a company's higher-ups don't stress preventative action, real results will be hard to come by.
Industry insiders also believe that subcontractors are often not engaged enough in a project's overall safety strategy. Risk managers should meet with subcontractors face to face and supervisors should spend more time on site to meet with workers and ensure that they are aware of safety practices and have the experience to follow them.
"Safety should flow from the bottom up because workers are the ones getting hurt," said Clune Construction Company risk manager Frank Keres to Business Insurance. "You should be listening to your employees, not just your owner and insurance people."
Behavior based safety programs are a simple and effective way to prevent worksite injuries. Certified professionals can teach workers and supervisors to adopt practices that reduce the risk of injury during construction projects.