Off-site building eliminates many potential on-site accidents.

Because trusses and walls are built in a temperature-controlled environment using state-of-the-art laser-guided saws with well-trained staff on a shop floor, the risks are minimized.

But things can still go wrong on the job site. If the weather turns – a rainstorm that makes every surface a skating rink or a windstorm that makes working on a roof treacherous – working conditions can change quickly.

We want every single one of our team members to go home safely at the end of the workday…our employees, our vendors, our subcontractors…

That requires diligence on the part of employees, site supervisors, and management. It’s also essential that everyone reports near-misses, not just the accidents that result in injury.

The only way to mitigate risk is to learn from times when an employee almost had a fall, had a piece of equipment malfunction, or tripped over an obstruction but could recover.

Accident prevention requires diligence

Take a look at the Occupational Health & Safety statistics on workplace accidents. Here are the top eight causes of injury.

  1. Slips, trips, and falls
  2. Struck by
  3. Struck against
  4. Overexertion
  5. Transportation incidents
  6. Caught in/between
  7. Exposure to harmful substances
  8. Ergonomic/Repetitive Motion

The top four represent 76% of all the accidents. And they’re all preventable. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that, in 2020, over 195,000 construction workers were injured on the job, and 213,000 employees in transportation and warehousing suffered injuries. That’s a staggering number of people whose livelihoods were put in jeopardy.

According to Occupational Health & Safety, if companies focus solely on the accident’s cause, they’re missing the boat. Safety can’t be a set of measures put in place and taken for granted. Workers can’t be lulled into a false sense of security when there are so many different trades on-site.

Safety has to be second nature to every single person on a job site. They can never take for granted that every hazard has been addressed. Everyone has to show up on the site prepared to keep their eyes and ears open, report hazards as soon as they’re spotted, and report every near-miss.

Accident prevention requires accurate reporting

As employers, we do our best to stay on top of worksite conditions. We treat our employees like family and always strive to create a positive, safe environment.

But if our employees don’t share their experiences on the shop floor or on-site, we won’t know what to improve or update.

That’s why we’re counting on our employees to come to us when they have concerns. And not just when they have an accident or a near-miss. We want to know if our team – with their boots on the ground – sees potential hazards. Are there any traffic issues? Are overlapping trades getting in the way of each other? We don’t know unless someone tells us.

That’s why we have a 24-hour reporting policy. ICG’s commitment to safety is grounded in our policy that all accidents or incidents, no matter how minor, must be reported internally in 24 hours.

We can’t stress this enough with our team: no matter how minor the incident, we want to know about it because we want to improve every day.

If you tripped over a toolbox that was left in a passageway and sprained your ankle, we want to know about it. If you got your hands full of splinters moving building material from one end of the job site to another, we need to know about it.

Anything that makes your job needlessly difficult or uncomfortable can be addressed…but we have to know about it.

This goes for our employees and all of our sub-vendors. We don’t have an “us and them” mentality on a job site. Everyone is part of the team…we’re looking out for everyone.

And we’re not seeking blame for incidents or accidents…we’re seeking preventative solutions.

If our team, or our subcontractors, don’t feel safe on the job, we’ve failed. Conditions might change from job site to job site, but we count on our team to look critically at the site and identify potential hazards so we can fix them before someone gets hurt or has a near miss.

Either scenario will cause a slowdown or work stoppage…and stress on-site.

Accident prevention requires teamwork

With COVID restrictions in place, it can feel like you’re disconnected on the job site. Contact with tradespeople and contractors is at a minimum…everyone is avoiding too many face-to-face encounters or working side-by-side.

It can be easy to stop thinking of yourself as part of a building team. But accident prevention demands that you keep your sense of teamwork at the forefront, especially now.

Whether it’s a single home or a new residential or commercial development, everyone has to keep their eye out for their teammates. 

A minor incident will create stress for the affected worker…a major accident will have ripples throughout the team.

At ICG, we do our best to look out for everyone on the job. We encourage our employees and colleagues to do the same.

Accidents can be prevented if we put our minds to it, every day.

If you want to learn more about the regulations we follow, check out the National Framer’s Council FrameSafe Safety Manual.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of building your next residential or commercial project off-site, contact us. We’d love to talk to you.

Related articles: