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Unsafe jobsites are typically due to poor management, therefore it’s management’s responsibility to convince their employees of the importance of health and safety, says construction product developer and manufacturer Hilti.
The philosophy should then trickle down to employees who will look out for one another and take co-ownership of jobsite safety. Leaders can encourage a safety culture by implementing regular injury-prevention activities such as near-miss analyses, safety inspections, worker-led committees and worker-established KPIs for measuring safety.
This requires group alignment, process execution and personal accountability. For a manager, that’s all in a day’s work.
Managers can also lead by adopting a Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) strategy that takes advantage of technological innovations. Investing in products and services that help reduce jobsite risk is a proactive approach that can keep companies a few steps ahead of regulators.
How can technology help?
Applications such as drilling and anchoring in concrete can be substituted with innovative fastening systems. And if hammer drilling is unavoidable, an integrated extraction system on an SDS rotary hammer can help remove virtually all of the dust directly from the bit.
Some high-end tools feature technologies to reduce vibration and torque-control systems to help prevent unexpected over-rotation if the bit gets stuck. At Hilti, for example, we’ve developed a more advanced form of torque-control technology called 3D ATC. It uses multiple gyroscopic sensors to detect when an angle grinder suddenly leaves a work area, triggering a disc brake.
Another solution is using cordless tools with higher performance-to-weight ratios, meaning they’re lighter and more comfortable to use (especially when working overhead). However, comfort shouldn’t come at the expense of power – the effort required to use them should remain manageable.
Ineffective organisational processes, such as insufficient training or poor PPE management, can also be tightened up with proactive, cloud-based construction management apps. Some software can manage safety and training certifications and provide alerts that help enable compliance.
Others track PPE stock, helping supervisors keep dust masks, gloves and glasses onsite at all times. Safer jobsites, better business Employees respond positively to genuine commitments to improve health and safety.
Therefore, business leaders who take an active role in executing safety strategies, who engage employees throughout the process and who adopt effective safety innovations, can measurably reduce injuries and downtime.
Running a safer jobsite is not only better for employees, it’s better for business. Though increasing productivity might be the primary goal for most construction companies, avoiding hefty fines and sufficiently staffing projects should also be a priority when it comes to increasing profit margins.
To find out more about how Hilti can help your business become safer through technology check out ‘How tech can help make construction safer’ on the Hilti blog at www.hilti.ie