How To Keep Employees Safe During a RenovationApril 13, 2021
When a business begins a renovation, it’s natural to be concerned about how the changes will affect employees. Renovations bring plenty of potential hazards like noise, dust, and debris, and during this time, your employees should still feel safe and as comfortable as possible.
LACOSTA takes pride in providing safe, flexible services to our wide variety of clients, and we make sure to take every precaution to keep you and your employees satisfied. While we will do everything in our power to promote a safe working environment, there are a few things your business can do to help along the way!
Keep reading to learn a few simple steps you and your business can take to maintain a safe workplace throughout a renovation!
Communication is Key!
Arguably the most crucial step to ensure safety through a renovation is communication. There are a few significant areas of communication to focus on:
- Employee Communication – No one at your business should be surprised by your renovations. Make everyone in the workplace aware of the changes about to happen and the timeline of the project.
- Client Communication – If your business has regular customers, make sure they are aware of the renovations. Use clear and concise signage around your business place, and be ready to answer questions customers may have.
- Construction Communication – Finally, it is essential to have good communication with the team doing the renovation! Make sure you handle any questions, concerns, or guidelines you may have before construction begins. If everyone is on the same page, things will go smoothly.
Unless your changes are relatively minor, you’ll be seeing plenty of construction happening as the renovations move forward. While this doesn’t make your place of work a full-blown construction site, it does mean that there are some extra safety precautions to take into account.
It can help you imagine your workplace as a warehouse, including all of the safety guidelines that go along with it. Warehouse workers are aware of the machinery and safety hazards that their job entails, and your renovation should be treated no differently. When it comes to safety, warehouse-level precautions may be the best way to go.
The construction crew will handle the dangerous work, but it is helpful to have mandatory safety training for your employees as well. Consider updating your workplace safety and health guidelines. After all, employee safety is the priority, and all safety precautions should be centered around them.
Whether it’s as tiny as a single wire or as large as demolishing an entire wall, ensure everyone in the area is aware of a potential hazard. While construction workers are trained to handle these hazards, your employees are not.
- Mark all dangerous areas with proper signage, boundaries, and warnings to keep safety risks to a minimum.
- Before beginning the renovations, make all employees aware of the signs and any requirements that go along with them.
- Maintain contact between your employees and the construction crew to help you identify any further hazards as work progresses.
Go With the Flow
An essential part of working through a renovation is maintaining as much normalcy as possible for your employees. You can help this immensely by mapping out the “flow of traffic” in your business.
When you know the most used office areas, work to create a plan that won’t disturb traffic flow too much for both your employees and the construction crew. You might not have a perfect solution that fits everyone’s needs (which is ok), so be prepared to find a compromise or solution that will work best.
To help address this problem, try to schedule construction outside of work hours if at all possible. At LACOSTA, we provide off-shift work hours with no premium charge to the customer to help keep the disruption to a minimum.
Keep it Clean
The construction industry isn’t necessarily known for its cleanliness, but keeping your workplace clean needs to be a priority. A mark of a good renovation is barely seeing the changes as they happen. When it comes to cleanliness, consider:
- Air Quality – During construction, significant amounts of hazardous material can get kicked up into the air. To protect workers and minimize injuries and illnesses, have a plan in place. All work that can produce a large amount of dust or air pollutants should be done in a contained area and handled by a contractor with proper training.
- Debris – At the end of each construction work period, ensure all debris, trash, and protection equipment are dealt with appropriately. If the waste is hazardous, make sure it is disposed of following proper safety procedures.
- Office Supply Relocation – When you are moving around the spaces in your workplace, ensure each area is kept clean during and after the renovation. When moving spaces, be thorough and organized from the beginning. By keeping track of everything, you can minimize the work that has to be done later in the project.
Beyond basic safety training and a good line of communication between you and your construction crew, your other focus should be on the needs of the employees themselves. Safety programs are necessary and valuable, but if an employee still feels unsafe, you should be prepared to try and accommodate them.
Keep a flexible and open approach during the renovation, and listen to any concerns brought up. Consider giving your workers compensation, like more flexible work hours, as they will have an extra stress level added to their job during construction.
A renovation can feel like a lot, but you might find the whole process more manageable if you follow some of these practices. LACOSTA can provide highly motivated and trained site maintenance construction services for you and your company to help along the way.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out! If you are interested in working with LACOSTA, we will always be happy to discuss our services, offerings, and recommendations in more depth!