Thousands of injuries and accidents occur on construction sites yearly. Safety awareness is a critical factor in preventing accidents on the job site. Before beginning work on a project, every construction worker should be aware of what to watch out for.
1. Be Equipped
The proper clothing such as safety boots, helmets, and safety jackets should be worn on the job site. Foot injuries occur frequently so it is important that work boots are reinforced with steel tips and have slip resistant and puncture resistant soles. Wear gloves that have a good grip and always wear gloves when handling sharp objects or toxic substances. Wear protective equipment that is intended for a particular task such as safety glasses or goggles, protective clothing, footwear or headgear, safety harnesses or seat belts.
2. Fall Protection
Falls are the leading cause of fatalities in construction accounting for nearly 40% of worker deaths. Before going to a job site, become familiar with the procedures to follow to minimize hazards and prevent falls. Employers should provide training to all employees if they might be exposed to fall hazards. Topics of training should include the nature of fall hazards present on the site, proper erection, inspection and maintenance of fall protection systems, use of fall protection systems and personal fall arrest systems and the role employees play in safety monitoring and fall protection.
3. Getting On and Off of Equipment
The number one cause of injury to equipment operators, forklift drivers and truck drivers occurs when getting on and off of machines. Before getting onto equipment, check your gloves and boots and clean any mud or debris off of them. Use high grip gloves and use large size hand and foot holds when available. Avoid using toeholds or finger holds and engage your entire hand or foot when getting on or off. If no handholds are present, use a step ladder and never carry any objects when climbing. Lastly, never jump down from a machine, lower yourself in a controlled fashion.
4. Loading and Unloading Equipment
Maneuvering equipment into job sites where space is limited is difficult. Use spotters to guide trailers and machines into space and make sure people stay away when loading or unloading as machines have the potential to roll over. Check trailer decks for clearances and stability and use proper tie-down procedures. If compression is used, be careful opening handles; loads can shift and handles can spring open.
5. Toxic Substances
When dealing with hazardous or toxic substances on a job site, be aware what to do when coming in contact with these chemicals. Appropriate clothing should be worn while handling hazardous chemicals and spills should be cleaned up immediately. Check for written communication regarding all hazardous chemicals on site and become familiar with labeling which identifies these substances. Take training if available to ensure you are familiar with the proper handling instructions.
What are some of your must-know safety tips? We would love to hear yours below!