HomeKnowledgeSix Safety Precautions for Construction Site Risks

Six Safety Precautions for Construction Site Risks

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Vineyard Wind 1, the Largest Offshore Wind Farm Project in the USA

Construction sites are prone to hazards and accidents more than any other workplace. The workers are always at risk of mishaps, especially when proper safety measures are not in place. The most frequent hazards include accidental falls, electrocution, structure collapses, arc flashes, or blasts.

Additionally, the carelessness of workers in using personal protective equipment is one of the major causes. Construction workers often work with many dangerous tools and machinery, making the risk of fatal injury even more significant.

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The (BLS) US Bureau of Labor Statistics states that in 2019 alone, 9.7 out of 100 000 workers were victims of severe injuries at construction sites. At the same time, 1,061 died in the same year. Therefore, construction work is one of the most dangerous occupations in the USA, so much so that even the most careful workers may fall prey to injuries at a worksite.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) develops construction site protocols. They collaborate with private occupational safety professionals and go through the previous data and current observations to create and revise safety regulations.

Here are a few examples of construction site safety tips to eliminate risks of accidental injury and ensure project completion without any mishap.

 

  1. Personal protective equipment

It may seem that wearing protective gear on construction sites goes without saying. But many injuries occur because of the lack of personal protective equipment or the use of a damaged one. Head injury is among the most common hazards on construction sites. Engineers, designers, and architects work to ensure their designed buildings are safe. However, most injuries happen during the construction phase. Accidental falls, dropping of objects, low-hanging hazards, exposed wiring, and tripping are often a cause of head injury.

Most workers have a habit of neglecting construction site safety tips because they’re experienced and don’t need PPEs to keep them safe. Worker negligence is also one of the top causes of construction site fatalities.

Lack of PPEs can lead to severe head injuries, which are known to cause seizures, impaired motor function, memory loss, and, in extreme situations, death. Therefore, construction site workers must wear hard hats that can withstand the impact of a fall or a dropped object.

In addition to head injuries, there is the risk of dust, grit, chemical vapors going into the eyes and mouth. Therefore, workers should not be allowed to work on potentially risky projects without protective masks and wear safety eyewear.

  1. Proper use of site equipment

Carelessness is another culprit causing mishaps on the construction sites. Often the use of wrong or improper site equipment can lead to injuries. A ladder is a typical construction site equipment that is often mishandled or used in its damaged form. A missing link or a bent rail can be a cause of a fatal fall. Other times, workers carelessly place more weight on the ladder than it can withstand.

If the ladder does not meet the standards three-foot requirement, ensure that the ladder is fastened to a secure spot.  It is also crucial to ensure the ladder is not damaged and, at the same time, is not placed too close to a power line.

  1. Appropriate equipment setup

It is often the case with construction sites that it has piles of dangerous construction material. Therefore, it is essential to be mindful of uneven surfaces when setting up equipment. If the ladder is placed near a heavy debris area, there are more chances of falling than on a leveled ground.

OSHA reports that more than 2.3 million workers yearly use scaffolding; therefore, safety professionals pay increased attention to scaffolding safety.  However, scaffolding is also a significant reason for the falls on construction sites. Due to improper setup or faulty joints, there is a high chance that risks can be avoided due to workers’ diligence.

For protection against scaffolding, it should be inspected frequently, and workers should not place more than the required weight on them.

Similarly, there should be standards in place for safely transporting weight up and down the scaffolding. In addition, with rigid guardrails to protect the worker, construction sites have to ensure safety nets or personal fall arrest systems are in place for safety at the time of a fall.

  1. Maintenance of the job site

Many of the incidents on the construction sites occur because the construction site is not managed correctly. Construction companies can eliminate many potential construction site risks by keeping the interior spaces free from dirt and debris created by construction.

For instance, tripping over the residue of the material, inhaling into the air contaminated with spilled chemicals are often the problems faced by the workers. Additionally, a dirty site can also cause damage to the machinery and equipment used in the construction work.

The construction site must have proper dust containment solutions to ensure the safety of the workers and the equipment. Furthermore, there should be a separate room where unused material and machinery are kept during construction.

  1. Safe use of cranes

The use of cranes is every day for large construction sites. But, the presence of cranes is always risky for the users and the facility. The misuse and mishandling of the cranes can prove deadly for the workers and damaging for the site as it can impact the building structure. Common hazards associated with cranes are workers getting hit by the cranes loads and the risk of electrocution if the line or boom hit a power supply.

Therefore, taking precautions before, after, and during the use of cranes goes without saying. To eliminate any possible risk of damage by crane, inspect the surrounding area and working of the crane, barricade the swing radius, and adequately instruct the crane users.

Always ensure that load never swings over workers or the public. Finally, even after everything is checked, there is still a chance of damage with crane use, so the site should always be prepared with a disaster management plan and an ambulance on standby.

  1. Safe working in the trenches

Often construction sites include working in trenches. These are the paths that are dug into the ground at various depths. Soil can be highly unstable in the trenches to collapse with the impact of the tools used inside them.

Therefore, construction workers working inside a trench are constantly exposed to trench collapses, burials, suffocation, and often death. These collapses most often occur without prior warning. So, there is little you can do when it happens.

Safety professionals have worked a lot to eliminate risks associated with trenches. According to rules, workers can’t work in an unprotected trench. If they are dug more than 20 feet deep, a professionally designed protective system should be in place.

Additionally, there should be clear marking for emergency exits. Moreover, the trench angle can’t be too steep. Lastly, all workers working in the trenches should wear proper protective gear such as hard hats for safety against falling objects.

Conclusion

The mentioned construction site hazards are often fatal for the construction workers and damaging for the property. The use of dangerous machinery, chemicals, and equipment call for placing proper safety measures. By utilizing safer machinery and adequate training for the on-site use of machinery, reducing the chances of injury on the construction sites is possible. Ensuring the absence of any weak spots in the Jobsite policies of construction projects comes at the forefront when entering a contract.

Some preventive measures and protection tips can prevent a lot of potential Jobsite hazards. Additionally, the employer also has to ensure all the safety measures such as the proper use of Jobsite equipment and adherence to the personal safety measures are well-respected.

All personal safety gear and construction equipment should be examined and passed through checks before its use on the site.

 

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