By: Vincent West on December 5th, 2017
5 Safety Construction Tips for Your Workers' Well-Being
Construction worksites are an incredibly dangerous place to be. There are many safety hazards around every corner. This is why it is so important that workers at these sites know and follow safety rules set forth by you. To keep the workplace a safe environment, use these five helpful tips.
1. Getting In and Out of Equipment
Believe it or not, one of the leading causes of injuries to equipment operators are getting in and out of their equipment. However, you can easily lower the risk of your workers getting injured by having your workers follow these steps:
- Check your boots and gloves for mud or slippery substances and wipe them off
- Get a foot or hand hold before hoisting yourself up
- Use a step ladder if necessary to make sure you can climb on the equipment safely
- If you need help, be sure to ask. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about if you need a helping hand.
- Avoid hopping up or down on equipment, take your time
2. What Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Wear
It’s important that you wear the right clothes for your job, which means wearing protective gear if need be. On the job, you should store your gear and other tools in a safe, dry place. First aid kits and fire extinguishers should be located near the work area and readily available.
If you’re lifting heavy objects, you should use a back brace to prevent damage to your body. You should also be sure to wear gloves and goggles on the worksite if you’re using dangerous tools. If you’re working on an elevated area and there’s a risk of slipping and falling, you should wear a safety harness.
You should also wear nonskid, rubber footwear if you are working in an area with slippery surfaces. Or, if you’re lifting particularly heavy objects. Be sure to find the most comfortable composite toe shoes for work.
It’s crucial to your health that you wear a breathing mask at work if your workplace has bad ventilation if you work with dangerous toxins, or if you deal with constant dust or other debris.
3. Staying Safe Loading or Unloading Equipment
No matter where you’re working, there’s always the risk of equipment rolling over if you’re loading or unloading it. This is why it’s important to make sure the ramps you’re using are straight and cleared. You should also be sure to allow plenty of room between you and the equipment in case of an emergency.
Make sure you use another co-worker as a spotter while guiding your equipment and make sure the machine is clear of the ramp before turning it. However, you should also make sure the trailer deck and you have proper clearance before loading it, in addition to using correct tie-down procedures.
4. Ladder and Stairs Climbing Hazards
Any worker who frequently climbs ladder or stairs during a project should take these special precautions. Workers should always inspect a ladder or stairs before they step on them. Check for damaged, loose, worn, weak, and otherwise broken spots. Avoid standing on these areas and inform the foreman of these safety issues. Stairs and ladders should be kept clean, uncluttered, and dry. Workers should not use metal ladders in rainy or wet conditions.
When you can, choose aerial lifts and elevated platforms as these are safer than standing and balancing on a ladder. Additionally, you should install safety features like warning lines, guardrails with toes boards, and control line systems.
When you are using a ladder, you should pick one out that is at least three to four feet taller than the location you need to reach. You should also make sure you calculate the distance carefully. For every four feet of height, scoot the base of the ladder out a foot from the wall. Be sure to move the ladder as you work. Do not try to overreach as you can easily lose your balance and get injured. When climbing and descending, keep your hands free and your tools in your tool belt.
5. Crowded Work Areas
When it comes to construction workplace frustrations, crowding in work areas is one of the biggest. This is especially an issue with large machinery. People on the work site gather to watch the large machines work. Usually, there is no reason for this; it is just a habit. However, it increases unnecessary exposure to injury.
If someone is working with large machinery, people on the ground should remain far from the operating area. Foremen should enforce this rule and review it at any safety meetings. It is not the operator's responsibility to ensure people stay back while they are trying to work. However, they can beep their horn to warn others when they are about to begin working. They should also be sure to check closely behind them when they are backing up.
By following the five tips above, you can ensure that your construction site is a safe and efficient place to be. These are just a few suggestions for workplace safety; there are many more considerations that you should take into account when trying to protect your workers. However, no matter what you do and what changes you make, safety should always be your first priority.
A fresh Engineering Design graduate with a strong interest in all things DIY and construction gear, Vincent West is the mastermind behind WorkBootCritic.com. He's now keen on spreading the word on what he has learned and continues to learn through research and practice.