Accidents can happen anywhere. But, when an accident happens on a construction site, this can result in serious injuries, and in some cases, with a worker losing his or her life.
When you’re on-site working on a project, no matter how big or small, you’re surrounded by heavy equipment, power tools, and plenty of objects with sharp edges. Failing to maneuver around these objects with safety in mind is often the cause of, otherwise, avoidable accidents.
For all of those who work in a contracting field, ensuring the safety of yourself and your employees is paramount to your success on the job. Not only do you need to be properly licensed in your state and insured while on the job, but you also have to follow safety procedures as well.
By understanding the following list, you’ll be safer on any job site.
With the awareness of COVID-19, your typical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) might have been adjusted to accommodate recent regulations and guidelines depending on the state in which you operate.
Regardless of pandemic guidelines, wearing proper protection while on any job site is critical for operating in accord with appropriate safety.
The following is a shortlist of common PPE that most workers should have access to while working on a job site:
- Helmet (Hard Hat)
- Steel-Toed Boots
- Back Brace
- Protective Eye-Wear
- Protective Gloves (Heat Resistant or Mesh)
Though the protective equipment will vary from site to site, as a contractor you should always encourage your workers to continuously check their protective gear for quality and signs of wear prior to working on any project.
Getting in and Out of Equipment
One of the most common forms of injury on a construction job site occurs when a worker climbs in or out of, or when operating heavy equipment improperly. These are injuries that can often be easily avoided if proper safety guidelines are strictly followed.
While on the job site, one obligation you have as a contractor is to ensure the safety of your employees, and this also includes ensuring that they know how to safely maneuver in and out of equipment.
For proper safety around equipment, consider the following measures:
- Check gloves and boots for mud or oil prior to getting in or out of equipment
- Move slowly, both in and out of the equipment
- Always have 3-points of contact (solid foothold while using two hands)
- Ask for assistance when necessary
As stated, accidents that occur while climbing in and out of equipment can often be easily avoided. By following safety guidelines, you ensure that you’ll stay safe while in and around equipment on the job site.
Lifting, Loading, and Unloading
A majority of on-site accidents also occur when a worker lifts, loads, or unloads products in an unsafe manner.
Anyone lifting anything should either have assistance or be well-trained in the art of lifting heavy objects in a safe manner. One rule of thumb to follow is to always lift with your legs, never use your back for leverage.
Additionally, know your limitations. It’s one thing to be proud of your strength, but you don’t want to be lying proud and strong in a hospital bed. Only lift what you know you can handle. If it feels too heavy, ask for help.
Loading and unloading should always be conducted with several sets of eyes on the operation. The more awareness you have, the less likely an injury will occur. As a contractor, you should designate a safety watch while loading and unloading.
This will minimize the risk of things falling, cables snapping, and the like, which can all cause serious if not fatal injury.
No matter where you work, safety on the job site should be considered everyone’s priority. You’ll find that your workers are valuable assets in completing a job within a specified timeframe. Without these workers present, you run the risk of not completing the job on time, as well as being fined or sued for mishandling your leadership on a job site.