The vast majority of onsite construction accidents – some studies estimate up to 90% – are at least partly due to distraction and human error. At best, this can result in project timeline delays and unforeseen expenses. At worst, you could be dealing with human injury or fatalities.
This article will discuss some of the biggest causes of construction site distractions and what you can do to mitigate them.
#1: Trying to do too much at once
Many of us operate under the false perception that multitasking allows us to accomplish more in less time. But in fact, the opposite could not be truer. What really happens is that we end up splitting our attention and taking longer to do things less well.
To reduce your team’s urge to try and do too much at once, you need to keep them focused on singular tasks. Start each shift with a meeting where you clearly go over roles, responsibilities, and expectations. Ensure that you are regularly checking in with your team throughout the day to see how progress is being made. This allows you to course-correct as necessary and refocus your efforts along the way.
#2: Spending time on phones
Smartphones are a huge time and productivity suck in essentially every industry. Heck, this technology is probably the single greatest distraction in most people’s personal and professional lives. The worst part is, you might think that your phone is actually helping you stay connected and accomplish your work. But in reality, it is probably a bigger interruption than anything else. Beyond that, looking down at your phone instead of around you while on a construction site can be hugely dangerous.
The easiest way to manage this distraction is to prohibit your team’s smartphone usage while on site. At the very least, you can make certain areas phone-free. For example, only allowing usage in break areas or during lunch hour. While your employees may push back initially, there are plenty of other ways to communicate and stay in touch.
#3: Dealing with clutter and mess
A messy construction site is a huge no-no. This greatly increases the risk of someone tripping and injuring themselves. Beyond that, it can also lead to double handling of materials and other inefficiencies.
Be very prescriptive about your material management. A job is not complete until things have been properly stored and put away. Another simple solution is to ensure that you have a sufficient number of trash receptacles around the worksite. This will keep things off of the floor and enforce the idea that things should be kept neat at tidy at every stage of work.