Construction work sites are one of the most dangerous sites in the world, and records from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries are scary. The number of fatal accidents in construction was 1,102 in 2019, which meant a 41% increase in construction worker deaths from 2011 to 2019. More than ever, construction workers are exposed to several work-related hazards such as falls from height, electrocution, structural collapses, chemical, falling objects, and others.
Take time to read this guide and remember that your safety is your personal responsibility. Then, ensure you follow the proper procedures approved by your management.
YOUR SAFETY IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY
Employees are from different walks of life, and there is a need to inform every worker about the safety procedures and ensure you paste a list of the acceptable safety guidelines where everyone can see. Having workplace safety training every day or week will play a role in minimizing the occurrences of injuries and work-related illnesses in your workspace. Communication is very crucial, and it is important to maintain a friendly relationship with your colleagues and employers to promote a safe working environment. Ensure you inform your colleagues about impending dangers and work to eliminate the hazards. Follow the safety procedures whenever you want to operate a new tool. Ensure you wear your personal protective equipment at all times.
LIFTING AND CLIMBING SAFELY
Lifting an object is part of the job while working on a construction site. Ensure you utilize your two hands when you want to lift a heavy item, and ensure you maintain a proper stance for lifting so you do not strain your legs. Make use of a back brace if your back hurts after engaging in strenuous activities. Make sure you lift the load slowly and keep the heavy item close to the body so it does not strain your body. You are not a superman; ask for help from colleagues if you need a helping hand to lift the load. Ladders are also used to reach a higher height, and it is important to make sure that your ladders are in excellent condition before you climb them. Do not forget to use a safety harness when working on heights. Maintain focus when you are working on heights, and avoid distractions. Spills can cause trips and spills; make sure you are on the lookout for such.
PPE MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES
Ensure you wear appropriate clothing and puncture-resistant shoes at all times to prevent injury. First aid kits must be handy at all times. Avoid tampering with safety items on-site, and make sure you use a safety brace when lifting heavy objects. Rather than leave scraps on the floor that would cause trips or fall for other workers on the project, it is better to use self-dumping hoppers to ensure the safety of your co-workers. You need to wear safety glasses to protect your eyes and face from fumes and use a safety harness while working from an elevated location. Using a hard hat always will protect you from falling objects. Use a breathing mask when you are working with toxic chemicals. If you are working in a confined space, it is important to use a breathing mask for proper ventilation. Know the kind of task you are working on, and wear the required protective equipment for the job.
BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU OPERATE TOOLS AND MACHINERY
Ensure you are properly trained and authorized to operate the tool for the task. Ensure you wear the right PPE for the job and clean the tools after use. You need to make your working space safe for you and your co-workers. Ensure your tools are properly arranged to avoid someone slipping over the object. If you are walking on the site and you see a truck or forklift operator approaching you, ensure you maintain eye contact with the driver and avoid coming from behind the operator so you don’t get injured. Follow all instructions as regards the operation of the tool you are handling. When you notice the machine is not working properly, do not use it and ensure you report to your supervisor and get the required help to fix the machine. Do not forget to inform your co-workers about your location, especially when working in a confined space. Do not tamper with electric cords, switches, controls, and other dangerous items. Avoid dressing inappropriately while at work. For instance, do not use jewelry at work as earrings, bracelets, and ties can get you caught up. Do not insert your fingers into a moving machine.
BE CAREFUL OF FIRE HAZARDS
Create a feasible fire emergency plan that each worker on the construction site will understand. Ensure you practice fire drills and avoid power strips that can trigger a fire. Ensure your space is properly ventilated, as a poorly ventilated space can harm you, especially when you are working with chemicals. When your space is properly ventilated, the chances of having toxins in the air are reduced. Make sure you keep your fire extinguishers close to you and check them from time to time to be sure they are loaded. Do not grease fire with water because it could trigger flames and cause a fire outbreak.