Every June, National Safety Month brings awareness to preventing injuries in the workplace. Workplace safety is not only a universal business need, it's a government-mandated right. Effectively safeguarding your multifamily property and its personnel is paramount to the health and success of your business.
Did you know that companies who focus on health and safety can reduce their injury- and illness-related costs by up to 40%? Fortunately, there are easy ways to make safety a priority, this month and every month of the year.
Proactive Renovation Safety
Don’t wait until an accident happens to address safety issues during renovations. Be proactive! Create open lines of communication to allow workers to bring unsafe conditions to management’s attention to avoid injuries or illnesses in the first place.
Implementing a safety-focused approach to renovations improves production and quality, employee morale, employee recruiting and retention and a favorable company reputation. One of the biggest safety risks during renovations is a failure to identify potential hazards before the job begins. Implement a process to identify risks up front, and then follow up with frequent inspections to determine new risks that arise during the renovation process. Proper communication, training and risk identification all help to reduce and eliminate workplace safety issues.
Focus Areas for Multifamily Renovation Safety
Property Hazard Remediation
Identify and remediate unhealthy or hazardous conditions on your property to help improve the health of your residents and employees. Conditions that cause harm to residents have the same impact on your workers. Unsafe living and working conditions can lead to accidents, health issues like asthma and tragedies like fires.
Common multifamily housing safety issues include: missing handrails, leaking pipes that lead to mold growth, cracks and openings that allow pests like rodents and insects to intrude, gas leaks, radon or carbon monoxide poisoning, lead exposure and fire risk from old or outdated appliances or electrical wires. Focus on repairs and renovations that address property safety issues.
Signs are a valuable tool to protect residents and workers from temporary and permanent hazards. Temporary signage is ideal for alerting residents and employees of dangerous changes in the environment during renovations. Use construction safety signage such as caution tape, hard hat area, keep out, fall hazard, demolition area and other signs specific to your renovation site. Update the temporary signage as conditions change.
Once the renovations are completed, place permanent signage to identify new dangers to the property. This may include safety risks or warning signs for new swimming pools or fitness centers, utility rooms, electric shock risks and other dangers specific to your property. Using signage effectively communicates property risks to help avoid injury to residents and staff.
Proper lighting during renovations is vital for worker and resident safety. Adequate lighting ensures workers can see to do their job safely, especially for indoor or mechanical projects. Temporary lighting, like light towers, provides extra lighting for workers to safely see to complete renovations in darker areas or when working at night.
Keep residents safe during construction with additional lighting in hallways, entrances, common areas and parking lots. Everyone on the property should be able to clearly see the areas impacted by renovations to avoid falls or other injuries. Inspect outdoor lighting, and fix or add lights near renovation areas. Repair failing lights before renovations begin, particularly broken emergency or exit lighting. Ample lighting offers safety for the renovation crew, property employees and residents during property upgrades.
Prioritize safety on your property to safeguard employees and residents, as well as your bottom line. A safer property helps reduce potential lawsuits, lower workers’ compensation claims, improve employee productivity and increase resident retention. Get on board this National Safety Month with a property safety audit to identify and remediate any unsafe work conditions!