According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Data and the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, workers in the construction industry suffered nearly 200,000 nonfatal injuries and over 1,000 fatal injuries in 2018. Every injury is preventable if the right safety protocols are in place for a construction site.
Simply having the protocols isn’t sufficient. You need to have the right materials, remember the protocols, and keep workers trained.
That’s why it’s important that you know construction site safety tips. Here are some safety tips to help you remember common safety protocols that you need to work with on a construction site.
Personal Protective Equipment
If you are working on or near a construction site, always make sure to wear the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This includes a hard hat, safety glasses, protective clothing, and work boots or shoes.
It is also important to be aware of your surroundings and any potential hazards. Be sure to stay clear of heavy machinery, and always follow the safety signs and signals.
Site Layout and Traffic Control
Layout and traffic control are vital to maintaining a safe construction site. Establishing a traffic pattern and clearly delineating areas for pedestrians and vehicles can help prevent accidents.
Appropriate signage and markings can help direct traffic flow and alert people to potential hazards. Fencing off areas can also help to keep people and vehicles away from active construction zones.
Lifting and Material Handling
Always use the proper equipment for the job at hand and follow all manufacturer’s instructions. Never attempt to lift or move something beyond your abilities, get help if needed.
Keep your work area clean and free of clutter to avoid trip hazards. Be aware of your surroundings and take care when working near power lines or other potential hazards.
Excavation and Trenching
When performing excavation and trenching activities, construction site safety is of the utmost importance. Always assume that buried utilities are live and take appropriate precautions to avoid damaging them. Excavate only as much as necessary and never leave trench walls unguarded.
Be aware of the potential for cave-ins and take measures to prevent them, such as sloping or shoring trench walls. If you see any potential hazards, report them to your supervisor immediately.
Scaffolding and Fall Protection
Working on scaffolding can be dangerous if proper safety procedures are not followed. Always wear a harness and be properly tethered to the scaffold at all times. Keep the scaffold clean and free of debris to prevent trip hazards.
Inspect the scaffold regularly to ensure it is in good condition and secure. Only use scaffolding that has been professionally installed and inspected.
Fall protection is one of the most important safety concerns on a construction site. There are many ways to protect workers from falls, but the most important is to ensure that there is a safe work environment. Some of the best ways to do this are to ensure that all workers are properly trained in fall protection and that all equipment is properly maintained.
Dealing with Electrical Hazards
These hazards can be present in the form of live wires, exposed electrical outlets, and faulty equipment. To help prevent injuries or fatalities, always assume that all wires are live and dangerous.
If you see a wire down or dangling, do not attempt to move it yourself. Instead, contact the site supervisor or the power company. They will be able to assess the situation and take the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe.
Stay away from exposed electrical outlets and avoid using any equipment that appears to be in poor condition. If you must use electrical equipment, be sure to wear appropriate protective equipment, including gloves and boots.
Tools and Heavy Equipment Safety
Most construction sites will have large pieces of heavy equipment like bulldozers, cranes, and excavators. It is important to be aware of the dangers these machines pose. Always stay clear of the path of a moving piece of heavy equipment.
Be aware of blind spots that the operator may not be able to see you. Never walk or stand under a load that is being lifted by a crane. If there is a need to transport these types of equipment, make sure to consult a professional – see more here.
When it comes to tools and equipment, make sure you’re using the appropriate tool for the job. If you’re not sure how to use a tool, ask a supervisor or co-worker for assistance. Inspect your tools and equipment before each use to ensure they’re in good condition.
Follow the safety rules and regulations set forth by your employer. If you see something that isn’t safe, speak up. By working together, you can all help make construction sites safer for everyone.
Working at Heights
Construction site safety is always a top priority, especially when working at heights. Always use proper safety equipment when working at heights, including a harness and lanyard. Be aware of your surroundings and always stay clear of edges.
Follow all safety procedures and regulations set forth by the construction site. If possible, avoid working alone at heights. Stop work immediately if you feel unsafe or uncomfortable and report any concerns to the construction site management.
Construction Site Safety Procedures in Case of Emergency
If there is an emergency, it is important to know where the nearest exits are and to have a plan in place to evacuate the site. It is also important to be familiar with the location of the first aid kit and to know how to use it. If you are working with power tools, it is important to know how to turn them off in an emergency.
If there is a fire, it is important to know how to use a fire extinguisher. Lastly, it is important to know who to call in an emergency and to have the numbers for the police, fire department, and ambulance on hand.
The Safe Construction Site
Working on a construction site can be extremely dangerous if the proper safety measures are not taken. Landslides, falling debris, and electrical injury are just a few of the potential dangers that exist.
Be aware of your surroundings and identify any potential hazards. Finally, always follow the safety guidelines established by your employer. By following these construction site safety tips listed above, you can help to keep yourself and those around you safe while working on a construction site.
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