Construction workers have undeniably one of the world’s dangerous worksites. From having to work with gigantic and heavy machinery, such as excavators, Bobcat track loaders, and cranes, down to working on unfinished multi-story structures, dangerous things can certainly happen.
According to a report published by USA’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the most common types of accidents that occur in construction sites are as follows:
- Falling from great heights
- Scaffold collapse
- Trench collapse
- Construction machinery malfunction
However, despite the fact that construction sites are regarded as some of the most dangerous workplaces, there are still plenty of things that you can do to ensure that all of your employees are safe. In this article, we will be sharing with you basic tips on how you can keep a construction worksite a safe place for your employees. Here’s everything that you need to know:
Safety Glasses, Helmets, and Other Protective Gear Should Be Mandatory
Requiring all construction workers to wear a helmet, a pair of safety gloves, and other personal protective gear is one of the most basic ways to ensure safety inside the workplace. Protective eyewear can greatly minimize serious eye injuries. A hardhat, on the other hand, can make a huge difference in cases wherein workers get hit on the head by a falling object. By simply wearing the correct construction attire, you can succeed in reducing the chances of a worker getting seriously injured.
So, as an employer, it is part of your responsibility to provide your workers with protective gear. It is also your duty to instruct them how to use them and why they are essential.
Scaffolding Should Be Properly Erected before Operations Start
Scaffold collapse, as mentioned earlier, is one of the common culprits of injuries in a construction site. In order to prevent mishaps from happening, it is important to remind employees that a site’s scaffolding should be erected properly on solid ground. It also should have a high weight capacity; a site’s scaffolding should be able to support its own weight and four times the maximum load.
When erecting scaffolds, it is imperative that durable materials be used and a foreman must oversee this. Ensure that the structures be placed on firm ground. Remember, when scaffolds are built on unstable ground, the risk of them collapsing increases. Apart from building scaffolds on solid ground with the right materials and guidance, it is also important that they should be inspected and—if deemed structurally unsound—repaired and maintained regularly.
Utilize Fall-Prevention Equipment to Avoid Falls
Aside from regulating employees to wear personal protective gear while working inside the construction site, the use of fall-prevention equipment is also necessary. Falling is among the most common causes and injuries and fatalities in the construction industry. To be able to significantly diminish the risk of such an accident from happening, it is highly suggested that construction workers use or install fall-prevention equipment such as body harnesses and handrails and guardrails.
Inspecting the worksite and making improvements regarding the safety of employees whenever they need to climb or work from great heights is also another way of preventing accidents from happening.
Examine Construction Tools and Machinery Regularly
Another way of ensuring safety in the construction site is by regularly checking that the tools and equipment used are in perfect working condition.
With workers greatly relying on their equipment in order to do their assigned tasks, it is essential that they are maintained properly and kept in tip-top shape. Eschewing inspections and maintenance procedures greatly increases the risk of accidents.
A routine maintenance schedule will not just prevent employee accidents from happening, it can also help you cut repair costs. Since you get a machine repaired before its condition becomes worse, you will definitely save money.
Train Employees on How to Recognize Chemical Hazard Signs
Toxic chemicals and other substances are sometimes used in the construction industry. And while many workers may be aware of such signs and the chemical hazards they warn about in the construction site, there are others who are still oblivious about these.
For them to be aware of chemical hazards, teaching your employees about hazard signs is important as well. Before you even let employees work in the construction site, see to it that they have received exhaustive training regarding chemical substances and how to read hazard signs. Workers should also be trained on how to identify which chemicals are hazardous and what dangers they pose. During emergencies, what you know can certainly help prevent accidents from happening.
Aside from the tips that we have listed above, it is also critical that you let employees undergo first-aid training. Hiring a supervisor with wide knowledge and understanding of occupational safety and health administration can also be an effective way of making the workplace safe.