Almost every construction or any other related business owner’s biggest fear is having an injury or accident in the workplace, as your coworker or employees are your important part after your family as the same bond you have created with them in time.
Accidents can happen for multiple reasons, whether it is inadequate supplies, incorrect handling of tools, or even just bad weather. However, no matter the cause, every owner is liable for the safety—or lack thereof—of his or her company. It may seem difficult to maintain a comfortable, low-risk work zone consistently, but as long as you follow these construction safety tips, you can drastically decrease the potential for mishaps in the workplace. Below are some construction safety topics that must consider while carrying out any activity at work site.
- Inspect Stairs & Ladders
Always make sure you inspect stairs and ladders before climbing them. They can present high risks if they are not properly maintained, so do not make a step if something appears to be weak, loosened, rusted or damaged.
Keep stairs and ladders dry and clean—especially metal ones—and avoid using them during times of turbulent weather.
- Wear Protective Equipment / Safety Gear or PPE
Always dress accordingly for each job and make sure that all of your gear stays in a dry place.
Use helmets and equip yourself with safety gear or a PPE Kit (Personal Protective Equipment) to protect yourself and your co-workers. PPE is protective clothing used to prevent construction workers from injuries, comprised of an arrangement of safety belts, safety harness and rope with locking system which can be locked to nearby support like ladder supports and scaffolds. Helmets protect you from falling objects; safety gear or PPE Kits prevent you from falling down from high places when carrying out an job at a potentially dangerous height. Wear breathing masks while working with toxic chemicals or in places with poor ventilation. Also, wear safety goggles to keep dust out of your eyes. Discuss all of the necessary precautions to keep yourself and your workers safe; the last thing you want is an injury in the workplace.
- Minimize Scaffolding Risks
Construction businesses frequently use scaffolding, so it is crucial to take precautions to reduce any risks presented by the use.
First, ensure that your surroundings are suitable for using scaffolding. Only use solid ground—never place scaffolds on an uneven surface or objects. On top of that, make sure the platforms are not too near to power lines; that is apparently a risk you should take into account when working off of the ground. Finally—and probably most obviously—never use scaffolding during poor weather conditions; wet or icy scaffold or land is just an invitation for injury.
Also, always check the scaffold for damages before you use it. If you find any, repair the framework or replace unusable parts right away. If the structure is not damaged, still make sure it has a high weight capacity and never overload it.
- Follow Proper Tool Usage
Keep your tools in excellent condition! Using insufficient or damaged tools can [and most likely will] lead to high risks of injury. Make sure electricity and heat are not conducted from the tools, too; use them as designated and instructed, and heed any warning labels.
Also, be aware of your surroundings while using any equipment. Obstacles or obstructions can create danger for you, and your tools can create risk for others if they are not an appropriate distance from machine operating zones.
- Beware of Trench Hazards
Stay alert while working close to any trenches, and if you are working in the channel, make sure that there is always somebody outside of it.
Also, make sure your trenches meet the correct safety standards. You must cut all deep trenches at angles that incline away from the pit, or they need to have a support system in place that maintains the stability of the soil. The exits of the trenches—which should be safe exits, such as staircases—should never be blocked in case of an emergency.
- Appropriately Operate Heavy Machinery
Never leave your machinery unsupervised, always take the keys with you when you finish operating it and do not let unauthorized people operate your machinery. All of these could cause safety hazards if not handled properly.
Be extra cautious while boarding and descending from the machinery; ensure that your feet and hands do not get trapped, and make sure you do not fall off.
Remain aware of your surroundings and ensure you have plenty of room to move your vehicle. Know your next maneuver and where you should stop. You can never be too careful while operating heavy machinery, so take every precaution you can.
- Chemical Hazards
Report any chemical leaks in the workplace right away. If the spill is dangerous, immediately evacuate the premises and let trained professionals deal with the problem. Always remember: don’t just rely on smell. Some toxic gases do not even have a scent at all. It is best to automatically assume that all spills are dangerous because it is better to be safe rather than sorry.
The most important rule of any construction business is to maintain a workplace that is safe for everybody. You as a contractor should take every precaution you can to protect anybody and everybody from any possible danger. Employees and clients alike want to feel protected; providing a innocuous environment for all people raises the quality of your business while making it all the more respectable as well. Remember these seven essential tips at all times and keep your business safe!