Construction sites are among the most dangerous and risky places to work. The good news is that most dangers and risks can be prevented if you apply proven safety precautions and follow the standards implemented by OSHA for construction safety. Here are some of the safety tips to keep in mind:
Falls are among the leading causes of worker fatalities on a construction site. Thus, fall protection is an important standard in the construction industry. Employers must do their best to assess job sites and implement the most fall protection systems to keep their workers safe.
Employers are required to provide essential systems to protect workers who are working or walking on surfaces with unprotected sides or edges that are six feet above the lower ground. Setting up guard rails and safety nets, and providing personal fall arrest systems are just some of the ways employers can provide effective fall protection to the workers.
However, the responsibility does not merely fall on employers. Workers must also do their part in familiarizing themselves with every potential fall hazard in the workplace. Taking OSHA safety training can help them with that. With proper training, they can ensure that they are using the right personal fall arrest systems and that those systems are working well before they do a particular task.
Did you know that 65 percent of construction workers do work on scaffolds? This puts them at risk of electrocutions, falls, and exposure to falling objects. OSHA recommends that construction workers wear hard hats and sturdy, non-skid work boots to avoid slips and falls and to protect themselves. Tool lanyards should be used to prevent objects from accidentally falling or slipping from their grasp.
Workers are also advised to avoid exceeding the maximum load on the scaffold, and to not leave any materials, tools, or equipment on scaffolds at the end of their shift.
For employers, OSHA recommends leaving the design, installation, and disassembly of scaffolding to professionals only. A competent individual must also check the scaffolding to ensure safety for use.
Ladders and stairway
Improper use of ladders can cause falls, which can result in severe injury or death. Tragedies may happen if the wrong ladder is used, the ladder is not properly secured, or if workers try to carry materials or tools manually while climbing.
OSHA safety training can educate both workers and employers on proper ladder and stairway installation and use. To keep the construction site safe, all ladders and stairways must be inspected by a competent person, and any defective or damaged item must be removed and serviced or replaced.
Personal protective and life-saving equipment
OSHA requires all construction workers to be provided with essential eye and face protection when their work will expose them to flying particles, liquid chemicals, molten metal, caustic liquids or acids, chemical vapors and gases, or potentially hazardous light radiation. They are required to wear them properly, too. Employers must provide all safety gear for free.
Construction sites may be tough and rugged, but that doesn’t mean they have to be hazardous, dangerous, or unsanitary. Workers deserve proper training to understand how to protect theirs and everyone else’s health and safety. They also need training to become qualified to operate certain machinery or equipment.
Falling loads, cave-ins, electrocutions, hazardous atmospheres, and heavy equipment accidents make excavations and trench work dangerous to workers. It’s important for workers to wear proper safety gear, like hard hats, and to enter a trench or excavation site only when it has been verified to be safe by a competent individual. That said, employers are advised to keep all sites safe and properly designed by an engineer.
Prioritize inductions before anything else
Every construction site is unique and will have specific types of hazards. Employers must induct employees before beginning any work. That way, workers know exactly what to do, what to avoid, what to look out for, where to go, and what to do in case of an emergency.
For more construction safety tips, get in touch with our team at Impact Safety. We will work closely with you to provide safety consulting and OSHA safety training to ensure an OSHA-compliant workplace where you and your workers can feel safe and secure.