Examples of Effective Corrective Actions on Construction Sites

Posted by
Lance Roux
on Apr 15, 2024

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the construction industry saw 270,000 "medically consulted" preventable injuries in 2022. Statistics like this carry steep costs through delays, rework, and legal issues. However, many job site accidents could have been avoided if the general contractor enacted a better safety plan.

That’s why it’s essential to keep your safety program up-to-date. Doing so can save your company money and help you complete projects on time. An important question is where to start.

You can begin by looking closer at corrective actions from inspection reports to see how effective these actions are in dealing with common job site problems. Below are five corrective action examples.

Examples of Effective Corrective Actions

Effective corrective actions follow well-established guidelines for the problems they correct. These may be set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or another regulatory agency. 

Each example below highlights a common construction site hazard and details the corrective actions to fix it.

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1. Scaffolding Safety Hazard

Imagine your job site is experiencing scaffolding instability due to missing bracing. You could start by reviewing OSHA scaffolding standards to identify the correct course of action.

In this case, that might mean:

  • Implement an immediate work stoppage.
  • Inspect the unstable scaffolding.
  • Identify and replace the missing bracing.
  • Create a plan for future safety checks.

The benefit of doing this is preventing falls and serious injuries on your project. This also shows you’re being proactive about safety culture, which can positively impact your team and improve morale.

2. Concrete Quality Issue

Imagine you’re at a job site and find that workers have been using concrete that exceeds the water-cement ratio. The American Concrete Institute's (ACI) 318 Building Code can help in this scenario.

There, you'll find the correct course of action is to:

  • Halt pouring.
  • Test the concrete’s strength.
  • Adjust the mixture as needed.
  • Retest for compliance purposes.
  • Document your corrective actions and retest the results for added safety.

These steps would ensure the building's structural integrity. It would also help you avoid costly demolition and repouring tasks, which can put you behind on time and budget.

3. Communication Gap

Communication gaps occur frequently on job sites. They happen when there’s a misunderstanding between parties and can lead to costly errors. For example, suppose someone on your job site has misunderstood installation instructions for a critical component.

One solution would be to look at the Construction Industry Institute (CII) Best Practices. These would tell you to:

  • Convene all parties, including the site manager, subcontractors, and designers.
  • Clarify instructions visually and verbally.
  • Obtain confirmation of understanding from all parties.
  • Document the meeting outcome.

This corrective action helps to prevent errors and delays while strengthening communication on your site. It also sets the communication standard for your team and is a protocol you can reuse as often as you need.

4. Equipment Malfunction

Next, imagine you notice a minor leak in the hydraulic system of your heavy machinery. This is a common maintenance issue, but how you respond can seriously impact your project's progress.

Your best option is to consult resources created for the piece of machinery in question. Many heavy machinery manufacturers have guidelines outlining how to address specific issues. 

In the example of a leak in the hydraulic system, these guidelines may include:

  • Immediately cease using the equipment.
  • Schedule a preventative maintenance appointment.
  • Repair the leak.
  • Document the fault and corrective action taken.
  • Obtain. a detailed service report.

This corrective action prevents equipment breakdown and avoids project delays. By ensuring proper maintenance, your equipment will also last longer, which impacts your project’s bottom line.

5. Environmental Violation

Finally, let’s consider how a corrective action would look if your job site experienced an environmental violation, such as an accidental spill of hazardous material. This can be costly and dangerous.

Here, your best option would be to consult with resources created by the EPA. These will likely tell you to:

  • Immediately contain the impacted area.
  • Notify the appropriate authorities.
  • Implement spill clean-up procedures.
  • Document the incident and your responsive actions.

With the necessary corrective actions, you’ll minimize environmental damage and potential fines. Being proactive also demonstrates responsible compliance with environmental regulations, strengthening your reputation.

Why Corrective Action Reports Matter

Reading through these corrective action examples, you may have noticed that each ends with documentation. This isn’t accidental. Corrective action reports (CARs) are essential to maintaining job site safety.

These reports are important because they document your safety processes. This helps establish a protocol for your team to follow in the event of a similar incident in the future.

CARs also provide insight into your response's strengths and weaknesses. Reviewing them helps you to see what you could have done better. You can use these reports as lessons to inform your actions when new incidents occur in the future.

Working Together To Improve Site Safety

Hazards are a fact of life when it comes to construction site safety. What matters most is how you respond to them.

It’s also essential that you create documentation so that you can learn from accidents and improve moving forward. However, you don’t have to do all of this alone. Hiring a safety consultant to help you modernize your practices and avoid costly accidents is often highly beneficial.

If you’re interested in these services, contact the job site safety experts at SafetyPro Resources today.

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