Working on a construction site can be extremely dangerous. Construction workers often work at heights, they use heavy equipment and tools, and their constantly changing environments are noisy, dusty, extremely hot in the summer, and full of moving objects and other hazards.
Fortunately, the construction industry is heavily regulated. Plus, construction safety training is available to educate workers and reduce their risks of being involved in an accident.
Take a look at these 9 construction safety tips every construction worker must be aware of:
Tip #1: Be aware of your surroundings at all times
Whenever they are on a construction site, construction workers should always be aware of their surroundings. Even if they are simply walking around while carrying a tool, or taking a break with their colleagues, they could get injured if they are not careful.
There is always the risk of being hit by moving machinery, or of receiving something that fell from a higher location right on the head.
It’s important to know what is going on, and to always be ready to react.
Tip #2: Always wear personal protective equipment
Wearing personal protective equipment is one of the most important construction safety tips. Whenever a worker enters a construction site, they risk getting hit by falling debris, tools, or equipment. Therefore, they should always wear a hard hat, and regularly inspect it to make sure it’s not cracked or damaged.
Construction workers often have to wear other personal protective equipment, including face and eye protection, gloves, and non-skid footwear. Just like hard hats, this equipment has to be inspected regularly, and to be replaced when it is damaged.
Tip #3: Stay away from operating machinery
Whenever machines or tools are operating, construction workers should not come too close to them. Even if they working as part of a team, and waiting for the workers operating the machinery to complete one step of the job, it’s best to keep a safe distance.
They never know when something might go wrong with the machinery, or when the people operating it might make a mistake that could result in an accident.
Tip #4: Be extra careful whenever you climb on or off something
Slips and falls are unfortunately a common cause of injury or death on construction sites. This is why construction workers have to use caution whenever they have to climb on or off something.
They should make sure their boots, as well as their hands, are clean and dry. If necessary, they should wear gloves to help them have a better grip.
When climbing a ladder, workers have to make it a habit to always firmly grasp the ladder rungs, and to distribute their weight among three or four points of contact.
Tip #5: Always choose the right ladder
Using a ladder properly is the best way to be safe while climbing up or down. But it’s also important to choose the right ladder for each situation, and to secure it.
A ladder that is just a bit too short can be extremely dangerous. The ladder chosen should be long enough to be placed at a stable angle, and to extend three feet above the work surface.
It’s also important to never go up a ladder with tools in hand, but to use a tool belt instead. Get proper working at heights training to ensure you learn how to use a ladder.
Tip #6: Always use the right fall protection equipment
Construction workers should never work at a height without proper fall protection equipment. Guardrails, safety nets, and personal fall arrest equipment are designed to save lives, and they do save lives when they are installed and used properly.
Workers have to be aware of the fall protection equipment in place, and they should know how to wear a safety harness, how to inspect it to make sure it is safe to use, and how to handle a lifeline or lanyard.
Tip #7: Never use faulty tools or equipment
It should go without saying that faulty tools and equipment can be extremely dangerous on a construction site.
Machinery, vehicles, tools, ladders, scaffolds, electrical equipment, and personal protective equipment should be maintained properly, and something that seems damaged or unsafe should never be used.
Tip #8: Never yank on a cord to unplug something
It’s never a good idea to unplug something by yanking on a cord. Doing so can damage the tool or piece of equipment a construction worker is using, and could also result in an injury.
It’s best to grab the outlet to unplug something safely.
Tip #9: Have a first aid kit nearby and know how to use it
Even if all workers follow these construction safety tips, accidents can still happen. This is why it’s important to always have a proper first aid kit nearby, and to update it regularly.
But having a first aid kit is not enough: construction workers should also receive CPR and first aid training so they know how to use the kit, and how to treat different types of injuries that can occur on a construction site.