8 Different Safety Trends in Construction

As with any industry, the construction industry is constantly changing and adjusting their processes and methods to ensure the highest level of safety for their employees. Many rules are mandated by law, so as to avoid unnecessary injury or death. But it is important that as technology advances, and new equipment is introduced, that new rules are put in place before anyone is injured or killed, rather than after.

Below are the eight safety trends in construction:

Trend #1: Increased use of technology

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, technology has become one of the most common safety trends in construction. Many commercial construction companies have adapted to the use of technology on job sites. As a result, there are now drones and bots that are capable of completing tasks that humans once did.

This keeps human workers out of the way of danger when it comes to certain tasks, and can also decrease the number of workers required on a job site at once. This is beneficial from a safety perspective, as workers are able to keep safe distances from others’ work spaces.

Trend #2: Training

Once upon a time, construction workers were more-or-less given a hard hat and told to get on it. Nowadays, we know that knowledge is power. Companies are spending an increasing amount of time, energy, and money on properly training their employees before sending them out on the work site.

Increased training not only provides employees with the necessary knowledge they need to succeed, it also instills confidence in them, which ultimately increases safety. Training is not just for new employees either, workers who have been on the job for a long time can always use additional training on new methods, processes, and equipment that are being introduced.

Trend #3: Focusing on feelings

The culture of construction can be one of “manliness” or being “tough”. This does not leave a lot of space for emotions or feelings to be shared. That said, some of the most unsafe situations are those in which workers are feeling unsafe or uncomfortable. New processes in construction show companies taking regular surveys of their employees that focus on comfort and mental health.

In an anonymous setting, employees are more likely to share their true feelings, rather than being peer pressured by their colleagues. This gives the construction company the opportunity to make changes accordingly.

Trend #4: Safety gear

It is now more important than ever to protect workers against both short-term and long-term ailments. For instance, some time ago, it became mandatory for employees working on scaffolding or high-up work sites to wear harnesses in case of a fall. Similar equipment continues to be introduced as new tools are introduced.

In addition, we now know the damage that can come to employees’ health over time. So, masks, air filters, and goggles have been introduced and made mandatory. Even further, cooling vests are now in increasing use to protect employees from the heat they so often have to work in.

Trend #5: Stress reduction

Another form of safety for workers is to try to reduce the amount of stress their bodies are put under. We know that construction work can be extremely hard on workers’ bodies. Exoskeletons are now being used to reduce that stress and improve workers’ posture.

These unique instruments were originally designed to help people re-learn how to walk after serious injuries, but in the construction industry they can reduce the potential for stress-related injuries, arthritis, and other ailments. And the technology is improving – some companies are working on developing attachments to these exoskeletons that can further facilitate construction workers’ jobs.

Trend #6: Addressing the minor

There are, of course, rules in place that require signs to be put up about keeping areas clear of clutter or cleaning up messes and spills. However, just having the signs up without actually enforcing them is essentially the company’s way of checking off a box on a checklist.

New trends have companies addressing issues where these minor rules are being ignored on a regular basis. There should be real consequences for ignoring these standards, and compliance is becoming the primary focus.

Trend #7: Sound the alarm

One of the most dangerous elements for construction workers is the unknown. Being exposed unknowingly to toxins like asbestos causes serious health issues over time, and most construction workers are unaware that it’s even happening to them. That is why sensors have been developed that can raise an alarm when such toxins are present. This allows workers to take necessary precautions to protect themselves in dangerous environments.

Trend #8: Taking control

Unexpected external forces can be another cause of danger to construction workers, which is why controlling the surrounding environment around a workspace is so important. For instance, road construction workers are constantly at risk of being hit by speeding cars. So, it is important for there to be safety precautions in place to ensure that traffic is slowed down in all directions surrounding the worksite.