The skills shortage in the construction industry is set to increase as the Brexit deadline inches closer. 78% of contractors already admit to skills shortages in their teams and this is said to increase as a large percentage of the workforce is made up of migrant workers. For construction companies, the need to make use of sub-contractors is on the increase, which means risk management is essential to ensure site security. For contractors, a back-to-basics approach is necessary, coupled with innovative tech, to keep safety standards high during this critical phase just before the March 29, 2019 deadline.
Ongoing training and updates on safety drills
Construction companies that have a healthy approach to construction safety and those who embrace it, also enjoy a better retention of staff. At the heart of construction site safety, is the Construction Safety Officer. This person is responsible for ensuring that the construction site follows the laid-down policies and guidelines in construction site safety and also to remain abreast of new trends in construction safety. This then needs to be relayed to the workers in order to ensure they’re fully aware of the requirements, and regular safety drills are essential.
Regular maintenance and upgrade of equipment
Old, rickety and rusty scaffolding and equipment can be detrimental to a construction site. If repairs and maintenance are done in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, this will extend the life of the equipment which means replacement might not be necessary. However, as the incident in Qatar recently revealed proper maintenance of equipment is essential in ensuring the equipment is capable of performing the task at hand. If both corrective and preventative maintenance had been performed on the hoists used during the construction of the 2022 World Cup soccer stadium, the outcome for Mr. Cox might have been different. Steps the owner of the hoists would have followed during maintenance include:
- Regularly scheduled maintenance
- Maintenance after faults were discovered
- Condition-based maintenance, and more.
Safety before deadlines
Although meeting construction targets are important to keep projects going and shareholders happy, it should never be at the risk of the safety of the workers. Time schedules should work in accordance with regulations to ensure workers are not overworked and fatigued. Companies who do not comply with this face serious implications that could shut their doors, never mind halt the progress on their projects. Recent fatalities on constructions sites managed by a Chinese developer, resulted in over 2,200 projects halted as inquiries continue. Not only do officials at the company face serious charges, but they’ve also potentially lost millions in projects. This also means thousands of workers had to down tools and be without income to sustain their families.
The safety on construction sites is not only crucial to meet the satisfaction of the regulatory bodies, but also improve the work life of staff. Regular maintenance also plays a big role in ensuring site safety.