Workplace accidents are no laughing matter. Countless occur every year, resulting in injury to workers and damage to client and company property. However, many of these accidents are ultimately preventable when employees take the necessary precautions and plan ahead for potential problems. Keep these common construction site safety tips in mind and remember that prevention is as simple as checking the area.
PPE and Protective Apparel
Employers should provide their workers with proper protective gear and clothing. If you as a worker do not have them, demand them from your employer and wear them correctly. At USI, we adhere to our standard “safety first” program, which gives every employee the authority to stop any job if there are safety concerns.
Be Vigilant with Electricity and Equipment
Construction sites require a lot of electrical installations. Lifting equipment mostly involves electricity and weights. If you are using plugged-in portable devices, such as grinders or drills, you should always check that the cables are protected, the metal casing is grounded, and the power supply is provided with an earth leakage circuit breaker.
Hazardous Training Program
You should have trained personnel on-site who know how to handle hazardous materials. A training program should include how to store, transport, and dispose of hazardous materials you may come in contact with during the course of operation. The personnel should also know what type of protective gear to wear. If you don’t have trained hazmat personnel handling materials, you need to resolve that!
Separate Hazardous Materials
Different types of hazardous materials should be kept separate from each other. Failure to properly separate materials could result in serious reactions, like fires and explosions.
Disposing of Waste
It is unlawful to take hazardous waste to a landfill or dispose of it in a regular trashcan. You will need to contact a hazardous waste hauler to properly and lawfully remove hazardous waste from your property.
Maintain Fencing and Prevent Fires
Notice the number of fatal injuries and falls that happen in areas where there is no fencing. Dangerous areas that you see without fencing or with broken and damaged fencing should be avoided until they are completely repaired or a proper fencing is in place.
Keep First Aid Close
While it may not be possible for workers to carry first aid supplies with them all the time, both the site supervisor and contractor should ensure that first aid is always accessible to the workers. If as a worker you find that first aid you will need is not around, inform your supervisor immediately. Basic first aid for minor burns, cuts, and falls should be available on site so that the required medical assistance can be provided to the workers immediately. This is beneficial to the employer, as well, because this ensures that after resting for some time, the worker can return to his work as soon as possible.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, one of the biggest sources of accidents on construction sites is materials and substances left on the floor to slip over. Construction sites are often busy places and it can get easy to leave behind small trails from carrying materials. However, preventing such problems can be as easy as making sure that the walkways and work areas around the site are kept clear. Make sure that employees walk along the designated areas when they carry materials and always be ready to clear up an obstruction or spill if you notice that it is in the way.
Being hit by a falling object is always a risk on a construction site, no matter how careful every party is being. Under OSHA, falling objects can include falling materials, tools or waste debris, and the threat is particularly pronounced for those who are not wearing proper safety equipment. In order to combat this problem, it is critical for all employees to make sure that they use and wear the appropriate safety gear. When setting aside tools or materials, make sure that they are on a level surface, as this prevents them from falling if they are accidentally jostled during work procedures.
Electrocutions are some of the most common causes of death in the workplace. Electrical safety should never be taken lightly, and experts who work in the field should always take the necessary precautions in order to avoid serious injury or death. If there are any exposed wires on the construction site, it is critical to isolate them and keep them in place as soon as possible to avoid potential injury. Additionally, OSHA recommends wearing the proper gear when working with electricity can be an excellent way to avoid accidents, even when all other precautions have been taken.
Passing Inspection Does Not Guarantee Safety
Builders often rely on requisite industry or home inspections for peace of mind, but in some cases formal inspection requirements are minimal. Boilers and other appliances can malfunction immediately following an inspection. Cautious property managers need to ensure that their installations remain functioning well above the minimum state requirements, which will mitigate risk and enhance performance.