Workplace safety should be your number one priority to ensure your job site is safe at all times. Because 60% of construction workplace injuries occur within an employee’s first year of employment (Bureau of Labor Statistics), it’s essential that you enforce proper safety training to all employees. Sometimes workers forget the basics of safety after years on the job, so this post serves as a friendly reminder to reduce worksite injuries.
While working on a construction site, always remember to:
Wear Proper Protective Gear
Always provide new employees with proper protective gear and clothing. Well-fitted helmets and protective eyewear are a must. Also, include earplugs or muffs when working in noise-filled job areas. Protective gloves, anti-slip footwear and protective jumpsuits should be provided to those working with toxic chemicals. When working on a ladder or scaffold, ensure your harness is sturdy and secured, as falls are the greatest cause of fatal construction injuries (The Center for Construction Research and Training).
Changing weather conditions also means you should provide employees with some climate protective gear. Include bright colored vest if your job site involves constant movement by heavy-load vehicles. Making your employees easy to spot while working can reduce a ton of worksite injuries.
Keep First Aid Close
Because you may not be able to prevent every accident that happens on a job site, you should ensure that employees have easy access to first aid kits. Immediate medical assistance that can cure minor burns, cuts and falls should be accessible at all job sites. You want to make sure that your workers feel safe and cared for if something happens on the job. Treating injuries right away can reduce any further damage and prevents infections from spreading.
Double-Check Your Work Areas
When working with equipment like a scaffold make sure that it has been inspected by a professional because 33% of falls happen from a scaffold (Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries). It should have a strong base and platform.
Do the same when working with ladders. Make sure to thoroughly inspect before use and do not use if you find that it’s wobbly. Before your employees use ladders on a site, inspect the steps or slabs of the ladder to ensure that they are secured properly. The upper and lower end of the ladder should also be fastened and secured properly. If not, you must have someone manually securing it to prevent a fall.
Be Cautious with Electricity and Equipment
Electrical equipment and wires on a construction site can be very dangerous. Before starting on a project, be sure that employees are extra cautious and inspect for wear and tear on the machine. Also, be sure to follow the safety precautions listed for the equipment. Having someone with extensive knowledge of the equipment share their expertise is also a good way to go. For machinery that are plugged in check that the cables are protected, the metal casing is grounded and that the power supply has an earth leakage circuit breaker.
Here are some other quick safety training tips that can help reduce work site injuries. Again, these tips serve as a reminder of the basic training that you learned in the beginning of your career that you may have forgotten. Safety training ensures that your job site is free of worksite injuries and that the job gets done right the first time.
Getting On & Off Equipment
- First check your gloves and boots
- Clean off mud before climbing
- Use “high grip” gloves
- Never jump from a machine
Loading & Unloading Equipment
- Make sure your load is centered on ramps
- Allow enough room to maneuver
- Use a spotter for guidance
- Check trailer deck, clearances and stability
- Review lock-out/tag-out plan
People Crowding the Work Area
- Coordinate with foreman to ensure people stand away from certain areas
- Use a horn when starting and stopping a project so people know to stand back
Machine Swing Radius
- Rope off the swing radius around a machine
- Secure swing area when necessary
- Use a spotter to keep people clear
Overhead & Buried Obstructions
- Always be aware of your surroundings
- Stand clear of electric lines, water, sewer, gas, etc.
- Mark and warn others of overhead lines or clearances
- Be sure to have back up alarms on construction machinery
- Check machine perimeter before moving
- Use a spotter if vision is impaired
- Use wide-angle mirrors for a better view
- Cameras and alarms are also helpful
Lock-Out & Tag-Out (LOTO)
- Any raised material load is subject to LOTO
- Pinch points on a machine must be identified and protected
- Review manufacturing directions
Sixty percent of construction workplace injuries occur within an employee’s first year of employment. Because of this, proper safety training is crucial to all employees. What are some training tips that you enforce on your job site? Let us know in the comments below.
This article was written by Dorcy Castillo.