It’s a common construction misconception that working at night is dangerous. Although hazards exist, workers can stay safe by taking a series of precautions before, during and after their shift.
Reduce the Hazards of Working at Night
1) Know your job site
Whether you are paving a road or working at a stationary site, you can increase safety by knowing your surroundings inside and out. Before you begin working at night, walk the job site during the day. This way you can identify any potential hazards the darkness may hide.
In your pre-shift walkthrough, take note of where lights are located at the job site, including the walkways and parking areas. In addition, check to see where there are gaps in the lighting that might cause a problem later.
You should also be aware of any potential issues specific to the project site, such as electrical or fall hazards.
Darkness will be an issue at times, but job sites today are typically very well lit.
It’s also important that others can see you. While working at night, construction workers should always wear reflective gear. Whenever possible, they should work at designated stations and walk on brightly-lit paths.
Finally, review the site’s safety plan and identify all exit and evacuation routes in the event of an emergency.
2) Always be well-rested
Those who work nights have to be wary of on-the-job fatigue because of their irregular sleep schedule. Since construction workers may handle heavy machinery, they should pay particular attention to their level of alertness.
Tips for night workers:
- Maintain a strict sleep schedule.
- Drink water at night.
- Avoid caffeine at night that will keep awake you when you need to be sleeping.
- Use heavy curtains or blinds to block sunlight from keeping you awake.
3) Communication is Key
Communication on the job site is even more crucial at night than during the day. It is a way to avoid injuries, build comradery and create a better work product.
- Establish clear lines of communication
- Choose the best method of communication
- Don’t just talk, listen
- Be clear and concise