Infrastructure is a vital part of an economy, which is why construction work is integral to any flourishing society. Despite its importance, it is one of the riskiest occupations that can lead to fatal injuries and expose workers to harmful health hazards. Most construction companies can be expensive and discourage workers from tackling high-value projects. But, by putting safety regulations in place, construction workers can minimize the danger of getting hurt. While the list is exhaustive, here are some general tips that can ensure the safety of the workers and reduce the number of lawsuits that get filed each year.
Make Sure You Are Prepared For The Job
Before you start any task, you need to have your gear in order. So when you turn up to work, make sure you dedicate time to preparing yourself for your job. If you’re working with loud machines, you will need ear muffs, safety gloves, helmets, and goggles. These ensure that you’re not in a vulnerable position and exposed to potential hazards. But there is a chance that your gear may be too loose on you, which is why you always go for customized equipment for your face and body. For instance, if you’re looking for safety goggles in Canada, you can make use of the various prescription safety glasses Canada has to offer. Moreover, if you’re working with chemicals, you need safety overalls and gas masks so you don’t end up inhaling fumes.
Keep A Separate Body of Water
You must wash up and clean off the dust when you’re done for the day. Construction work is also labor intensive. You will be dehydrated often and need water now and then. As a construction worker, you should let your manager know where to keep clean and safe water for your usage, which is far from the construction site. Drinking water should always be filtered and stored in canisters that are completely covered and not easily damaged. While washing up, ensure you have access to a shower facility and bathroom with an adequate sewage and draining system.
Ensure There Is Friction Between Surfaces
More than 40,000 workers get hurt in Canada because of falls. These occur for many reasons, including slippery surfaces and messy workplaces. The only solution lies in making the area less slippery. You can prevent these injuries by wearing rubber boots with a solid grip on the soles. Additionally, try installing friction bands on staircases that can prevent your foot from slipping when you’re climbing up and down.
Whenever there is water or any chemical lying around, dry up the surface and clean up the residue. If you feel you have a chance of slipping while climbing a high-rise structure, you need to use a safety harness that attaches you to the building, and the rope breaks your fall.
Avoid Driving A Moving Vehicle Recklessly
Moving vehicles like trucks and bulldozers can injure both you and pedestrians. According to the WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Ontario), in 2016, more than 13% of workplace fatalities occurred because of moving vehicles. You can accidentally hit a pedestrian, injure a worker or collide with a building if you’re not careful enough. Therefore, whenever you need to drive, make sure you consider particular prerequisites. Never start a vehicle without ensuring the surrounding area is clear and no cars are in sight.
Make sure your transport has adequate lighting that allows you to see in all directions and also has reflective mirrors so you can eye all your blind spots, such as a pedestrian passing behind you. The vehicle should also have signals when it is reversing, turning, and steering that is both audible and visible so that passerby gets warned to heed caution if they’re within your vicinity.
Use Multiple Labels
Labels can help you and your co-workers prevent injuries by warning them about the chemicals and machines they’ll use. Every alkaline or acidic chemical needs appropriate details pasted across their bottles. This informs you how dangerous the compound is, whether it’s corrosive or irritant, and if the chemical releases harmful fumes and smells that can suffocate you. Likewise, labeling buttons on machines makes it easier to start and stop the equipment and highlight the emergency brake in case you need to halt all operations immediately. Emergency exits should always have grand neon signs that flash in the dark, so in case you have to evacuate the building, you can see the doors immediately and make your escape.
Conduct Training Sessions
Safety protocols are meaningless unless you and your colleagues understand each instruction. Construction sites are fast-paced work environments, increasing the likelihood of an accident. Hence, if you’re fluent in workplace precautions, ensure you guide your co-workers. Start by emphasizing the importance of being aware of your surroundings and reducing distractions like cell phones while working. Instruct your colleagues to take off all smart devices unless they have been mandated by a doctor, such as an automatic insulin pump. It would help if you established guidelines on setting up a construction site, storing equipment, safely locking away tools, and preventing them from getting damaged due to carelessness.
Simultaneously, direct them on workplace clean-up and ensure the area is safe to use by civilians without any start equipment lying around. While operating heavy machines, teach them to lift with your knees, not your back, and utilize specific tools to carry a bulk load without straining yourself. You may even carry out demonstrations such as using a jackhammer and drill bit appropriately and recognizing signs of resistance from the equipment.
Construction sites can be extremely hazardous when you don’t know what you’re doing. The heavy equipment, loud noises, unsteady surfaces, and chemicals can make your work environment dangerous. Consequently, numerous construction site workers get injured every day, and these will continue to happen without the implementation of safety measures. To begin with, you should never compromise dressing up for your work and wearing all the essential gear necessary to carry out your tasks. Additionally, water is an essential component in construction sites. Finally, dedicate yourself to holding training sessions highlighting workplace safety’s importance.