6 Construction Job Site Safety Tips

Let’s face it; working in construction is dangerous. In 2015, one in five worker fatalities occurred in construction. Is it any wonder why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted almost four times as many inspections and issued over twice as many penalties for the construction industry compared to the next closest industry classification? By the numbers, that’s 11,869 inspections, 29,777 citations and nearly $72 million in fines from October 2015 through September 2016.

OSHA Compliance

When it comes to job site safety, it is important for OSHA compliance to be the foundation of your safety program. In fact, it is necessary. However, focusing solely on OSHA compliance does not make for a complete safety program.

Even though there are many contractors that would consider themselves OSHA compliant, they may still experience frequency and severity issues when it comes to employee injuries. When too much time is spent on compliance, we tend to lose site of the simple things we can do to keep ourselves and others safe. What follows are six construction safety tips to help create a more impactful job site safety program. Some of these have roots in OSHA compliance, but all are just good safety practices.

Job Site Safety Tips

  1. Plan ahead to make sure all the appropriate equipment, tools, and safety gear is available and staged prior to starting the day. For example, proper planning and staging will ensure employees have the 8’ ladder they need instead of trying to make do with a 6’ ladder by standing on the top step!
  2. Provide training for any equipment that will be used for both new and current employees. Don’t assume new employees who may have “years of experience” can operate equipment safely. You cannot be certain as to the level of training (if any!) they received from a previous employer. As for current employees, it is never a bad idea to review procedures on how to operate equipment safely.
  3. Promote and enforce good housekeeping practices. The saying, “A clean workplace is a safe workplace,” is not too far from the truth. A housekeeping issue is often a contributing cause of a job site accident, such as a trip and fall.
  4. Enforce and reinforce safety – but there needs to be balance. Top management and foremen need to enforce the rules when they observe or become aware of an unsafe act or condition. At the same time, they need to reinforce positive behaviors. When you see the crew taking the time to work safely, you should take the time to recognize their effort!
  5. Empower employees to be part of the safety program by encouraging them to report safety concerns to foremen, supervisors or upper management. If a hazard or concern is reported, management must act on it – don’t ignore it! If you ignore it or blow it off, you will kill your safety program. Take advantage of the time during new employee orientations, formal safety meetings, or tool box talks to remind employees that they should say something if they see something. Many accidents can be avoided if someone just speaks up.
  6. Do not become complacent. Job sites present new safety challenges every day. Both management and employees need to maintain constant vigilance of their surroundings.


Ultimately, owners of construction companies are responsible for ensuring a safe work environment for their employees. However, it is everyone’s responsibility to follow rules, procedures, and protocols to avoid accidents.

Safety is a two-way street. As an employee, you have the right to speak up. As an owner, you have the right to expect everyone will stay vigilant to uphold and follow safety policies and procedures. While it may sound cliché, the cost of instituting a safety program far outweighs the cost of an accident.

Really, when it comes down to it, the key to effective job site safety is teamwork. It takes a team to complete a construction project and it takes a team to make sure everyone goes home the same way they arrived. You should take as much care to keep your fellow employee safe as you do to keep yourself safe.

If all else fails, ask yourself this one question: How would we do this job tomorrow, if someone was injured or worse yet, died, doing that job today?

For more information on strategies for construction safety in Society’s online Risk Control Library. You can also find construction-specific information on the OSHA website. Use these resources to identify, reduce and eliminate hazards for your team.

-Pat O’Brien

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75 thoughts on “6 Construction Job Site Safety Tips

  1. Chris Winters

    It definitely makes sense that construction sites need to be inspected in order to ensure that the conditions are safe and up to code. I’d assume that it would also need to be inspected to make sure that the project will not potentially harm the environment. I feel like these definitely help to make sure that construction process will be beneficial to all involved.

  2. Heather

    You end on a great point – managers can only do so much to prevent an accident if their employees aren’t following protocol. Thanks for sharing these tips!

  3. LNweaver

    That’s a good tip to plan ahead and stage all your necessary tools at the beginning of the day. That will the right tools will always be available. There are OSHA standards that require the right tools be used for the right task, so make sure it’s easy for workers to access them; you wouldn’t want to be non-compliant.

  4. Callum Palmer

    Some people might not think of it as being important, but I think the article makes a great point about “good housekeeping” on the construction site. After all, accidents are a lot less likely to happen if there isn’t stuff to trip over on the ground of the construction site. Keeping the work area clean also helps things move a bit more efficiently and smoothly, making the job easier.

  5. Brushless Drill

    The tips shared above for the construction safety are very good very effective. Every worker working on the construction site should follow these tips.
    Along with these tips, a user should also follow the safety measures while working with the tools. Before working with any tool, a user should be aware of its safety measures and should wear complete safety gears while working with them.

  6. Adam Jones

    This article actually stresses out very important and vital part of the construction industry. Builders should be aware of proper safety measures. Now and then people are getting jobs on building sites without proper training given.

  7. Martin King

    The Construction industries are moving with the highest accident and fatality rates, every time the statistics announced by OSHA makes clear “How hazardous the construction industries are”

    The Highest importance should be given to employers and workers training for every construction projects.

    Thanks to the author for sharing good safety bites.

  8. Earnest Watkins

    My favorite tip you mentioned was how it’s important to be constantly vigilant of situations and surroundings on a job site to ensure the safety of everybody. I’d imagine this would be especially important to remember if heavy construction equipment is being used on a project as well. Do you think it would be smart to have a checklist of things to look for each day?

  9. NWSM Building Group

    This is my first time to visit your blog and I find it so entertaining to read especially this article about this 6 safety tips for a construction job. So helpful for us. Thanks for sharing this one. Love it!

  10. Deb Pearl

    Thank you for all the construction safety tips. My husband and I are adding a large extension on our home, and I want to make sure we stay safe. I really like your tip to plan ahead and make sure we have all the appropriate equipment before we start. I’m sure that would help keep everyone safe.

  11. Burt Silver

    I like what you said in point number 2 where you talk about providing training for all equipment. I’ve been getting into the construction business and often times find myself unsure of the proper way to use a tool. Finding proper training would be a fantastic help in my career. Thank you for the safety tips!

  12. Max Sayer

    Construction can be very dangerous and so I wanted to look up a few safety tips. I really appreciated the tip about enforce and reinforce safety. Being aware of unsafe act or condition is so important in a construction site.

  13. Sunil Kumar

    Good post regarding safety. There are places where people and workers have to be careful. Wearing proper safety equipment and following safety procedures is the best way for safety.


    Great tips! Very helpful. Thanks a lot for sharing these wonderful tips. They should be consider by the workers and their employers while working at the construction site.
    Keep up the good work.

  15. Ellie Davis

    I really like that you suggest planning ahead to make sure you have all of the right equipment and supplies. Making sure you have the best equipment for a job seems important. Hopefully, people look into finding the best companies to supply them with the equipment.

  16. Tim Yaotome

    I never thought that one way to keep one’s construction site safe is to practice vigilance at all times and reinforce positive behaviors in the workplace. If I were to get a construction project underway, I would hire a company to help manage it for me. Doing so will not only keep everyone within the construction site safe but be able to finish the project on time as well.

  17. Mark Murphy

    I really appreciate your tip on how you shouldn’t assume the level of training that new hires have when you go to a construction site. My brother told me that he wants to work on a construction site to get some extra money but he is concerned that he won’t be able to get the job because he isn’t trained. I will be sure to tell my brother that a good manager won’t assume his level of training.

  18. Yoshiko Flora

    Since you mentioned that part of keeping a construction site safe is to make sure that the proper safety gear is available, I believe that one should also consider adding rain gear as part of an employee outfit. Weather conditions can vary from time to time depending on where the site is, so getting them protection from the rain can help keep them healthy and dry. Any tips on how to choose which kind to buy for everyone?

  19. Mischelle wood

    Very helpful article, thanks for sharing the tips. These are very useful because they guide people and help them. If you want to know more about work health & consultancy, DRA safety specialist will help you in a better way. It will provide work health & consultancy, auditing and training. Get more information on “drasafety.com.au” for better safety solution.

  20. APT Marketing

    We have a very strict health & safety inspector who attends all of our sites and attends at least once every 3 days. Builders caught without steel toes, hard hats & gloves do get stiffly warned &reprimanded.

  21. Dean Phillips

    I thought you made a great point when you said that you should empower employees to be a part of the safety program at a construction site. My brother works for a construction company that remodels homes and businesses. They should probably work with a company that can provide them with scaffolds and shows them how to safely use them.

  22. Rosie Beckett

    I like that you say it’s important for companies to provide training for all employees whenever new equipment is brought in. This way the work environment will be as safe as possible. Also, this would be a great way to avoid accidents as well as any potential legal issues for the company.

  23. Faylinn Byrne

    I think it is so important how you mentioned that employees should always report safety concerns when working on a construction zone, and I think they should always have the correct supplies to have their work be smoother. My parents have some land that they have decided to turn into a commercial building, and they are trying to plan everything before hiring someone to help them. I will have to show them this article so that they can make the best choice and keep their workers safe.

  24. Brad Erwin

    It’s good to know that housekeeping items can end up being safety-related items and that keeping a clean workplace can make it a safe one too. I have been looking into starting my own construction company because I’m growing tired of my current occupation. I will be sure to keep your article in mind when I plan my business!

  25. Oscar Morrison

    I appreciated your idea that it’s important to recognize people doing things to keep each other safe. I’ve been thinking of renovating my shed with my friends, and I’ve wanted to make sure that we’re all able to stay safe without feeling like one of us is nagging everyone else. I’ll be sure to notice the good things they do and enforce that instead of trying to impose rules on everybody.

  26. Eileen Benson

    I like how you said that employees should be empowered to take charge of their own safety by reporting any concerns about safety that they might have. My brother is currently looking to purchase construction equipment for his business, but still needs to find a supplier with financing options that work for him. Once he’s in possession of the equipment, the info you shared here should help him and the other workers stay as safe as possible on the jobsite!

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  28. alicia

    This is a very well written post, my compliments. The ultimate goal for the construction industry is to reduce workplace accidents, injuries and death rate. The only way to reduce accidents is to discuss ways to improve construction safety services and ensuring the rules are followed.Totally agree that every firm should practice “Safety First” when it comes to protecting workers.

  29. vimukthi raj

    It’s great that this article talks about how it’s important to find a construction contractor who you’re compatible with by asking questions. Doing this could help you learn more about the services they offer as well as they handle problems during the project. This could ensure they can make any necessary repairs or changes so that the project will be completed with the best results.

  30. Adam Golightly

    I can see how it could be really useful for a business to make sure that they can be really safe on the worksite and they are secure. It could be really useful for them to make sure that they can work with and on safe equipment and scaffolding. It was interesting to learn about how managers should act on when hazards and concerns are expressed so that employees feel empowered.

  31. Sabrina Addams

    I appreciate how you said it’s important to provide your employees with training for equipment and to make sure the workplace is clean for safety. My husband just got a job offer on a construction site in Goonellabah. We will have to find a work clothing store to get him boots and other gear.

  32. Alice Eduardo

    Agreed on these tips. Safety compliance and the necessary paperworks are all necessary for construction sites and projects so you don’t run into any problems when something happens.

  33. Adam Golightly

    It was interesting to learn about how safety needs to be reinforced and make sure that they have the right training for different equipment. I can see how it could be really useful for a business to make sure that they are really safe. Getting some help from a professional could be really useful and allow them to get some better help to manage their construction site.

  34. Rebecca Gardner

    Thanks for explaining that all equipment and safety gear should be checked before the starting day for the project. Now that I think about it, it would be smart to discuss safety with whatever material supplier is used for the construction project to make sure it’s prioritized from the earliest possible stage. I enjoyed reading your article and learning more about construction site safety, so thanks for sharing!

  35. Daphne Gilpin

    It stood out to me when you explained why training needs to be provided to employees for any equipment that will be used. Now that I think about it, training should also be provided for employees that will be working in any sort of hazardous area, like road construction. I enjoyed reading your article and learning more about construction safety, so thanks for taking the time to share!

  36. Site Works Kerikeri

    It is a wonderful article stating about 6 construction job sites and it’s safety tips.This article is very helpful. This article mentions and acts as such a moving trigger. It is an article worth applauding for based on its content. This is a great post; I will share as much as I can.

  37. Megan Alder

    My husband is going to start working in the construction business, and I’m looking for safety advice I can share with him. You made a great point when you said the appropriate safety gear, tools, and equipment should be used. I will definitely make sure that we start looking for safety gear, and appropriate dressing.

  38. rachel frampton

    I agree with you that construction businesses must provide proper training for their employees. You’re also right that it would be best for them to enforce good housekeeping practices. Anyhow, if I were them, I’ll make sure to hire a confined space rescue service so the employees will be rescued, just in case a fire accident occurred.

  39. Derek Swain

    I’m thankful that you mentioned the importance of making sure that new employees have the experience needed to handle construction equipment safely. My brother is thinking about opening an accounting business and needs to find someone that can help him safely install some concrete slabs on the sloped property that he purchased last month. He should consider hiring a construction site development service with the skills needed to get the job done right.

  40. Chris Jackson

    This is really well-thought off article. Construction jobs can be dangerous, as there are many hazards ready to plague workers, but yes, with proper guidelines and training, these hazards can be mitigated.

  41. Charlotte Fleet

    Thanks for all of your tips on how to promote a safe construction site. I like how you mentioned that it is smart for every employee to be properly trained on any equipment they might use. I think that another great way to ensure safety at a worksite would be to have your equipment inspected to make sure they are working properly and can be used safely.

  42. Darrien Hansen

    I think you make a great point when you mention how you should always provide your employees with the training needed to use special equipment no matter how experienced they are. My brother has been thinking about opening an office construction business this summer and needs to find a way to teach new employees how to use heavy construction tools while on uneven surfaces. Maybe he should think about finding a service that can help make sure that his workers are correctly trained.

  43. Tex Hooper

    I appreciate what you said about empowering employees to be a part of safety checks. I imagine this is especially important when it comes to heavy rigging. That way people don’t get injured around heavy machinery.

  44. Toby Ryan

    Thank you for explaining that you should make sure that an employee has received the adequate training needed to operate certain kinds of equipment. I remember my brother mentioning how he was thinking about starting a commercial demolition company this summer, but he needs to find some workers that will be able to safely use heavy vehicles in the dark. Maybe he should find a safety staffing service that can help him find the right people for the job.

  45. Chris Pederson

    I love the idea of training new and current employees on how to use certain equipment. The older employees might think it is a waste of time. But it will help keep everyone safe in the end.

  46. Curtis Butler

    I like that you mentioned how you should encourage workers to report any safety concerns to their managers. My wife and I would like to open a business that repairs roads, but we’re worried that drivers may have trouble seeing our employees when the weather is especially foggy. Maybe we should identify any safety issues so that we can find someone that can help correct them.

  47. Stefan Bradley

    I think it’s helpful that you mentioned the importance of ensuring that all of the equipment needed for your project is available. My brother wants to find a service to help him with a construction project. He should find someone that has access to the tools he needs to get the job done right.

  48. masonry contractor DC

    I am in the Masonry Business and I agree with all your safety tips. You actually reminded me to have a refresher with my staff about safety precautions. Thank you and looking forward for more post from you.


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