Construction businesses employ a large portion of the workforce. The Associated General Contractors of America estimates that there are over 7.6 million workers employed by 745,000 companies in the construction industry. Unfortunately, construction is known to be one of the most dangerous industries in the U.S., with a high number of occupational injuries and deaths.
Many construction-related injuries are preventable. But poor internal communication and inadequate safety training can exacerbate unsafe working conditions and contribute to slow, ineffective emergency response.
Construction corporations must address these issues to protect their people. By doing so, they can mitigate the human and financial consequences of workplace accidents. Improving internal communications ensures that managers can connect with their employees during crisis situations, such as severe weather and violent incidents. Fast, reliable emergency communications can improve response times and help sites return to standard operations as soon as possible.
Safety issues in the construction industry
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that more than 20% of occupational deaths occurred in the construction industry in 2020. In the same year, the industry accounted for over 46% of all fatal trips, slips, and falls. In 2020, the rate of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses was much higher in the construction industry compared to all industries: 31.4 per 10,000 full-time workers vs. 21.7, respectively.
Construction sites often feature heavy machinery, dangerous equipment and uneven walking surfaces. Falls are a common cause of occupational injuries, and construction workers can also be injured by falling debris.
Unfortunately, construction sites don’t always comply with safety protocols. Common OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) violations in construction involve fall protection, eye and face protection and ladders. Implementing safety measures and providing comprehensive training can significantly reduce the frequency of on-site injuries.
Business continuity challenges for construction companies
A single work-related accident can shut down a construction site for hours or days, impacting profits. These incidents can also have mental health consequences for construction workers, especially those who witness accidents that result in serious injuries or fatalities.
Without defined emergency procedures or a clear chain of command, it can take a long time to return to normal operations. Long delays can impact profits and harm a company’s reputation. Additionally, a slow recovery can cause staffing issues, as subcontractors and laborers find work elsewhere during the delay.
Emergencies and crisis situations
Occupational injuries, illnesses and fatalities aren’t the only emergencies that can affect construction corporations. Fires, severe weather, network outages and law enforcement activity can shut down operations, impacting timelines and threatening the health and safety of workers.
Foremen and other managers must be able to relay critical instructions to their workforce during crises. Additionally, two-way messaging is crucial. It allows employees to provide their status and scheduling availability, which helps during illness outbreaks and local emergencies.
Traditional emails and automated phone trees aren’t reliable enough for construction corporations. These communication methods are often slow, and employees who spend their days on job sites may not receive messages for hours or even days. Additionally, company contact lists don’t usually include contractors, making it difficult for foremen to send emergency alerts to all affected individuals.
Communication solutions for the construction industry
One 2018 survey showed that poor communication and data management cost construction companies over $177 billion in labor costs. Additionally, nearly half of all rework orders on construction job sites were caused by poor project data and miscommunication. One of the top causes of poor communication is a lack of a common communication platform.
Rave Mobile Safety offers a reliable communications platform that can mitigate the unique challenges construction companies face. Administrators can send multichannel emergency alerts to targeted groups, and our software automatically translates messages into 60 languages, ensuring recipients can understand critical information. Our platform also features SMS opt-in/opt-out, making it easy for contractors and other non-employees to receive emergency communications without being added to permanent contact lists.
Our personal safety apps protect on-site and lone workers and facilitate a fast response to injuries and emergencies. Integrated anonymous tip technology allows employees to notify designated authorities about safety concerns, compliance issues or suspicious behavior without fear of retaliation.
Additionally, Rave Mobile Safety’s two-way communication tools allow foremen and managers to check in with employees. Constant communication makes it easier to identify potential issues (e.g., low morale, scheduling conflicts, compliance concerns) that frequently lead to turnover and absenteeism.
Protect on- and off-site construction workers with help from Rave Mobile Safety
Construction companies can address the common causes of injuries and lost profits with communication solutions from Rave Mobile Safety. Our comprehensive platform is easy for everyone to use, and our mass notification system sends messages via multiple platforms simultaneously, ensuring that every recipient receives crucial alerts no matter where they are.
Rave Mobile Safety is a Motorola Solutions company that provides critical communication solutions and incident management tools to government organizations, corporations, schools and healthcare institutions. Our mass notification system and personal safety apps help construction industries keep their people safe during daily operations and emergencies. And our products integrate seamlessly into existing infrastructure. To learn more about customizable and prebuilt solutions from Rave Mobile Safety, contact our team.