If your business establishment will be undergoing construction, it is most ideal to halt operations entirely to make way for the construction work. However, closing down the business for weeks or even days is not always possible. As a result, some businesses opt to have portions of construction done outside of business hours and still operate as normal during the day.
If you’ve ever been near construction work or have done any construction work yourself, you’ll know that it can be potentially hazardous. While hiring a reputable contractor will minimize the chances of accidents happening to your patrons or employees, it is still a good idea to take extra precautions yourself.
Here are some of the best ways to keep your customers, employees, and the construction team safe while your business is undergoing construction:
1. Orient your employees
You can rely on the contractor to find the best suppliers of high-quality fixings, employ highly skilled workers, and have their own set of safety procedures, but they probably won’t orient your employees for you. In this case, you have to do it yourself and have a meeting with your employees about the construction. They must know what they can and cannot do around the construction area during and after business hours. They must also know what to do in case of an emergency. Moreover, it is imperative that you educate them about the operational changes to be made because of the construction if there are any.
Remember that employees can claim workers’ comp if they get injured on the job, so if you don’t want that extra expense, be sure to orient them before construction starts.
2. Conduct inspections
Even if you don’t know anything about construction, it pays to conduct some inspections from time to time. If you see something that’s out of the ordinary, you may be able to catch a potential safety hazard before it causes an accident. In the event that you do find a potential hazard, report it to the contractor immediately so that they can address it.
3. Install signs
Your contractor will likely install safety signs themselves, but it may be a good idea to hang more signs to warn employees and customers alike. You can also post safety reminders in high-traffic areas to instill them in your employees.
4. Pay close attention to cleaning
A good construction team will clean up after themselves every time they leave the establishment for the day. However, they may not always leave the area as spotless as you want it to be. Moreover, there is always a chance that they leave sawdust, puddles, and tools behind that can cause an accident if someone were to slip or trip on them.
That said, be proactive in cleaning up around the construction area after the construction team leaves. It is not advisable to clean the actual construction area since you may risk slipping on something or knocking down a particular structure. Instead, clean the surrounding area and be sure that there are no potential safety hazards as well as unsightly dirt around.
5. Reposition your security cameras
If the construction area is not in the view of your existing security cameras, reposition them or install new ones to ensure you can capture any accidents waiting to happen and act upon them before it’s too late. This strategy is also a great way to ensure that customers or employees won’t be able to take advantage of you in case they fake an ‘accident’ around the construction site. Remember that some people see a construction area as a potential insurance or workers’ comp fraud, so having security cameras is imperative to preventing that.
6. Close down
We’ve mentioned before that closing down a business entirely during construction is not always feasible, but if the portion of the building that’s undergoing construction is vital to operations or too dangerous for customers or employees to navigate around, you may not have any other choice but to pause operations.
Of course, you must be prepared for this before starting a construction project. To be more specific, the business should be able to survive for the entire length that it won’t be operating until the construction is done.
Renovating or adding a new extension to your establishment is often a sign that your business is growing. However, undergoing construction and keeping the business open is a challenge that requires a proper preparation. One of the best ways to do prepare is to employ safety strategies, starting with the ones mentioned above. At the same time, you should heed all the other safety tips that your contractor provides.