June is the National Safety Council’s National Safety Month. We are working to ensure that No One Gets Hurt.
United Rentals has shared 8 tips for running effective safety walkarounds.
A major part of ensuring safety on the job site is to first inspect equipment and sites for hazards. Safety walkarounds, aka management walkarounds, serve two purposes: Checking work in progress for potential safety problems and letting employees see firsthand that the company takes safety seriously. They’re also a good opportunity for management and field workers to discuss ways to make the jobsite safer and the company’s safety program more effective. Unlike formal inspections, walkarounds should be conversation-heavy and collaborative.
- Know what to look for. Before you go onto the jobsite, analyze the parts of the construction process where you’ve had the most accidents. Look at injury records and ask your safety manager, superintendents and/or onsite safety committees what areas they’re concerned about. Make sure your walkaround covers those areas.
- Keep your group small. Workers aremore likely to share their concerns with a couple of people, and more likely to clam up around a large group.
- Dress the part. Your workers won’t take mandates about wearing PPE seriously if you don’t follow the rules. Make doubly sure you’re wearing the PPE correctly.
- Keep your eyes peeled. Among other things, look fortrip hazards, blocked exits, frayed wires, missing machine guards and equipment that’s in bad shape. Watch employees work. Are they using poor ergonomics or performing repetitive motions that could cause injury? Make a list of hazards that need to be addressed as you go.
- Encourage workers to speak up. Let them know you respect their expertise and are genuinely interested in hearing their insights about safety and their concerns about hazards they face the job. Ask them what they’d recommend to fix a problem they’ve mentioned. Brainstorm with them for ideas on how to make their work safer.
- Talk with the newbies. Seek out new workers to chat with and get their fresh perspective on jobsite safety. Ask them about hazardous tasks they perform and how they would report an injury, hazard or near-miss, for example.
- Offer solutions. If you can suggest an effective solution on the spot to a problem you see, you might gain some instant credibility.
- Follow up. Soon after the walkaround, make of list of corrective actions for the hazards you identified and a reasonable timeline for implementation, and share your plan with workers as well as supervisors. If the hazards are more complicated, identify short-term controls to be used while more permanent measures are developed.
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About United Rentals
Founded in 1997, United Rentals is the largest equipment rental company in the world, with a store network nearly three times the size of any other provider, and locations in 49 states and 10 Canadian provinces.