The construction industry plays a key role in today’s world, helping urban areas develop and bringing structures of all shapes and sizes to life, but it’s also one of the most dangerous lines of work too. Statistics show that one in every five worker deaths is connected to construction in some way, and countless construction workers get injured on the job each and every year.
In order to keep people as safe as possible and reduce these frightening numbers, construction businesses have to take action, and it’s up to everyone, from business owners to management to low-level workers, to make changes, take precautions, invest in well-being, and look out for one another. This guide will look at some simple but effective ways you can improve safety levels when taking on hazardous construction work.
Take Care Entering and Exiting Equipment
Reports show that a lot of construction workers actually get injured while entering or exiting pieces of equipment, often due to the fact that they’re rushing or trying to save time and accidentally trip, slip, or fall while climbing in and out.
In order to avoid this, always take care whenever you need to get in or out of a vehicle, piece of machinery, or equipment, always using the handholds, ladders, and steps provided, if necessary, asking for help from co-workers if needed, and taking the time you need to enter and exit safely.
Voice Your Concerns
One of the biggest issues that lead to a lot of problems and injuries in the workplace, especially in the field of construction, is the fact that too many workers simply go with the flow and fail to voice any concerns or worries they might be experiencing.
If you have doubts or fears about a situation, don’t simply suffer in silence or go along with the situation and hope for the best. Let someone know, like a co-worker or a person in a position of higher authority.
Proper Loading and Unloading
Practices It’s common for construction workers to spend a lot of time loading and unloading equipment and items from trucks and transportation. Loading and unloading always need to be carried out correctly, as there are a lot of things that can go wrong here.
For starters, make sure that you use adequate ramps and platforms that are straight and stable to reduce the risk of equipment rolling around or toppling over. You should also have a co-worker by your side to act as a spotter when loading or unloading and follow the proper tie-down procedures too.
Wear the Proper PPE
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is often essential when it comes to a whole range of construction tasks. It should never be seen or regarded as optional, and no worker should ever be made to take on a dangerous task without being provided with adequate PPE beforehand.
Make sure you always have the right gear for the task at hand, which may include helmets, non-skid footwear, gloves, goggles, back braces, and so on, and if you don’t feel comfortable in a situation and feel like you need more PPE, be sure to request it.
Construction can be very tiring work, often involving a lot of physical exertion and manual labor, with workers often tasked with moving heavy items around, controlling large items of machinery and equipment, and keeping concentration levels immensely high for long periods of time.
It’s only natural for workers to get tired as time goes by, and you’re fully entitled to take breaks as and when you need them. In fact, it’s the safest thing to do, especially if you feel that your concentration levels are starting to slip and fatigue is beginning to set in.
Take Care When Climbing
Construction workers can also spend a lot of time climbing, both up ladders and sets of stairs, and when you spend so much time going up and down ladders and stairs, you can start to rush, making it much easier to accidentally trip, fall, and give yourself a nasty injury.
Always be sure to take your time when climbing a ladder or set of stairs, checking closely for any signs of damage, as well as looking for dirty or slippery spots that could catch you unawares. Make sure to keep stairs clear and ladders clean to help keep your fellow workers safe too.
Construction worksites can get a little crowded from time to time, with a lot of workers all gathering around the same spots and sometimes getting in each other’s way in the process. Too many people in one spot can be dangerous, so make sure to give each other space to work.
This is especially important when someone is operating heavy machinery or dangerous equipment; other workers should keep their distance at all times, staying clear of the operating area until the job is done, while the person manning the machinery should also keep an eye out for fellow workers.
Watch Your Step
One of the most common causes of accidents in the construction industry is falls. As stated above, construction workers do a lot of moving around, often switching between different platforms, heights, and surfaces, and it can be so easy to place your foot in the wrong spot and accidentally fall down to the ground below.
Guardrails and warning signs should always be clear and present around worksites to reduce the risk of falls, and workers should be sure to take a look around their worksites, identify any potential fall hazards and avoid working in places where proper fall prevention systems and safety measures haven’t yet been fitted.
The statistics show that the construction industry is clearly a dangerous one, and it’s important for every worker to acknowledge and accept the risks they face in this line of work. You can’t eliminate every possible risk, but by having a serious and sensible approach, you can help to keep yourself and those around you safe.