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How to Ensure Safety on Site by Hiring the Right Workers

Lucy Clarke

Lucy Clarke

Co-Founder, Fixed

Construction sites can be extremely hazardous places, and ensuring the safety of workers is of paramount importance and is a regulatory requirement for construction companies large and small. One of the most critical steps to ensuring safety on construction sites is to hire the right workers - those who have the right training, qualifications and skills learnt on the job to safely complete their work. Subcontractors (and workers under their control) are those most at risk of injury or illness on site and they play a vital role in planning and managing the works (while liaising with the principal contractor) to make sure that risks are properly controlled. As a subcontractor, you are obliged by the HSE under CDM 2015 to make sure individuals you employ or appoint have the skills, knowledge, experience and training to carry out their work.

In this post, we will discuss how construction companies can comply with the HSE regulation and hire the right workers using Fixed and as a result, reduce the level of risk they are exposing themselves and their workers to on site.

What Fixed does to support companies in hiring safely:

  • Conduct Pre-Employment Vetting: Conducting pre-employment screening helps us understand and learn more about the person’s experience and skills. Before we put anyone forward for their first role with Fixed, we have an onboarding conversation with them to learn more about them, their experience and their career goals. This helps us determine the right fit for future roles and allows us to ensure we aren’t placing anyone in a role where their experience could lead to errors or even safety risks.
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  • Verify Qualifications and Certifications: A critical step to ensuring safety on construction sites is to verify the qualifications and certifications of workers. We make sure that workers have the necessary tickets and licenses for their job and take the hassle of doing this out of your hands. Unfortunately, there are several fake training centres that take advantage of people looking to join the industry, and we also support workers in finding accredited training centres where they will learn all the necessary skills for their job as well as attain the health and safety training they need to be on site.
  • Assess Worker Skills: Assessing the skills of workers is essential to ensure that they can perform their job safely and effectively. At Fixed, we understand the importance of vetting in the industry and appreciate that this is why, more often than not, workers today are hired through their word-of-mouth networks. We have built role-specific questionnaires to test skills to determine proficiency in roles that require specific knowledge, e.g. engineers, slinger/signallers, etc.
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  • Obtain References: In the absence of working directly with people in our network, when we first onboard them to Fixed, we ensure that we are obtaining references from verified construction employees for their previous work which add credibility to their profiles and give us confidence to safely place them in new roles. We collect these references in a standardised and objective way making it easier and faster for those providing references to confirm tasks the person has done on their previous projects.
    • All of this is stored in their profiles so that we can credibly and safely refer them to jobs that suit their experience, without companies needing to undertake this process themselves, and at lower costs than traditional agencies. We want to encourage more direct hiring practices in the industry, so if things are going well with the worker, we encourage companies to take them on directly via CIS.

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What companies can do to continue to ensure safety of workers once they start the job:

  1. Provide Safety Training: Providing safety training is critical to ensuring safety on construction sites. Workers should be trained on the proper use of safety equipment and procedures, hazard identification, and emergency response. Conducting Tool-Box Talks on site on specific health and safety procedures is a great starting point whilst also bringing in specialist training providers.
    1. Furthermore, given the statistics in construction around mental health in the industry, it is just as important for companies to be giving mental health awareness training as well as broader safety training. Companies can work with organisations like Construction Sport, Lighthouse or Mates in Mind.

  1. Implement Safety Policies and Procedures: Implementing safety policies and procedures can help create a safe working environment. Ensure that workers are aware of the safety policies and procedures and have access to the necessary safety equipment.
  1. Drug and Alcohol Testing: Drug and alcohol testing is important and can usually be found across construction sites in the UK. It is important that no one is working under the influence as they can be putting themselves or their colleagues in danger. A survey by DrugScope and Alcohol Concern found that 27% of employers said that drug misuse was a problem at work and that 60% have experienced problems due to staff drinking alcohol. This is where the UK Addiction Treatment Group Addiction Awareness Programme can help. The programme is free, delivered by a Certified Drug and Alcohol Therapist on-site or virtually and engages and educates workers on the signs, symptoms, and local support services available.
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Summary

At Fixed, we know too well the importance of ensuring safety on construction sites by hiring the right workers. We vet workers who we are sending to site to ensure that they have the qualifications, certifications, and skills needed for the job. By doing so, we help construction companies minimize the risk of accidents and injuries on site. This also ensures that the workers we provide are not only qualified but are also committed to working safely and efficiently.

In conclusion, ensuring safety on construction sites starts with hiring the right workers. By verifying qualifications and certifications, conducting pre-employment screening, assessing experience and skills, providing safety training, and implementing safety policies and procedures, construction companies can minimize the risk of accidents and injuries on construction sites. Fixed is a company that can help construction companies ensure safety by providing workers who are vetted to the highest safety standards, so book a call with one of our team today to reduce your risk on site by hiring your next workers through Fixed.

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