Construction Safety Tips for Home Builders
According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the fatal injury rate for the construction industry exceeds the national average for every other industry. As a builder and/or general contractor, it’s your job to keep your crew and the crews of subcontractors safe. From fall-prevention to proper equipment management, these are the safety precautions that need to be observed on every job site.
Wear the proper gear. The right personal protective equipment (PPE) can make all the difference on a job site. If construction workers are lifting heavy objects, they should use back braces to prevent injury. Workers should also wear heavy-duty gloves and goggles anytime they are using dangerous tools.
If they are working up high, your workers should have safety harnesses. In addition, it’s important to wear non-skid, rubber footwear when working on scaffolding and roofs. On the other hand, when lifting especially heavy objects, workers should feel wearing comfortable composite toe boots.
Breathing masks and respirators are essential assets for workers who are regularly exposed to dust, debris and toxins. Builders should make sure they know which safety gear is appropriate and ensure that workers store their gear in a safe, dry place.
Use caution with heavy equipment. One of the most common ways workers get injured is getting in and out of equipment. While heavy machinery operation comes with some obvious risks, it’s the little things that often lead to injury. You can minimize this risk by encouraging your team to follow these preventative safety tips:
- Regularly check gloves and boots for mud, grease or any other slippery substances
- Ensure a firm foot or hand hold prior to hoisting themselves up
- Use step ladders to make it easier to climb onto equipment
- Ask for help when necessary without worrying about interrupting other jobs
- Take their time and avoid jumping or hopping down from equipment
Be careful loading and unloading. Regardless of the work environment, there is always a risk that materials and equipment could roll onto workers while they are loading or unloading. This is why it’s imperative to keep ramps dry, straight and clear. Be sure to assign spotters to help workers load and unload heavy or awkward items. Use correct tie-down procedures and always double check to make sure you and your trailer decks have proper clearance.
Thin the crowd. In addition to causing plenty of worksite frustration, crowding significantly increases the risk of accidents and injuries. Be sure to discourage your crew from gathering to watch large machines work. You should also carefully schedule each task in a way that minimizes overlap between your crew and the crews of your subcontractors. While it shouldn’t be your equipment operators’ job to make sure people are standing back, they should always ensure sure no one is standing nearby.
Review the most common causes of accidents. Virtually every worker eventually suffers a muscle injury or small laceration at some point on a construction job site. That said, serious injuries should be exceedingly rare if you know what to watch out for. Take the time to review OSHA’s list of the most common causes and solutions for serious injuries on construction work sites. When it comes to protecting your company and the people who work for you, knowledge is the most important tool you can have.
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