By Jeff Washer, Master Electrician
Think before you act! Your safety always comes first! In order to prevent workplace hazards you need to take the necessary actions to assure the construction site safety of your workers. Being devoted to construction safety standards must be a given every time you work on a project. Knowing and being up-to-date with regulations and guidelines is certainly a great step; however, you need to make sure that you are aware of construction jobsite hazards before your workers start working on the job. Before placing your workers on a project, introduce yourself to the general contractor and ask them if there are any specific site hazards, concerns or if safety orientation is required. Only then are you able to provide the right solutions to prevent accidents.
First things first. When starting work on your projects, make sure that every worker is aware of and understands the construction site safety standards. This means having the necessary safety talk with your workforce and providing them with the needed safety training. If you have new members joining your team, provide them with safety orientation before you send them on the jobsite. Have weekly jobsite meetings with your workers to revisit dangers and prevent workplace hazards.
Once you have gone through the safety guidelines, you need to scope the job site from a bird’s-eye view. How much traffic is taking place on the construction jobsite? Is there heavy equipment moving around such as bull dozers, dump trucks, cranes, fork lifts? Are your workers wearing visibility vests and do they know their way around? In order to ensure construction safety, walk the jobsite and identify dangers. Once you know the surroundings, you are able to take action and prevent workplace hazards. Make it routine to inspect the workplace before your team goes to work. Be proactive.
Don’t Leave Room for Mistakes
There is too much action taking place on a construction jobsite. Each worker has specific tasks to perform in a timely manner. This sometimes leaves room for mistakes that lead to disasters. In order to ensure that your workers are safe, you need to make certain that they have the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) for their job. Do you have the necessary fall protection systems in place for the scaffolding work? If they are working on a roof, is their equipment secure? Do they wear protective glasses when they cut materials? Do they have their hard hats on at all times? If they are working with materials that have sharp edges are they wearing hand protection such as gloves? Having the right PPE is the best way to prevent workplace hazards and boost construction site safety.
Have the Means to React
Sometimes we ask the workers to obey to the construction safety standards and we forget about the workplace. Does the jobsite conform to construction safety standards? Are there first aid kits and are they accessible to your workers? Do you have enough fire extinguishers and how far apart are they from each other? Are the emergency exits clear from debris and clutter in case something goes wrong? Are they working off ground faulted protected circuits (GFCI) with grounded extension cords? Are the cords in good shape? Did you test the GFCI plugs to make sure they work properly? Don’t wait to find out at the last minute. Keep a close eye on details like these, as they make the difference in case things go south.
Every superintendent and safety officer wants to prevent workplace hazards, but the truth is that sometimes hitches are unpreventable. Do your workers know what action to take if something bad happens? Are your workers familiar with the emergency plan? Is there a designated muster area where you to meet with your team in case of an emergency? How are you going to communicate with your workers? Do they know what they have to do? Put together a recovery plan and make sure everyone is on board. Put your plan in practice on a regular basis to see how everyone reacts. Increase construction site safety by being prepared for the unexpected.
Key Takeaways to Construction Jobsite Hazards and Solutions:
1. Have regular safety talks with both your team and newcomers
2. Walk the jobsite to identify dangers before your workers arrive
3. Prevent workplace hazards by ensuring your workforce uses the necessary PPE
4. Make sure you have the necessary means to react to setbacks
5. Put in place a plan that allows you to be prepared for the unexpected
Founded in 1993, TradeSource is a construction labor solutions firm focused on delivering labor solutions to contractors throughout the United States. By supplying skilled tradespeople – where and when they’re needed – we help contractors grow their companies, without the associated costs and hassles of full-time hires. Likewise, we match qualified employees with rewarding and well-paying job opportunities in the construction industry. www.tradesource.com