Every year, thousands of people are injured at work on construction sites but that doesn’t mean it is a death trap. So, if you work in construction, there is need to put health and safety into everything you do. From wearing your PPE, to following procedures, you can help make your site a safer place to work, and prevent accidents. Follow these 7 Safety Measures in construction sites to keep yourself, and others, safe.
1. Put on your PPE always
When you enter the site, make sure you have the PPE you need. Your personal protective equipment is important, it’s your last line of defence should you come into contact with a hazard on site. Hi-viz helps make sure you are seen. Safety boots give you grip and protect your feet. Hard hats are easily replaced, but your skull isn’t. It can’t protect you if you don’t wear it. Wear your hard hat, safety boots and hi-viz vest as a minimum, along with any additional PPE required for the task being carried out.
2. Do not start work without proper induction
Each site has its unique hazards and work operations. No two sites are exactly the same. Make sure you know what is happening so that you can work safely. Inductions are a legal requirement on every construction site you work on. Your induction is important. It tells you where to sign in, where to go, what to do, and what to avoid. Don’t start work without one.
3. Maintain a clean and tidy site
Work on construction sites could be messy. Slips and trips might not seem like a major problem compared to other high-risk work happening on the site, but don’t be fooled. According to HSE statistics, slips and trips accounted for 30% of specified major injuries on construction sites. Remember to keep your work area tidy throughout your shift to reduce the number of slip and trip hazards. Pay particular attention to areas such as access and escape routes.
4. Follow safety signs and procedures
Follow construction safety signs and procedures. These should be explained to you in your induction. Your employer should ensure a risk assessment is carried out for your activities. Make sure you read and understand it. Control measures are put in place for your safety. Make sure they are in place and working before you start.
5. Never work in unsafe areas
Make sure your work area is safe. Know what is happening around you. Be aware. According to HSE statistics, 14% of fatalities in construction were caused by something collapsing or overturning, and 11% by being struck by a moving vehicle. Don’t work at height without suitable guard rails or other fall prevention. Don’t enter unsupported trenches. Make sure you have safe access. Don’t work below crane loads or other dangerous operations.
6. Never tamper with equipment
If something is not working, or doesn’t look right, follow rule number 7 and report it. Don’t try and force something, or alter something, if you’re not trained to or supposed to. Never remove guard rails or scaffold ties. Do not remove machine guards. Do not attempt to fix defective equipment unless you are competent to do so. Do not ever tamper with equipment without authorization.
7. Use the right equipment
One tool does not fit all. Using the correct tool for the job will get it done quicker, and most importantly, safer. Visually check equipment is in good condition and safe to use before you start. Only use 110v equipment on the site. 240v equipment is strictly prohibited without prior authorization from management and will only be used if no 110v alternative available and additional safety precautions are taken.
Construction sites can be busy places, with workers, deliveries, and machinery all needing access. Traffic management is an important consideration to prevent fatal and serious accidents to your workforce. In this post, we look at 10 good practice examples of construction traffic management.
Every employer is responsible for safeguarding the health and safety of their staff irrespective of the industry and the nature of work being performed. In case of construction workers, they work in a high risk environment that is subject to electrical hazards and the dangers of construction machinery. More importantly, a construction worker should always think about safety first because it is better to be safe than sorry.