Even the most coordinated team of experienced professionals can make a mistake. It's human nature. That said, every construction crew should aspire to learn and grow, and there are different ways they might avoid issues common to their field — reducing the risk of injury. The job isn't always easy, in heat and hard conditions. It requires good judgment and a keen eye. But recent improvements in safety practices have made construction a far more amenable profession for those who may not have previously considered it. Technological advancements and safety standards open doors for new craft professionals each year. Through the integration of new procedures, a firm can improve its image and encourage new workers to enter the industry. They can raise their standards and show that workplace accidents are easy to avoid, as long as employees follow the proper protocol. All it takes are a few small changes. In this article, we'll detail three of the improvements in safety standards that companies have implemented, and how they can work for any crew. 1. Adoption of Pocket Safety Guides WebsiteIcons-Lineart-15New hires and temporary workers may have an incomplete knowledge of procedures and protocol. A task-specific guide, small enough to fit within their pocket, can inform them of the particulars of their responsibilities. Having access to these resources reduces the risk of accidents on the job. Even experienced craft professionals should carry pocket safety guides for reference. A successful construction project is a collection of many moving parts, and to keep the operation running smoothly, the minutia is important. Overlooking even the smallest detail can lead to a complication down the line. Though management should encourage every member of their workforce to study safety procedures, memory can often prove unreliable. Many different factors can distract an employee from their task and compromise their mental acuity. Pocket safety guides effectively account for this issue. 2. Condition Monitoring in MaintenanceWebsiteIcons-Lineart-14 The equipment necessary to complete a project requires just as much care as its operators. A machine that management treats with respect will return that favor in its performance and safety, and the savings add up quickly over time. More than that, fewer malfunctions will keep workers safe and secure. Advancements in preventative maintenance have made heavy equipment far more reliable, reducing potential hazards. The use of condition monitoring — a system which provides real-time diagnostics — enables a supervisor to account for small inconsistencies before they escalate into a more serious issue. Performance metrics and information allow for careful management of a fleet, and this improved transparency accounts for any abnormalities. If a supervisor notices a problem with a piece of machinery, they can immediately attend to it and address their concerns. There's no guesswork involved. Many people find the scale and power of construction equipment intimidating. Through the integration of monitoring technology in this machinery, companies can dispel the belief that users risk life and limb. A higher degree of accountability encourages new workers to enter the field. 3. Identification Badges and Stop Work Cards WebsiteIcons-Card-GrayLinesA National Safety Council survey found that 58 percent of those in the construction industry felt that workplace productivity held priority over their safety. How do firms help prevent this perception? One solution is the use of identification badges and stop cards that can help personnel feel more secure in their duties. Easy identification through color-coded badges will aid in the assignment of appropriate tasks. A supervisor is far less likely to lead a member of their crew in the wrong direction if their credentials are clearly visible. Personnel will attend to areas where they're qualified and avoid areas where they're not. Management can also improve security measures on a site by distributing "Stop Work Cards." These cards allow a craft professional to halt activity if they identify a hazard. It relieves some of the burden from supervisors and holds each worker responsible for the collective safety of the crew. Inviting New Craft Professionals Innovations in the industry and recent improvements have made construction far less dangerous than it once was. Through the implementation of better policies and procedures, a company can ensure the well-being of their crew and encourage a greater interest in the field. Construction has come a long way in protecting employees. Spreading this knowledge can encourage younger workers to enter into a steady, rewarding career path. Holly Welles writes on real estate and construction across the web and maintains her own blog, The Estate Update. Read more here

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About NCCER

NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.