Safety should be your primary concern when running a construction site as there is no reason to allow potentially life-threatening mistakes to occur if they can be easily thwarted with a bit of preparation. Not only will your workers be able to do their jobs more efficiently when they are feeling safe, but following safety procedures also means having a workforce that is properly trained to handle everyday construction site tasks with maximum efficiency. If anything that might present a bigger problem should occur, you will have a plan in place that you can rely on, and your workers will be prepared to handle all manner of potential little problems before they even become an issue.
Proper construction site maintenance on a regular basis is very important as it is your first line of defense against equipment malfunction, falling debris, injuries caused by falling and fire. Keeping heavy machinery and vehicles in optimal working condition is a must, but maintenance also includes keeping the site relatively clean so you can avoid planks falling from scaffoldings, people slipping on dusty floors or sparks igniting flammable materials and causing a fire. You also have to make sure that you have your storage squared away. Cleaning the construction site regularly; keeping flammable materials properly sealed in their containers; storing tools, equipment and building materials adequately; stacking carefully to avoid materials coming loose and falling and keeping enough fire extinguishers at hand – these are a few easy way to ensure that your construction site remains accident free.
Providing the right equipment
It goes without saying that workers should be provided the right tools for the job, but providing proper safety equipment available is also an issue that should be addressed adequately. Are noise levels on the site very high? In this case you should consider supplying your workforce with ear protection in the form of plugs or ear cancelling headphones. Are workers expected to carry materials like wood that can have splinters, or hot containers? In this case proper gloves should be provided – extra thick, heat resistant, Kevlar reinforced or rubber, depending on the task. Are you using materials that produce toxic fumes or very fine dust particles? Breathing masks are a must for such environments. Will there be metalworking, where sparks will be flying and/or task that require use of heavy machinery which may cause flying debris? Protective goggles will keep your workers safe. Besides these considerations, hard hats will be a requirement at any construction site, and where people are expected to lift heavy loads steel toed boots can prevent incapacitating injuries.
Using the correct methods
A lot of the time injuries will occur through improper or careless use of equipment, usually power tool and heavy vehicles. Workers can end up causing harm to themselves and others, as well as causing property damage and wrecking expensive equipment if they are not properly trained. For a start everyone should know basic skills like the proper way to lift, handle and stack materials on the site, be instructed in the proper use of necessary tools as well as safety and maintenance issues concerning those same tools. Electrical equipment will need to be grounded and serviced or replaced if not working properly. Vehicle operators need to be licensed by proper authorities, and they should complete a test of competency before they are allowed near expensive and potentially dangerous heavy equipment. When working with cranes it is paramount to work only within the maximum allowed weight, when working on great heights, safety nets will be required and workers need to be instructed in safety protocols before being allowed to work on the site. Every aspect of the job has one right way it can be done and a whole bunch of wrong ways, so you should focus on making sure everyone is doing things the correct way.
With a little bit of forethought, you can ensure that the proper equipment, tools and materials are provided and that the workers are instructed in their proper handling and maintenance. What you should focus on is preventing the most common problems from occurring in the first place – that way your workers can focus on their jobs without worrying about getting hurt and you can do your job without worrying about setbacks.
About the author:
Ivan Dimitrijevic is a well known blogger and senior SEO manager with many published articles on topics of lifestyle and health improvement, finances, SEO management as well as regional legal advice. He has written about construction environmental management plans and safety plans on construction sites and in other hazardous work environments before, and has done a lot of research on the topic. Ivan spends a lot of time on boards discussing safety strategies and plans for architecture solutions and is always looking forward to expanding his knowledge.
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