You’ve heard the old saying: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Whether you’re focused on preventing a health issue, a wildfire, or a crime, you know it’s true. Still, avoiding accidents at your sites is probably not the first thing you think about in the busy, complex climate of home building in Southwest Colorado.
Since June is National Safety Month and it’s just around the corner, however, it’s a great time focus some attention on what you can do to keep yourself and your workers safe. And, resources are available to help you get started now.
The National Safety Council
First, some background. The National Safety Council—the century-old nonprofit dedicated to eliminating causes of preventable injuries and deaths—celebrated the 25th anniversary of National Safety Month last year. The original goal was to raise awareness about health and safety risks and encourage preventative action, and the workplace was naturally a primary target.
Today, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) partners with the National Safety Council (NSC) to equip construction industry professionals address this vital topic.
Four Weeks to Safer Sites
This year, the NSC has chosen four safety topic areas for the month of June, all with relevance to home builders in greater Durango:
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Workplace impairment
- Injury prevention
- Slips, trips, and falls
Sign up to be a member of the NSC, and the organization will send resources to you, including communication pieces you can share with your employees and subcontractors. Membership is free.
The National Association of Home Builders
As you know, when you become a member of the Home Builders Association of Southwest Colorado, you automatically become part of the NAHB as well. You can explore and influence resources available through the organization’s Construction Safety and Health Committee. Join the team to share ideas and best practices with colleagues.
Another way the NAHB can help keep safety a top-of-mind priority is to assist you in making sure your sites are in compliance with OSHA—the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The NAHB offers an OSHA Inspection Toolkit that walks you through ensuring you’re ready for an inspection. It includes a webinar and fact sheets available at no charge. In addition, there’s a recordkeeping toolkit to help you understand which injuries and illnesses you must report and how to do it. Find information on both these resources here.
The NAHB offers many materials to keep the safety conversation going. News stories are featured in NAHBNow, the official news blog, and press releases can be found in the Press Room. These web pages have been especially active during the pandemic, as health and safety regulations have sometimes seemed like moving targets.
One of the most fundamental responsibilities you have a Southwest Colorado builder is to provide safety training for your workers. The NAHB can help with this task too. Access the basic toolkit here, and note that there are resources covering specific sub topics as well, such as protecting workers’ hearing, limiting silica exposure, and so on.
A Final Note
If you consider yourself an early adopter of new ideas, check out the National Safety Council’s “Work to Zero” program. It aims to achieve zero workplace deaths in the U.S. by the year 2050, and reading the materials can energize you to be proactive.
Work to Zero covers the top workplace hazards that contribute to jobsite deaths and offers relevant research. Best of all, if you spend a few moments to complete a survey about your workplace, the program identifies technologies you might want to try to give yourself and your employees a meaningful safety edge.
No matter what steps you want to take toward keeping your Southwest Colorado building sites as safe as possible, remember that it should be an ongoing commitment. Bookmark the best resources you find and visit them often.