A job safety checklist can save lives, money and lead to a more productive working environment.
According to the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC), between 2008 to 2010, there were 700 construction job-related deaths which accounted for 23.3 percent of all Canadian workplace fatalities during that period.
Could properly planned and executed safety checklists have prevented some of those deaths?
It’s a possibility.
Aquicon Construction recognizes their value. It uses standardized safety checklists which are developed with its third party safety consulting firm, Advantage Ergonomics Canada (AEC) Safety Solutions.
Here’s what AEC President, Tyler Scott, has to say about the importance of safety checklists.
What do you put on those lists and why?
First Aid Kits, Ladders/Scaffolds, Fire Safety, Fall Protection, Electrical Safety, Guardrails, PPE (Heat, Feet, Ear & Eye), Overhead Power lines, Public Way Protection, Floor Openings and Ventilation to name a few.
We have chosen these items because they are the main areas of infraction on a construction project.
What makes a good checklist and why?
A good checklist recognizes a problem, assesses the severity of the issue and provides a recommendation to eliminate the problem.
How often do you create & update safety checklists?
Our standardized checklists are reviewed and updated annual, but each checklist is used on our construction projects and project specific information is added to our standardized checklists. This provides our field staff with the basic information and prompts them to add their project specific information for each type of checklist.
How many people are involved in your checklist creation process and why?
Typically three people. One representative from Senior Management at Aquicon Construction, one representative from AEC Safety Solutions and one representative from our field staff. This provides input from three unique backgrounds to help compile a proactive and project specific checklist.
How many types of safety checklists do you have?
We use one main checklist (project safety inspection) which addresses all potential hazards on a construction project. It documents who is responsible for an infraction (constructor or employer) and provides instruction for correction. This is performed bi-weekly and randomly by AEC Safety Solutions on all our projects as we find a third party provides an excellent resource to our in house staff. Project supervisors and project health and safety representatives also conduct these inspections regularly. Overall, Aquicon has approximately thirty checklists available for project specific items such as overhead wires, confined space, lockout/tagout, emergency procedures, etc.
What real results have you received by using a job site safety checklist?
We have the responsibility of all workers on the project. We have seen a reduction in the number of infractions for our sub-contractors as our inspection reports address the issues on the project with the subcontractors and copies are sent to their office to provide corrective action when necessary.
Job safety checklists can be life-savers, but only if they’re well thought out, implemented properly and employees follow them.
Without this team effort, more heartbroken families will deal with the tragic consequences.