Construction site safety is incredibly important. According to the U.S. Department of Labor nearly 6.5 million people work on construction sites daily. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists some of the most common construction site fatalities as falling from heights, collapsing scaffolding, electric shocks and arc flashes/arc blasts, failure using proper protective equipment, and injuries from repetitive motions. There are ways to keep everyone safer at construction sites.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Being aware of your surroundings is extremely important while at or near a construction site. But if you are working at one, be sure to do a walk-through everyday. You can start by noting if the entry and exit points have clear signage and being sure that equipment is working and in its proper location. Doing a walk-through helps to make sure that hazards are being noted before they cause a potential injury through use. It also gives you a chance to discover if all of the equipment and materials are still there since many thefts occur at construction sites. Construction security is very important. There is a lot of money just sitting around during the day and after hours with equipment and materials on site.
Wear the Correct/Proper Equipment
Everyone at a construction site should be wearing the correct/proper equipment to make sure they are safe at and around the construction site. Workers should have the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for each part of the site they are working such as:
- A helmet which should be provided and worn at all times;
- Steel toed boots with anti-slip to protect their feet;
- Clothing that is appropriate for indoor or outdoor work (depending on the site requirement);
- A safety vest to make sure they are visible at all times;
- Hearing protection for using loud equipment;
- Eye protection to keep out unwanted debris;
- Face/respiratory protection to keep out other unwanted debris or sparks;
- Gloves for protection;
- Harnesses when they are needed; and
- Other protective equipment designated by site requirements.
Make Sure You Are Aware of the Weather
Being aware of the weather day-to-day is part of safety that those outside of construction might not consider. You want to have tarps on hand for rainy days, extra breaks for sweltering temperatures, have safety measures in place for lightning, etc. Weather can be unpredictable at times, but planning ahead for it adds to the safety of your site. On top of being aware of the weather, you should have first-aid kits and individuals with safety training to keep workers safer at construction sites.
Make Sure Everyone Has the Proper Training
While ensuring every worker has proper training doesn’t seem like a basic safety feature, having proper training is important for every construction site.
When employees don’t have the training needed to work the equipment they are handling the chance of injury increases for all. The training that is needed will be different for each construction site.
You require OSHA Construction training if you’re a construction worker or a contractor. OSHA includes all work for construction, alteration, repair, painting, and decorating in its construction category. Some construction workers may need additional training for specialized work, and anyone with supervisory responsibilities should take OSHA 30-Hour Construction Safety Outreach Training. This OSHA 30 training will offer extensive safety topics to ensure maximum work safety.
Have a Safety Checklist
Creating a checklist for your specific site can help ensure daily safety. The safety checklist will be different for each site but can include:
- Making sure everyone is wearing the proper equipment;
- All signage is visibly in place;
- Scaffolding meets the requirements for use;
- Making sure the site is protecting workers from fall areas;
- Checking that the correct ladder is being used and is in good condition;
- Stairways are free from debris and other slipping hazards; and
- Making sure all equipment is in working order and being used correctly.
Plan Ahead Daily for Construction Sites
Ensure that your construction site has all of the basic safety features by having a daily plan. This can help you ensure that your workers and materials are safer not only when everyone is on site but also when everyone leaves for the day.