5 Common Hazards in the Workplace
We all know that the construction industry is one of the most dangerous professions there is. Thousands of people every year are injured or even killed in accidents on construction sites. As a contractor there’s nothing you can do to make a job site completely safe and accident free—danger is simply part of the job. However, by being aware of the most common health and safety risks on the job you can mitigate a great deal of your liability and risk in both financial and human costs. Here are five of the most common hazards in the workplace that contractors should try to avoid.
Many construction jobs involve working in high places. This is true of construction and demolitions. To mitigate these risks make sure that all of your platforms are secure and stable, your workers are properly harnessed and tethered, and any tripping risks are removed from the work area. Train your workers on safety awareness policies and procedures.
Slips and Falls
Next to heights, slipping and falling is the most common source of injuries on a construction site. Make sure that your workers are aware of the different risks for tripping, slipping and falling, and that they wear proper footwear and protective gear. Keep the site clear of debris, tools and loose wires in addition to working to avoid spills at all times.
Objects falling from heights form a major hazard for workers passing beneath. Whether from debris from construction, dropped or accidentally kicked tools, or any other object, many workers suffer injury or death every year from falling objects. Keep all tools and debris secured and take great care while lowering trash and waste from heights. Make sure workers wear safety gear such as hardhats and safety boots at all times.
Trucks, cars, construction vehicles and other heavy mobile equipment form a major hazard on construction sites. Make sure that backup alarms are present and working on all equipment. Create hazard zones where pedestrian activity is not permitted, and train those operating heavy equipment on awareness of their surroundings and safety procedures for moving.
Tool and Heavy Equipment Injury
Many workers every year suffer serious incidents involving tools and heavy equipment. Misusing this equipment is a recipe for disaster. Preventative maintenance is the first step in heavy equipment safety. Make sure that no one who isn’t trained and rated on heavy equipment is anywhere near it, whether it’s being used or not. Make sure that all hand and power tools are sharpened and in good repair. Ensure that power tools are unplugged or removed from their power source and properly stored when not in use. Finally, always make sure that all of your workers are trained and educated in safety standards and policies and that proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn on the job site at all times.
Ensuring that your employees are well-trained and follow all safety procedures is the best way to make sure you avoid accidents and injury on the job. Of course, accidents will still happen and when they do, make sure you have the right insurance coverage for the job.