Dangerous Construction Site Safety 101
Construction sites are some of the most dangerous places there are. In 2012 there were more than 760 fatal incidents surrounding the industry, with falls, electrocution, falling debris and “caught-in” accidents being the most common causes. Here are some ways you can improve dangerous construction site safety.
You should ensure that all of your staff, supervisors and subcontractors are well-educated and trained in all OSHA safety regulations and why these are in place. The organization offers Construction Industry Outreach Training, which encompasses everything workers need to know to recognize, avoid and prevent hazards. The program includes 30 hours of training and is excellent for workers, subcontractors and supervisors.
Personal Protective Equipment
Using the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) is a vital aspect of construction safety. Hardhats, safety goggles, face protection, slip- and puncture-resistant work boots, the right kinds of gloves to protect hands while allowing necessary dexterity and the like should all be applied without exception and wherever needed.
Scaffolding and Heights
Scaffolding accidents are some of the most common accidents in the industry. They are some of the most frequent citations issued by OSHA for dangerous construction site safety violations. Ensure that scaffolds are always on solid footing, securely planed together and anchored, in good working condition, and never overloaded or moved within 10 feet of power lines.
Whenever possible, any worker on scaffolding or at height should be tethered and anchored so that if the unthinkable happens, they do not fall a great distance and suffer injury or death. Guard rails should always be applied as additional safety, and entrances and egress should have handrails and be permanently available.
Electrocution is a major risk for workers. Work should never be performed on or near live wires or circuits. Power should always be completely cut before work begins. Effective tag and lockout systems must always be in place, and all cords should be properly grounded. Know where all power lines are and keep any ladders, scaffolding and equipment away. Finally, never use damaged, worn or frayed electrical cables.
Communication is your first line of defense against accidents. This does not just apply to alerts issued when incidents occur. It also means using the proper signage and warnings wherever needed. It means offering and ensuring that all of your workers have the proper training and education.
Having a solid plan of action when dealing with heavy equipment is vital. Make sure that no one not rated to use the equipment is anywhere in the vicinity. For moving equipment or vehicles, establish zones where no one is permitted to walk past, and specific procedures for equipment movement.
Of course, accidents can happen no matter how strong your dangerous construction site safety may be. Carrying proper liability insurance is vital to make sure that you and your workers are covered in case the unthinkable happens.