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Construction site communication can keep workers safe

On a construction site, accidents often happen because of a lack of communication. People get confused or assume that someone else knows something that they don't know, and then someone gets hurt. The incident could easily have been avoided if communication was more of a focus for all involved.

For instance, maybe a worker is using a harness as fall protection gear. He is roped in. He believes that another worker tied the rope off, but that worker thinks that it is each person's responsibility to check their own rope. When the worker on the rope falls, the rope does not catch them, and they suffer serious injuries. If the two would just have communicated about responsibilities in advance, the worker still would have fallen, but they would not have been injured as badly -- or at all.

In this example, the focus is just on verbal communication. It could happen face-to-face, on the phone or via radio. But there are plenty of other ways to communicate, especially regarding safety. Examples include:

  • Individual or company-wide email messages
  • Text messages
  • Social media messages
  • Labels
  • Posters
  • Bulletins
  • Warnings
  • Body language
  • Pictograms
  • JSAs (job safety analysis)
  • SOPs (standard operating procedure)

What is important is that all sides understand how critical communication is and how it needs to be a focus on every job. Trying to rush through a project or get something done as fast as possible is no excuse for failing to communicate, especially when it puts workers in very real danger.

Construction workers face some serious injury risks and need to make sure they know what legal options they have after an accident.

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