How To Manage Effectively: Keeping Your Team Safe On-Site
Posted on 16th Jan, 2017 | By Lorretta Tatham
Unless you’re doing a bit of DIY, modern construction projects are almost always a team effort. When tackling a project, especially in dangerous settings like high rises, it’s crucial to know how to effectively manage your team – not only to get the work done, but to keep them safe while doing it.
Putting Safety First
When working on a project, no matter the scale or importance, the safety of your colleagues always comes first. This means you should prioritise dealing with safety risks above all else. For example, clutter blocking fire exits might seem like a necessary evil when you’re working, but in the event of a fire it could lead to serious injury, or even loss of life. It’s everyone’s responsibility to deal with these issues as soon as they arise, even if it means you all have to stop working to do it.
A key element of ensuring your workers’ safety is providing thorough training before the project begins. It might sound obvious, but there may be gaps in people’s knowledge, especially regarding certain environments. Make sure that everyone has received not only basic training, but is aware of the specific risks and challenges of the particular environment they’re in. You don’t need to patronise them – just make sure that everyone is operating on the same level of knowledge.
Don’t let anyone tackle risky tasks alone – that’s what the team is there for. Heavy lifting is a common example, and accounts for over a third of all workplace injuries. If an object requires more than one person to lift, don’t be afraid of pulling rank in order to make sure it’s handled appropriately. If in doubt, it’s always better to overestimate the amount of manpower needed than underestimate it.
Communication Is Key
The title says it all. We’ve already touched upon this with the training aspect, but good communication is crucial to the function of any team. Make sure your colleagues are aware of any obstacles, updates or changes to the environment. This matters even if you think something is blindingly obvious, or that they know it already. What’s more, keep yourself open to suggestions in turn from colleagues and subordinates alike, for any ideas in how the environment or team dynamic could be improved. A rigid and unyielding management style could mean that the team suffers from easily rectified issues, or fails to benefit from new ideas. Two heads (and more) are better than one!
Lastly, be aware of team dynamics, and encourage your team to build trust with each other wherever possible. An effective team is made up of people who trust each other with their respective jobs, not constantly double-checking or second-guessing the work of their colleagues.
Getting The Job Done
Naturally, each project has a number of different factors – such as height, materials used and types of equipment – that each require their own level of vigilance, alongside these tips above. Read our blog for other ways to keep your employees safe, or browse our range of training courses to keep your industry knowledge up to scratch.
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