Zeroing in on a zero-risk zone: 10 health and safety steps for your project
At Built Interiors, we’re all about reducing risk and improving safety on our sites. So it’s great to see that CIF Construction Safety Month for 2023 is focusing on the management of critical risks such as working at height, plant and pedestrian safety, access and egress, and working around underground or overhead cables or pipes.
How can you reduce risk of accidents on a construction project?
We’ve said it before. Every building site is different with its own set of unique risks. That’s why, on a live construction site, you can’t afford to leave any stone (or brick for that matter) unturned. Everything – and we do mean everything – has to be looked at, and looked at again, and have its risks and potential for danger assessed and mitigated.
Risk is not something you can eliminate entirely once people are included in the equation, but it is certainly something you can take steps to minimise to get closer to achieving zero incidents.
Our 10 steps to zero risk on every project
There are no sure things when it comes to safety, but the steps below help us to achieve and maintain our high safety standards at Built Interiors on each and every project.
1. We make sure our whole team is on the same page safety-wise: Every member of our team - from those working in the office to our team members on the tools, from our newest apprentice to those with decades of experience in the trade - have safety top of mind at all times.
2. We’ve got crystal clear standards for workplace safety performance: We regularly update and assess the level of health and safety knowledge amongst our team and have a system in place to recognise adherence.
3. We set a strong safety example: Our team leaders, supervisors and managers set the standard and the example by following all of the safety rules themselves. Even if they are not getting their hands dirty, or they’re only there for a two-minute chat, our leadership has to wear proper PPE and take all of the same precautions as site workers.
4. We get our team involved: At Built Interiors we make safety checks a way of life, encouraging our team to take responsibility for their own safety planning and inspections, to assess work hazards themselves and develop their own safety checklists.
5. Safety saves lives: Our team understands that safety protocols are not there to slow work down or get in the way. They appreciate that hazards put people’s personal health and safety in danger, making safety a priority and motivator for them.
6. Training, training, training: We train our people in safety regulations and protocols frequently to ensure no complacency creeps in.
7. We welcome our team’s input: We promote the identification and correction of potential risks or hazards, rewarding team members for their vigilance when and wherever we can.
8. Learnings at every opportunity: Our team members record every hazard they identify and the way in which they remedy it, sharing it with everyone at safety meetings. When any member of the team encounters something they can’t find a solution to, they have been trained to use it as a learning opportunity and consult a colleague with more knowledge.
9. We fix safety issues fast: Safety comes first before any other item on our to-do list – no ifs, ands, or buts. Whenever a risk is identified, it has to be dealt with immediately in our book.
10. We never sleep on safety: We’ve already mentioned how we mitigate the risk of complacency arising. No matter how our good safety standards are, we don’t sit on our hands. Our mission when it comes to safety is to keep raising our game.
Health & Safety is part of the Built Interiors culture
We treat every month as CIF Construction Safety Month at Built Interiors. We work to the ten steps outlined above every day on sites up and down the country. The health, safety, and wellbeing of all our employees, contractors and neighbours fuel all of our planning, actions and behaviours on site. Our effective health and safety management is the result of making education, training and awareness a key part of our culture. We use our Toolbox Talks to discuss upcoming risks, with the precautions required discussed with all workers. We hold weekly safety meetings every Tuesday at 10am on all Built Interiors sites, and we insist all contractors are represented at these meetings.
A Built project with 0% risk and 100% customer satisfaction
Our refurbishment of David Lloyd Leisure in Clonskeagh was a project that presented us with a huge opportunity – and what seemed like an overwhelming degree of risk that needed to be eliminated. That’s because, while our amazing client wanted a redefined space in which families could enjoy themselves, exercise and socialise, all of the leisure facilities, the health club and coffee shop/restaurant were to remain OPEN to all 7,000 members for the duration of the project. So we were going to have kids running about playing while parents dropped in for a coffee and others were spinning, dancing, and working out!
There could be no room – you might say ZERO ROOM – for risk in this live working environment. That’s why all trades and team members entering the site were given site-specific induction training. It’s why safe access and egress routes had to be provided at all times, and why all deliveries were made before 9am when footfall was at its lightest, with an escort through the car park and Banksmen constantly on high awareness for adults and young children.
We’ve Built a great safety record
At Built Interiors, we’re using CIF Construction Safety Month to put even more energy into controlling critical risks on our construction sites and achieving our vision of maintaining a zero-risk zone every time. Our 20-year background in construction management means we understand all of the health and safety risks of working on sites of all shapes and sizes. We have years of expertise in the refurbishment and fit-out of buildings, both occupied and unoccupied, with experience planning, managing, monitoring, and coordinating health and safety.
If you’d like to find out more about our approach to health and safety management and our mission to make every construction site a zero-risk zone, get in touch with us to discuss your safety requirements and concerns around your next project today.