7 Tips to Keep Your Workers Safe at a Construction Site in 2022
7 Tips you should add to your safety solution in construction!
The most vital responsibility of an employer is to ensure the safety of his employees & workers. Construction sites are one of the riskiest workplaces where only presence of mind, proper safety training, and PPE can safeguard lives. Most mishaps happen due to unsafe acts, also known as hazardous work practices, followed by dangerous conditions. Both these are entirely avoidable. This article focuses on the tips workers should follow while they work at a construction site. These tips will provide aid to the existing safety solution in construction. Moreover, it will eliminate unsafe work practices, make you aware of the risks & identify hazardous conditions.
Why is safety important on construction sites?
Construction sites are considered the riskiest industrial workplaces. According to OSHA, in 2019 alone, nearly 20% (1000+) of deaths in US private industries were at construction sites. For every five worker deaths, one takes place at a construction site. It is interesting to note that the construction business employs only around 5% to 6% of the complete workforce. The number of fatalities is comparatively gigantic as this is the situation of a developed nation like the US, where technology is employed, and appropriate PPE & safety training is provided to the workers. Most companies work on a safety solution in construction for the safety of their workers.
Information you should know -
There are two types of accidents in any industrial workplace, one where there are fatal injuries and one where there are non-fatal injuries. Even non-fatal mishaps can be classified as life-threatening injuries & minor injuries. Life-threatening injuries include the ones where one may lose vital organs or have contact disorders due to working at the workplace. These injuries may not be fatal but can severely harm normal body functioning, for example, paralysis or amputation.Construction industry safety stat 1 - According to BLS, nearly 35% of deaths at construction sites occur due to falls. Just eliminating falls can save up to 350 workers' lives!
Tip 1: Provision of appropriate PPE kit & necessary PPE training
PPE stands for personal protective equipment. They include safety harnesses, safety goggles, safety helmets, safety shoes, and more. Though it is observed that most industries readily provide PPE gear to their workers, few lack the provision of quality PPE training. Sometimes even the workers don’t take the PPE training seriously. Both the employer & employee need to understand that the PPE is half good if the wearer doesn’t know how to use it and worse if how it protects is unknown. PPE training should not be restricted only to the knowledge of PPE & how to use the PPE. It must include PPE storage & PPE maintenance as well.
Tip 2: Learn how to store, inspect, and maintain PPE
A well-designed safety solution in construction always ensures that the PPE provided to the workers is well taken care of. A well-oiled machine is known to be safe and gives the best results. Similarly, workers need to know the right way to store & maintain PPE. PPE storage is no rocket science. In most cases, it is simple.
PPE inspection is checking for scratches, cuts, and any other damages. It is a relatively simple yet vital process. Ideally, a PPE inspection should be performed after doffing the PPE and before donning the PPE. Any fault in the PPE must be reported to the concerned safety officer. Interested ones may check out our article on PPE inspection for more details.
Maintenance of PPE involves proper donning, use, and doffing. PPE training helps in understanding PPE maintenance. Special care must be taken while donning & doffing the PPE. For more details, check out our article on PPE storage and maintenance.Construction industry safety stat 2 - According to BLS, 60% of crane-related deaths are due to falling objects!
Tip 3: Secure the objects at a construction site
One of the primary responsibilities is to secure the objects, especially the heavy ones. The risk of falling should be reduced as much as possible. There must be carefully calculated preventive safety measures to keep a check on falling objects. One may employ netting as an additional check to avoid any mishap if the object falls.
Tip 4: Work cautiously on scaffolding
Scaffolding is a common site at a construction site. If proper safety measures are not followed, working on scaffolding can cause accidents. A few of them are -
- Scaffolding should be far away from electric lines.
- The surface on which scaffolding is supported should be even.
- Never leave any object or material unattended at the scaffolding. Secure, tag, label, or store before the end of the day.
- No overloading whatsoever!
You may also like to check out an article on scaffolding safety tipsConstruction industry safety stat 3 - According to OSHA, Falls, electric shocks, being hit by an object, and being caught in between objects comprise FATAL FOUR of construction sites which cause nearly 60% of fatal accidents.
Tip 5: Concentration & Presence of mind
One of the most underrated aspects of safety solution in construction is workers’ concentration. You may be wondering why this tip is even being mentioned! One of the primary reasons for a mishap is a lack of concentration & dedication to work. Workers need to be alert and mentally sound. They need to carefully examine & read their surroundings. Alertness & proper analysis of surroundings can prevent & even avert any mishap.
Tip 6: First Aid & Emergency Equipment
Ideally, every worker must know basic first aid. Construction industrial practices require at least one First Aid Officer for 25 workers. First Aid kits should be constantly replenished and stocked. These kits must be placed in select locations which can be easily accessible. Emergency breathing apparatus like SCBA (Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus) or ELBA (Emergency Life Breathing Apparatus) should be readily available.
Construction industry safety stat 4 - According to BLS, in 2020, the rate of injuries & illnesses in the construction industry is nearly 25% higher than the average rate of the industries.
Construction industry safety stat 5 - According to BLS, in 2020, nearly 1,75,000 injuries were reported in the construction industry.
Tip 7: Ensure the construction site is hygienic, clear, and spacious
The construction site should not be cluttered. Trips & falls occur when the construction site has objects & material lying around. Keep the construction site neat, clean, and hygienic as much as possible.
Bonus Tip: Follow the safety solution in construction & Avoid overcrowding
Every person present at the construction site must follow the safety solution in construction. It helps in reducing the risks, thereby reducing mishaps. Limit the number of employees & workers at the construction site. Only the ones with proper PPE gear and who have undergone safety training should be allowed to enter the construction site. Also, the workers required for the particular work should stay, and others must leave. For example, while using the crane, the ones who don’t have any role in it should be asked to leave that particular premises.
When one works in the riskiest industrial workplace, one needs to follow a well-designed safety solution in construction. In this article, we have covered the essential tips that workers & employees must follow at a construction site to stay safe & injury-free. While it is entirely in the hands of the workers to what extent they follow the tips & construction industry’s safety solution, the employer can at least ensure that there is no stone unturned from their end.