In a 2016 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction job sites accounted for nearly 200,000 non-fatal occupational injuries among workers. It is estimated that a worker gets hurt once every two minutes on construction sites, which is why safety needs to be taken very seriously in this industry.
Warmer temperatures have arrived, and the construction season is under way with an influx of new projects as well as existing projects that were put on hold for the Winter. In the midst of all the happenings on a construction site, a safety plan needs to be clearly communicated and executed at all times. Here are 3 tips to make construction sites safer this season.
The leading cause of injury on construction sites occurs when equipment operators are entering or exiting their equipment. Although, simple procedures can vastly reduce the risk of injury for equipment operators. First, workers should check their boots and gloves before entering or exiting because mud, grease and other slippery substances can cause the operator to slip. They should also use a foot and hand hold at all times for added stability, and in some situations a step ladder may be necessary to safely climb in and out of the machine. Finally, encourage workers to always ask for help if they’re in doubt, and take their time because hasty and uncertain movements can easily lead to injury.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Use it! Wearing the right uniform for the job includes protective gear. Any construction worker will need gloves and boots (non-slip composite toe boots typically provide the most protection). For workers using power tools, safety goggles are a must, and hard hats are typically recommended when there is a risk of material falling that could hit workers. In elevated areas a safety harness might be necessary to protect workers from falling. In general, all safety equipment should be located in a safe, dry place that is easily accessible from the construction site, and workers should be dressed in the necessary protective gear BEFORE entering the construction site.
Crowded Work Areas
Overcrowded work areas are not uncommon on construction sites. They typically occur around large machinery, which unfortunately leads to a higher risk of injury. Workers on the ground should remain a safe distance away from the operating area of heavy machinery, and crew leaders should enforce this rule and remind workers during review of safety policies and procedures. While it is not the operator’s responsibility to ensure people are remaining outside of their work area, they should proceed with caution when backing up or moving the machine.
There are a lot of hazards and safety risks in the construction industry, but construction sites can greatly reduce the risk of injury for workers by implementing and executing safety procedures. The above tips are just a few ways to increase safety and protection for workers, so the ideal safety plan would be much more extensive. Some think that too many rules and guidelines will lead to less productivity, however, adhering to a set of procedures leads to repeatable processes that are more efficient.
When it comes to tools used on your construction sites, there are many options to choose from. Pneumatic tools are not the right fit for every project; but they are safer, more light weight, and oftentimes more affordable than leading alternatives so consider using them on your next job site. FASCO America® offers a wide range of pneumatic tools that can help you spend less time accomplishing your task and feel safer and more comfortable doing so. To learn more about the benefits of pneumatic tools, download our white paper.