How to work safely at a construction site

How to work safely at a construction site

Working on a construction site can be highly dangerous for everyone involved. This is why implementing and following safety rules is so vital, as is following the regulations set out by the governing body of the construction industry.

 

Construction equipment needs to be regularly checked for any repairs or replacements, and foremen will need to be advised of the safety protocol of the construction site. Below are some rules you will need to follow to ensure the safety of your workers.

Protective gear is essential

The very first safety rule in any construction site is that your workers wear protective gear. This includes hardhats, goggles, safety masks, gloves, safety boots, coveralls and protection harnesses. Some workers may need to wear paper face masks, a lab coat and plastic gloves.

 

This is because of the dangers they face if they do not wear this gear. A safety mask protects workers from breathing in contaminated air, goggles protect their eyes from shrapnel and other flying debris, and gloves ensure that their hands will not be burnt or injured while working. If your workers do not wear this protective gear, you will not only be putting them in danger but could face legal charges too. Volvo construction equipment drivers will need this protection too, regardless of if they are handling tools or not.

Scaffolding safety

Hard hats need to be worn at all times when working on scaffolding, by both construction workers and foremen. Workers will also need to wear slip-resistant boots and use tool lanyards when working on scaffolding to prevent falls.

 

The maximum workload should never be exceeded when working on scaffolds, and tools and equipment should never be left on the scaffolding after the shift has ended. Workers should only use the access points designed for reaching the working platform when climbing a scaffold, to avoid falling or injury. Tools should be hoisted to the workers rather than allowing workers to climb with equipment in their hands or attached to belts.

No distractions while working

One sure-fire way to end a working day in injury on a construction site is to introduce distractions. This can be anything from a Terex construction equipment driver blasting music while operating or a group of children playing in or around the construction site.

 

Be sure to cordon off the site so that nobody can enter and distract your workers, and ensure that no unnecessary equipment is on the site. Your workers should not be using their phones while working, as this can lead to major distraction, resulting in injury. Music should not be played, and workers should not engage in dangerous horseplay onsite.

Health and safety protocols must be in place

Working on a construction site is dangerous, which is why employers need to have sound health and safety protocols in place. Construction workers may be spending hours in conditions that are hazardous and toxic to their health, and you are required by law to have a protocol in place.

 

A competent person is required to inspect the construction site and report on any health and safety issues they may find. You will also need to ensure that all non-compliant tools, equipment and machinery are removed from the construction site and taken out of use by locking them away once they have been removed. You will need to provide training to all workers in what to do in an emergency, and you will need to have an employee onsite who is trained in medical aid should any accidents happen.

Stairways and ladders

You need to ensure that your workers are using the correct ladder for the task, rather than using any ladder they have to hand. A competent inspector must look over all ladders before they are used to ensure that they are up to standard and will not break while in use.

 

Structural damage, grease,dirt,paint or unnecessary stickers should be taken into consideration when looking at all ladders and broken or damaged ladders need to replaced as soon as possible. Stairway treads and walkways must be free of all tools and debris to ensure free passage for workers. Slippery conditions must be rectified immediately and treads must cover the entire step and landing.

Fall protection

At construction sites, there are workers climbing scaffolding and there are those working high up on this scaffolding that could fall and become injured. Using guardrails, fall arrest systems, safety nets, covers and restraint systems can prevent many injuries and deaths.

 

You could consider using aerial lifts or elevated platforms to provide safer elevated working platforms but be sure to educate your workers on how these forms of machinery work. Guardrail systems with toeboards and warning lines are other effective ways to practise fall safety, as is covering all floor holes. Body harnesses and safety nets should be used at construction sites that are for high-rise buildings.

Conclusion

It is vital to keep your workers safe on construction sites. You will need to ensure that they are wearing the correct protective gear, are practising scaffolding safety and have no distractions while working. Ensuring that health and safety protocols are in place will improve their safety and be sure that you have a competent inspector onsite, as well as an employee with First Aid training.

Authored by: mjones

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