Working Safely on Construction Sites

09/15/2016
by Safety Mart

Construction sites are among the most dangerous places to work. They top in workplaces accidents related fatalities. Prevention is key to keeping everyone safe when working either at home, at work or when traveling. A simple safety tool such as high visibility clothing can save your life in ways you least expected.

It is important to remember that safety is not guaranteed and does not happen on its own. Everybody who is involved, from office workers to people who are handling equipment, to those who are supervising them, needs to participate in upholding safety precautions actively. In this guide, you are going to learn five tips that you need to observe to help in upholding workplace safety.

Safer Climbing

When climbing, you must keep in mind that hand and foot placement is necessary to maximize stability. You should not take another step is you are not stable in your current position. You should always start working with clean boots and ensure they still have their grip. Your gloves should also offer you a good grip to avoid slipping when holding onto wet surfaces.

When climbing a ladder, you must make sure you have secured the ladder to the floor. You also then have to observe the 3-point contact rule. That is where you make sure at any one time you are supporting yourself on the ladder with two hands and one foot. Alternatively, you should support yourself on the ladder by standing on it with your two feet, and hold it with one hand. When climbing, observe the "belt buckle rule." Make sure you center your body is on the ladder as you climb it.

Use the Right Tool for the Job

You may see equipment that looks similar or performs similar functions at your workplace. That does not mean they are interchangeable. You should not use a saw used to cut wood to cut metal. A power saw may look and sound powerful, but if you try to cut metal with it, the results can be disastrous. Using the wrong tool for a job will either damage that tool, ruin the piece of work you are working on, or cause an accident.

For example using a pair of pliers to tighten a machine's nuts and bolts will not fasten them securely. You, therefore, risk the machine running loose once you turn it on. However, if you use a wrench with the right torque setting, the bolts and nuts will be securely fastened. You will also take longer to accomplish a task that should have taken a few minutes.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal Protective Equipment such as high visibility clothing is meant to keep you safe and also make rescue efforts easy when people are looking for you. It also enables others to easily spot you even when they are not looking for you. It is very easy to get knocked down by someone who is engrossed in a different task like driving a crane if you are not highly visible.

PPE such as gloves will protect your hands from chemicals, heat, abrasion, cuts, oil, cement, open flames, impact, cold temperatures, and punctures. Many gloves provide multiple forms of protection so that you do not end up changing gloves as you work. Steel tipped boots can make a difference between smashed toes and going back home as healthy as you came to work.

Workplace Environment

There is always a lot going on at a construction site as everybody is kept busy doing what they have been hired to do. Most sites are busy than your average shopping mall. Unlike shopping mall, on a construction site, workers need to care about each other's safety. That means that it helps a lot if they are aware of their surroundings.

That way they can help to keep each other safer. Accidents sometimes do occur when a worker moves to a new working area other than where they are usually stationed. Use of signage, PPE, and verbal reminders of specific hazards, whenever someone is moved to a new workstation, is paramount.

Safety Meetings

Making sure that workers are called to regular safety meetings is one of the best ways to keep safety regulation fresh in their minds. It is easy when you perform the same job every day to get comfortable. When you get comfortable, the next thing is to relax in your observation of safety regulations. That leads to accidents that happen when you least expect it.

Safety Guidelines

Safety requires that everybody involved upholds all measure and rules that have been put in place to safeguard everybody. You cannot count on everybody to observe the set safety standards. That is why you need to make sure that you have policies and guidelines that outline standards that must be followed by all workers when working.

Emergency Protocol

In any workplace, there are chances that an accident could occur anytime. Once an accident has occurred, the workers need to know what to do in case no one is a trained medical profession around. The first responder will always be the best placed to save a life during the initial hours or minutes of an accident. Sometimes help does not come as fast as expected. There should be regular training tailored to accidents most likely to happen in a particular workplace.

Wearing high visibility clothing can make the difference between being told to get out of the way, and ending in an Emergency Room. Always make a point of wearing PPE, and making sure that other workers know they should be doing the same.