Safety in the construction industry is extremely important. Many injuries and deaths in the industry are due to workers not taking the appropriate precautionary measures. As a result of not following strict safety guidelines, construction workers are prone to head injuries, electric shock, falls, collapses, chemical burns, and much more.
We have constructed a list of potential hazards in construction and ways to prevent injuries in the workplace. OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has outlined a few safety standards that are important to focus on when working on a construction site. They are as follows:
Falls From Heights
Did you know that falls account for the largest number of deaths in the construction industry? This is why it is important to take precautionary measures when working at a high elevation.
- Surfaces elevated more than 48 inches above the ground should use guardrails with toe boards to help prevent deaths and injuries from falls.
- Use body harnesses and safety nets to help prevent falls
- Use covers over any holes or spaces
- All elevated surfaces must have signs that indicate their load capacity
When scaffolds are not built or used properly, fall hazards can occur.
- Scaffolds should be equipped with guardrails, mid rails, and toe boards
- Scaffolds should be fully planked
- Scaffolds must be at least 10 feet from electric power lines.
- Scaffold must be sufficient enough to carry 4x its weight
- Never overload a scaffold with more weight than it was designed to support
- All elevated surfaces must include safety signs that indicate their load capacity
- Safety tape should also be used to indicate cautionary measures.
It is important to recognize the hazards associated with chemicals, as they can cause fires, chemical burns, and even respiratory problems.
- Train all employees of the risks of hazardous chemicals
- Use safety signs to indicate hazardous materials
- All hazardous chemicals should be labeled and stored in a safe and secure location
- All hazardous substances should be listed in the Material Safety Data Sheets and readily available for all workers
- Appropriate respiratory face masks should be worn when handling hazardous chemicals
It is important to protect your head when working on a construction site; in order to prevent head injuries from potential electrical hazards, bumps, or falls.
- Ensure that all workers wear hard hats to prevent potential head injuries from foreign objects, or electrical hazards
- All Hard hats should remain in good condition, and should be inspected regularly for cracks or dents
- Hard hats should be replaced after excessive use, or contact with any foreign objects
In addition to protecting your head, it is also very important to protect your hands as well. The type of hand protection you will need is dependent on the type of job. For example, welding gloves should be used for welding jobs, and insulated gloves should be used when exposed to electrical hazards.
- Make sure to wear the appropriate glove for the job type
- Gloves should fit tightly on your hands
- All first aid kits should be equipped with the appropriate materials: bandages, antiseptics, pain relievers, burn protection
It is very important to protect you face and eyes on a construction site. Due to the unpredictable nature of construction, it is important to protect your eyes from foreign objects, flying particles, concrete, or even harmful chemicals.
- Safety Glasses or face shields should be worn at ALL TIMES.
- Safety Glasses should be inspected for any cracks, or other imperfections
- Ear plugs should be worn to protect your ears from harmful decibels of sound, dirt, debris, and other particles
It is always important to protect yourself in a hazardous work environment. From your head, to your face, to your eyes, to your feet, workers should always wear the appropriate apparel to protect them from falling objects, nail punctures, slips, falls, and so much more.
- All construction workers should wear safety boots with slip-resistance and steel toes.
Electric shock hazards in the workplace can cause major injuries and even deaths if workers are not properly trained. The best way to prevent and eliminate factors that pose electrical hazards in the workplace is to teach your workers about electrical safety.
- Employees should be fully trained in all electrical safety measures
- Always wear electrical protective wear : rubber insulated gloves, sleeves, hoods, blankets, protective helmets
- All electrical receptacles should be GFCI's (OSHA standard). Which GFCI do I Use and Where? What is a Self-Tesing GFCI?
- All frayed or damaged electrical wiring cables should be replaced immediately
- All electrical tools should be inspected regularly for to make they are functioning properly
- Fire Extinguishers should be inspected, and readily available for easy retrieval
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