Are Your Construction Workers Prepared for an Emergency?

Most individuals perform their morning routines without much thought. They do not have to wake up and remind themselves to brush their teeth, brew their coffee, and grab their lunch out of the refrigerator. They have ingrained these habits to the point where they become automatic. The same is true for construction workers on job sites. For example, they are likely to take the same route from their tools to where they are working. They likely do so because it is the most efficient way to do their job. Unfortunately, it may not be the most expedient path to evacuate during an emergency.

This is why site supervisors need to train construction staff on what to do and how to respond during an emergency. This is especially true for construction sites that shift layouts often to work on new phases of a project. The following are several elements to include in emergency response plans.

  1. Ensure all workers know the site layout. This includes all buildings as well as the location of emergency equipment and emergency exits. Site supervisors should make sure to post maps detailing this information in several locations throughout the job site. These maps should include highlighted routes to the nearest exit as well.
  2. Make sure workers know where to find emergency phone numbers. The roster should include phone numbers for the police, the fire department, medical emergency personnel, OSHA, insurance providers, the Coast Guard, and so on.
  3. Assign duties to specific workers in the event of an emergency. For example, certain workers should be responsible for phoning the correct emergency services to reduce chaos and prevent unnecessary injuries.
  4. Practice, practice, practice. No emergency procedure will go off without a hitch if the workers never practice it. Site supervisors should hold drills to practice what to do in the event of an emergency. They should also hold frequent safety briefings to review emergency procedures.

Accidents and emergencies happen despite the most careful planning. Even so, construction companies cannot afford to neglect emergency preparation. Doing so can result in pandemonium and excessive injuries. It can also cause insurance costs and workers’ compensation expenses to spiral out of control. To learn more about improving safety on construction sites, contact the experts at The Reilly Company.