The building and construction industry is marked by a high rate of attrition and a high number of work accidents compared to other industries particularly among the workers in such high buildings. Read this to know what you can do to improve safety as an employer or employee.
Regarded as one of the most dangerous occupations, construction works can be considered anything but fully safe. Heights, large and mobile equipment, edges, deep holes, and wobbling stairs are a reality in many construction sites, no matter how modern or careful the contractors claim them to be. Obviously, the employers do need to take care of the safety and security of the workers, but the workers need to keep in mind a lot of precautions when working in such hazardous conditions.
These are some safety measures every construction worker must take into consideration:
Double-Check Your Work Areas
Scaffolds are an integral part of most construction sites and are associated with a high number of injuries. When you are working in a construction site, you must ensure your safety first. Check thoroughly if the scaffold has been inspected by a professional or competent person. Never work if the scaffold is incomplete which does not have a strong platform or base.
Ladders are other essential construction site tools with a high potential for danger. Check the ladder thoroughly before using it. If you find any part of the ladder wobbly, do not use it. A ladder should be of proper strength and of a height that always keeps it at least one meter above the landing.
Be Vigilant with Electricity and Equipment
Construction sites require a lot of electrical installations. Lifting equipment mostly involves electricity and weights. When working with the equipment, you need to follow the safety precautions listed for the equipment and be extra cautious to see there is no wear and tear in the machine. If you do not know them, seek help and instructions from a site supervisor or co-worker who has worked with the equipment beforehand.
Maintain Fencing and Prevent Fires
Notice the number of fatal injuries and falls that happen in areas where there is no fencing. Completely repaired broken and damaged fence can prevent dangerous circumstances; proper fencing is in place. If this preventive measure is not present, inform your site supervisor immediately.
Protective Apparel and Personal Protective Equipment
Employers are required to provide their workers with proper protective gear and clothing. As a construction worker, you must wear your protective gear like well-fitted and eyewear correctly. It is also a must to wear earplugs when working in noisy areas and gloves when dealing with toxic chemicals. Make sure to wear safety shoes such as anti-slip footwear and protective apparel as they are necessary for those working in toxic or dusty environments. Wearing of the safety harness is very important for every construction worker. Make sure your harness is firmly built and secured to a strong anchorage point when you are working at heights.
Keep First Aid Close
Both the site supervisor and contractor should ensure that first aid is always accessible to the workers since it may not be possible for workers to carry first aid supplies with them all the time. As a worker you find that first aid you will need is not around, inform your supervisor immediately. Basic first aid should be available on site to provide immediate medical assistance for minor burns, cuts, and falls.
A construction worker must be careful at all times and always follow instructions during an emergency. Proper lighting must be provided when working at night and to certain dark areas to prevent harm to the workers. You should also avoid playing with work equipment. If you notice any unsafe condition, such as a floor opening that is uncovered or not fenced, inform your co-workers and supervisor immediately.
Construction workers play one of the most important roles in our modern society and that is to construct safe buildings, bridges, and many other assets for society. The workers owe it to themselves and their employers to work safely. Think safety, work safely!