Working on a construction site can be fascinating but extremely challenging. There are numerous dangers that someone should remain aware of while operating there. For that reason, it is essential that you have built and implemented an extensive safety plan.
It goes without saying that this sounds easier than it actually is. There is a vast number of parameters that you need to take into serious consideration before you can claim that your safety plan is completed.
Nevertheless, there is absolutely no reason to worry about it. We did some research and we provide you with five of the most essential construction site safety tips:
1. Invest in training
Solid training should be regarded as your number one ally in the effort to keep everyone safe on site. That’s why you have to put extra emphasis on it from day one. It’s true that it can be a bit costly in the beginning, but there is nothing more precious than the human life. Plus, it’s a long-term investment as you will have the opportunity to create a highly competent and effective team.
Some of the areas that your training should cover could be summarized to the following:
● fall protection
● site inspections
● eye and face protection
● handling of construction equipment
Through these training sessions, the personnel on field will have the chance to familiarize with the various potential dangers that might emerge during the building process.
2. Careful scaffold installation
You can never be too careful when it comes to scaffold installation. According to OSHA, up to 65% of construction workers perform tasks on scaffolds. It is clear, then, that scaffolds should be carefully built and taken care of.
That being said, you should be extremely cautious when you search for the people who are going to design, assemble and eventually dismantle the scaffold. Without exaggeration, it is one of those tasks that should be trusted only to workers with great experience and who are known for their consistency and good work.
Related: GLCA Safety Award Winner!
Here is some good advice that people who work on scaffolds should always remember:
● Always wear hard hats
● Wear sturdy boots
● Pick up all your tools/equipment when your shift is over
● Transfer tools and equipment on scaffolds after you have climbed
● Inspect carefully your equipment for potential damage
The above are only a few of the safety tips that construction workers should always keep in mind while working on a scaffold.
3. Eye and face protection
OSHA recently updated (April 2016) its standards for eye and face protection on site. The right protection equipment should now be provided to workers if they face any type of danger from the following elements:
● Molten metal
● Caustic liquids
● Chemical vapors
● Light radiation
● Flying particles
The eye and face equipment should be kept in good condition under any circumstances. It’s also imperative that workers inspect the equipment before they start using it. In that manner, they can make sure that there is no problem with it. If for any reason, the equipment is broken, cracked or damaged, it should be changed instantly.
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The employers are in charge of providing the equipment to the field personnel. The equipment should allow workers to complete their tasks without hindering their movements. Lastly, before sharing the equipment the project management team should have analyzed all the different potential threats on site.
4. Fall protection system
Fall protection is probably the most frequently mentioned standard for those who work in construction. It is also one of the main factors for worker injury and death. That being said, employers have to pay extra attention to create an effective fall protection system which can keep everybody on site safe.
To achieve that, there are several things that should be done. First of all, for every exposed side and/or edge that is 6 feet above the ground the employer has to implement fall protection. Moreover, managers on site should protect their personnel from heavy objects that might be falling from a higher level. That’s why the use of hard hats is considered fundamental. The installation of toeboards, guardrails or screens can also be a great idea.
As far as the workers are concerned, they should also work responsibly and follow the given safety guidelines. For instance, always keep your hard hats on while on site and never work somewhere where the fall protection system isn’t installed yet. Lastly, before they start working on their task they should inspect their personal fall arrest systems in order to make sure that everything is working as it should.
5. Maintain good collaboration
Apart from the above mentioned tips for keeping a construction site safe, maintaining good collaboration between the construction site and the office is also essential. Only then, it will be possible for both sides to express their frustrations or needs and stay on the same page while working towards the constant progress of the project.
For this to happen, you need two things. On the one hand, you need an active and highly competent construction manager who will regularly survey the site, inspecting the quality of the work and detecting any potential threats for the people who work there. On the other hand, you need an easy to use and reliable digital tool which would allow workers to report any issues on site in real-time.
The combination of these two elements could eventually lead to a safer construction site where safety threats can easily be prevented or at least addressed.
Wrapping it up!
To sum up, a safe construction site is the basis for the success or the ultimate disaster of a project. For that reason, it should never be taken lightly. Making sure that everyone on your site is safe should be regarded as the biggest investment in your project. Only then, your team will be able to work in a smart and productive manner.
About the author: Anastasios Koutsogiannis is Content Marketing Manager at GenieBelt.