You might be surprised to learn that over 20 percent of work-related fatalities in the United States come from construction sites. This statistic is even more striking when we understand that jobs in the construction industry make up only around 6 percent of the national workforce.
This is why knowledge of safety protocols is paramount to keeping yourself safe while on the job site.
As a general or specialized contractor, your safety and the safety of your crew is always the top priority. Of course, being a contractor, you have several priorities. To keep in line with strong business ethics and practices, you’ll also want to meet daily goals and get the job done in a timely fashion. But, you cannot do this with an injured crew.
Here are three essential safety tips that you can follow to ensure that you and your crew get the job done in a timely (and safe) manner.
1-Special Safety Training
The first thing you’ll want to do when bringing on a new crew is to make your crew aware of safety guidelines. Believe it or not, many contractors forego this crucial step when bringing on a crew, thinking that if a worker has experience, this is sufficient enough to get the job done.
You might understand that there is a serious problem with this form of logic.
Not all construction workers (or contractors) have been versed in safety protocols or guidelines. Not only is it important that a contractor get licensed in their field and understand the business, but his or her crew also needs to be well-trained in order to prevent injury. To ensure the safety of you and your crew, implement a safety training program that an employee must complete prior to beginning work.
Safety programs can be administered by a certified individual within your company or by a third party, such as by a company that specializes in construction safety training. Sources to consider are OSHA/OHS safety training and compliance programs, and these programs are available nationwide.
2- PPE and Proper Uniform Guidelines
Nobody wants to go to work ill-prepared. Having the proper equipment, uniform and PPE is part of preparedness on any job site. Additionally, understanding uniform guidelines are also part of being prepared.
To put it plainly, if you were a fireman, you probably wouldn’t want to show up to fight a raging inferno wearing shorts and flip-flops. Likewise, you wouldn’t want to be poorly dressed to perform a potentially hazardous job.
In addition to proper uniform attire, nearby safety equipment such as a first-aid kit, eye-washing station and fire-extinguisher are all essential items for any job site. Having adequate construction insurance is also just as crucial as adhering to safety and uniform guidelines.
While your job site PPE and uniform regulations will vary depending on your specific contracting job requirements, some of the following elements are universal on most construction sites:
- Steel-toed Boots
- Hard Hat
- Fitting Tool belt
- Jeans or full-length pants (Flame retardant is recommended)
- Safety Glasses
3) Movement In and Around Equipment
Getting in and out of heavy equipment, as well as operating this equipment, can be hazardous especially if you’re not aware of the safety measures required.
Big machines can be unforgiving if you’re not situationally aware of your surroundings. As such, a few safety tips to consider when operating and moving in and out of equipment go a long way for ensuring personal safety.
- Check your boots and gloves for dampness or mud prior to climbing in or out of any heavy equipment.
- Remove any hanging items such as a loose-fitting tool belt, lanyards, or anything that could get caught while you move around.
- Ensure that you have a 3-point method of support when climbing. This means that at least one hand and both feet are supporting you at all times when you’re in a climbing motion.
- Check for other personnel around you when you’re moving heavy equipment or hazardous materials. Keeping your co-workers safe is also your priority.
Whether this is your first big contracting job, or you’ve been in the game for many years, everyone can benefit from implementing and adhering to safety protocols. In today’s tech-driven world, ensuring that you and your crew have adequate safety training has been made much easier than in years past.
So, if you want your crew to deliver the best results possible, making safety a priority is the best way forward.