Working in construction is one of the riskiest jobs out there, as the very nature of the work is extremely dangerous. Construction workers often work from a height, operate heavy machinery, and are even exposed to harmful chemicals.
While some accidents result in minor injuries, other accidents can lead to severe injuries, amputations, paralyzation, and even death— having a devastating impact on that worker’s family. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to minimize and even prevent serious injuries and death by making construction sites safer.
Here are eight tips on how construction managers and workers can make their work environment safer.
Table of Contents
#1: Wear Safety Equipment Correctly and at All Times
Personal protective equipment (PPE) exists for a reason. Normal, everyday hats, gloves, and boots don’t protect construction workers in the environment they work in. Generally, construction workers use a Class G hard hat, but there are different types of hard hats for different tasks and risks within construction. Also, steel-toed and slip-resistant boots are ideal to help protect the toes and lower the risk of slipping and falling, respectively.
#2: Use All Equipment Carefully and Properly
All construction workers should know that it’s not a good idea to use a metal ladder when doing electrical work, but some workers cut corners in other places— especially when it comes to ladders. Construction workers should follow the weight limit for different ladders to avoid injury, and they should also avoid broken ladders and other faulty equipment.
#3: Inspect All Equipment and the Construction Site
PPE can wear down over time, so it’s imperative that all workers inspect their PPE to make sure it performs properly. All other equipment, materials, and tools should also be routinely inspected to make sure they’re working properly. The same thing can be said about the construction site itself. Even if there are no apparent dangers, it’s still a good idea to check for potential dangers that may not be noticed with a quick scan of the area.
#4: Limit Crowding and Clutter in the Workspace
Construction sites are often crowded, which can increase the risk of people becoming injured. Workers who aren’t needed on a project shouldn’t be standing around, crowding the worksite. At the same time, tools, materials, equipment, and even debris should be cleared out before a project begins. A cluttered workspace increases the risk of tripping and falling.
#5: Use Proper Lifting Techniques
Heavy lifting is required in construction, so sprains, strains, and overexertion are all possible within this industry, as well as many others. Because of this, it’s important to lift objects properly by bending the knees. The proper lifting and moving of objects can help prevent future injuries in the long run.
#6: Getting Off Machinery
Another careless mistake that some construction workers tend to make is how they get off of (and onto) heavy machinery. Make sure to use all hands and footholds, even if you’ve operated particular machine hundreds of times. Complacency almost always breeds mistakes.
#7: Make Sure All Workers are Properly Trained
Proper lifting techniques, getting on and off machinery, and knowing which ladder to use are just one tasks that construction workers should know how to do properly. Everyone should have more than a working knowledge of the task that they’re assigned, and they should also be aware of all of the potential risks of the task, how to mitigate them, and what to do if someone gets hurt. It’s even a good idea to have all employees re-trained on a regular basis to ensure that all safety precautions are being followed.
#8: Factor in the Weather
Some weather conditions may cancel work for a day and others may not; however, it’s still important to exercise extreme caution when weather conditions aren’t ideal. Construction workers must be extra careful when going up and down ladders and scaffolding, and also when operating machinery. Special weather gear may also be required during certain conditions, and it’s essential to stay away from electrical work in wet weather conditions. Injured construction workers are entitled to workers’ compensation, and they can get help here: https://www.rosenfeldinjurylawyers.com/construction-injuries.html.
Every construction company should have a risk assessment and management plan to help identify the obvious and hidden risks that lie within each construction project. A safety team (involving workers from all levels) should also be created to help manage the risks. It’s also important that everyone speak up when they witness unsafe working conditions and behaviors