There are over 53 million people in North America and Europe who work as construction workers. Given the multitude of risks involved in this profession, it is extremely important to take all necessary precautions to minimize the risks of injuries or of other health problems at the job. Construction workers often have to work at dangerous heights, with heavy and dangerous machinery and equipment, as well as with dangerous materials, electricity, toxic gas and other threats. Read 5 basic safety tips for construction workers’ safety and protection in our latest guest blog.
Efficient connected safety technology monitoring
Taking preventive actions is essential for ensuring the safety of construction workers. Installing and using devices which automatically detect hazardous gas leakage or other potentially dangerous situations, and automatically alert the people and teams responsible for quick emergency response can save lives. In some cases, such an occurrence can kill people in a matter of minutes, so this automatic alert and a well-planned and organized emergency response are crucial. The modern safety monitoring technologies can also send out alerts if a worker is motionless, has fallen or if they have missed a check-in as well. The emergency team can immediately contact the device via text messaging or calling.
Acting in a timely manner and getting emergency help as soon as possible is essential to minimize the damage or even prevent the death of a construction worker. The workers also can call in for emergency help via emergency buttons or latches.
Making sure that the scaffolding is installed securely
Due to the fact that construction work is often done at great and dangerous heights, regular inspections of the condition and installment of the scaffolding needs to be done by qualified inspectors. In Canada, such inspections have to be done before each work shift.
Also, workers should be provided with safety harness which they must wear at all times when working on high levels, plus an additional alternative fall arrest system needs to be implemented to protect their safety and their lives. Providing the proper safety precautions should comply with your local rules and regulations for safety.
Provide the workers with proper training
You should plan the training and ensure that it is performed as planned and that it was efficient by doing periodic assessments of your personnel. How to operate safely with the heavy machinery, including: vibrating centrifuges, flat deck screens, elevators, belt feeders and all other potentially dangerous equipment on the construction site should be the included in the training plan. Workers must be assessed periodically to ensure that the machinery is handled properly and in a safe manner.
Other safety instructions and training might include: wearing the proper personal protection gear, clothing and footwear. Working with hazardous gas, electricity and dangerous materials also needs to be included in the training program. Keeping the workers well informed and aware of the safety hazards and how to prevent them will make your construction a safer and more efficient workplace.
Make sure that your workers are wearing the proper PPE
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is especially designed and made to endure rough conditions and potential hazards at work. Make sure that your workers are wearing all the pieces of PPE required by your local laws and regulations for safety. Hard hats, gloves and tested and certified work boots with safety toes caps are a must. Some safety work boots can also provide metatarsal protection, as well as electrical hazard protection and chainsaw protection, as well as slip, oil and chemical resistance, puncture resistance, and have other safety features.
Also, make sure the workers who work with noisy instruments or in a noisy environment wear ear protectors which is compliant to the legal safety requirements, and that whenever necessary they wear protective goggles and other eye protection too.
Clothing which is highly visible or high visibility vests need to be worn, especially when working at night or in dark conditions.
The construction managers should perform regular inspections of the workers to ensure that they are wearing all the PPE required and that it is in good condition and can provide the safety it has to provide if necessary. These inspections must be done even if the workers are responsible for buying their footwear and other equipment.
Worn or broken protective equipment or footwear must be replaced immediately with new ones which comply with the safety requirements on the construction site.
Ensure good housekeeping on the site
Make sure that the construction site is swept and cleaned out of debris, dust and spills. Keep the walkways on the site clear, so that there is a lesser risk of slipping, tripping or falling over due to these obstacles.
About the author: Michael Pierce is an outdoor enthusiast and footwear fanatic. He runs two websites dedicated to help workers find high quality boots and shoes – My Bootprint with special focus on safety work boots, and Shoe Matters – which is focused on comfortable footwear for different activities.