According to recent reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there’s been a decline in the amount of employer-reported workplace injuries and illnesses in 2017, and fatal injuries have also declined almost a whole percentage point from the year prior. So the question is, are work sites really getting safer, and why? Here’s some things that may be contributing to a safer work environment in the trades:
Technological advances like drones and robots that compensate for less labor may be why work sites are getting safer. This is because they’ve made it easier to predict on-site hazards, as well as making them safer in the first place. For example, drones can do surveys in advance of a job, so that site planning is more accurate. Robots can do the repetitive tasks of craftsmen, which studies showed caused safety risks due to the monotony of work.
Recent improvements in personal equipment like hard hats, steel-toed boots, eye protection and more make these products more protective. In addition, manufacturers have often made them easier and comfortable to wear, which means craftsmen are more likely to wear them and protect themselves from harm.
There’s been more and more awareness around the dangers and costs of an unsafe job site, so many organizations have worked hard to create a focus on creating a culture of safety. When leaders make safety a top priority, that’s when policies are more likely implemented and followed.
Better Training Options
New safety techniques and procedures are learned when craftsmen are given ongoing training classes. Recent trends like online classes, micro learning, just in time learning, and engaging content are giving craftsmen more variety and options to get that training in new and exciting ways.
More Reliance on Data
The availability and use of data is making construction more efficient every day. It also increases safety with more accurate evaluations and projections.
One obvious obstacle to watch out for in this tight labor market is too small of a team. Some companies may not give the training needed, or try to push their limited staff to exhaustion or burn-out which can create all kinds of safety issues. If you need to add to your team for a safe project, give us a call! Madden can help guide you in safety training and/or match workers that have the experience and training you need.