Construction is one of the most dangerous occupations that exists today. When working in a construction site you have to be ready at any given time to work high up in a building, operate large and mobile equipment, work near around edges, deep holes, and walk on wobbly stairs. Employers are required to ensure the safety and security of their workers, but workers are also expected to take certain precautions when working in hazardous conditions.
Here are five safety measures that every construction worker needs to remember:
1. Always Double Check your Work Area
Scaffolds are widely used in construction sites. Unfortunately, scaffolds are responsible for a large number of injuries every year. If you’re going to be working on a scaffold you’ll need to ensure your safety first. The first thing you’ll need to do is ask your supervisor when the last time the scaffold was inspected. Never work on a scaffold that hasn’t been inspected or that doesn’t have a strong base or platform.
Ladders are also another common tool used in construction sites that are known for being dangerous. If you’re going to be working on a ladder be sure to check it thoroughly. If your ladder is even slightly wobbly, DO NOT USE IT. In order for a ladder to be used safely it should always keep at least one meter above the landing. The steps of the ladder should always be secured properly. The safest way to use the ladder is to fasten the upper and lower end of the ladder. If the ladder cannot be fastened, then there should be someone manually keeping the ladder secure.
2. Be Attentive when Working With Electricity and Equipment
Most construction sites require electrical installation. Lifting equipment, for example, requires electricity and weights. When working with this type of equipment it’s important to be extra cautious and make sure there’s no significant wear and tear in the machine. You should also make sure that you follow the safety precautions posted on the equipment. If there are no instructions on the machine be sure to ask for help and ask for specific instructions from a supervisor or co-worker who has used the equipment before.
If you’re using a device that is plugged in, such as a drill or a grinder, always make sure to check that the cables are protected and that the metal casing is grounded. You should never allow electrical tools to get wet. Remember to never work under a heavy suspended load and be sure to never exceed the allowed levels of load. If necessary, be sure to get proper training and certification before using equipment, such as the material hoist and crane.
3. Prevent Fires and Maintain Fencing
In the past few years, there have been quite a few fatalities and injuries that occurred in areas that should have been fenced off, but weren’t. Any areas that has broken or damaged fencing should be repaired as soon as possible. Until they are repaired there should be signs to avoid the area entirely. If these precautions aren’t being taken you should alert your site supervisor immediately.
When machinery, combustible chemicals, and welding tools are present in a construction site there is always a possibility of a fire breaking out. That is why it’s important to always be alert and take certain measures to prevent a fire. Be sure to keep open flames away from construction sites to ensure that flammable materials don’t burst into flames. All workers should be familiar with emergency routes and with where all fire extinguishers are.
4. Wear Appropriate Safety Apparel and Gear
All construction site employers are supposed to provide or pay for the proper safety clothing and gear necessary to work in that site. As a worker, you are expected to wear your clothing and gear correctly at all times. Well-fitted safety glasses or goggles, and helmets are to be worn at all times while at the construction site. Ear plugs or muffs should be worn whenever working in noisy environments, and protective gloves when dealing with toxic chemicals.
Anti-slip footwear and protective masks are necessary for anyone working in a dusty or toxic environment. Fall harnesses are also essential when workers are working high off of the ground. Steel toe boots are essential for your feet’s safety. In fact, workers are required by OSHA to wear steel toe boots whenever working at a construction site. This is to ensure that your toes don’t get severed or cut
5. First Aid Kits Should Be Readily Available
While it may be impossible for workers to carry their own first aid kits everywhere they go, both a contractor and a site supervisor should also have a first aid kid readily available for their workers. Workers with minor burns, cuts, or who suffers a minor fall can often be treated immediately using the first aid kit and can return back to work right away. It’s important to treat minor injuries quickly to prevent infections from developing.
As a construction worker you’ll need to be cautious at all times. Any areas that are not properly lit should be avoided and you should never play with your equipment. Always follow safety instructions and if you notice something that is unsafe, inform your co-workers and your site supervisor immediately so that the situation can be corrected. Construction workers play an important role in today’s society, building safe buildings, bridges, and other structures. Workers owe it to themselves to stay safe while they work.