Construction work can be dangerous. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 13 construction workers die every single day. In some instances, these injuries and fatalities could be prevented by implementing safety tips for construction. If you own a construction business or work in the field, build up your knowledge to lower your risk of worker injuries and fatalities.
Learn the leading causes of risk.
Did you know? The leading causes of death, illness, and injury (known as the “fatal four”) amongst construction workers are:
- Being struck by an object
- Getting caught in equipment/crushed by a structure
If these risks were managed appropriately, more than 454 workers’ lives would be saved every year. Lay the groundwork for a safer jobsite with our safety tips for construction.
Build protection with these nine safety tips.
- Gear up. Whenever you’re on the jobsite, you should be in full safety gear. That includes wearing steel-toe boots, a hard hat, high-visibility clothing, and any other protective gear needed for your project. Site managers should provide proper training for using these items and regularly check to ensure everyone is adhering to the rules.
- Protect your eyes and ears. It’s not enough to wear your safety glasses and earplugs. You have to wear them consistently and properly. Make sure your safety glasses are on and your earplugs are in and tightly fitted to prevent damage.
- Secure all scaffolding. The most common injury associated with scaffolding is falls. To lower risk, build scaffolding on a solid surface and inspect it daily for damage or wear. Build the structure to support at least four times the anticipated weight. Also, keep at least 10 feet between the scaffolding and any power lines.
- Make obstacles obvious. If there are obstructions underground or overhead like power lines, low-hanging branches, underground pipes, or large obstacles, mark them appropriately or notify your crew so they can avoid coming in contact with them.
- Climb with caution. Always keep three points on a ladder when you’re climbing (this could be two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand). Never carry tools in your hands while climbing or descending a ladder. Instead, raise tools up beforehand using a hand line or carry them in a tool belt. Place ladders at a secure angle on a flat, dry surface. Always have a spotter watch behind you.
- Take safe steps. Don’t step on anything that’s loose, unsteady, or unsecure. If you see a hazardous walking zone, mark it and alert other workers to steer clear until it’s safe.
- Fight potential falls. Consider using guardrails, safety nets, or harnesses to add extra protection and stop the risk of falling.
- Watch the weather. Working in heavy rain, snow, or wind could have serious consequences. No matter the timeline, halt work for the day when weather is severe. Secure loose equipment that could damage the worksite or those around it and take cover until it’s safe to return to work.
- Have a first-aid kit that’s easily accessible. A first-aid kit is a must on any jobsite. Make sure it’s fully stocked and show every team member where it is in case of emergency.
Implementing these nine safety tips for construction is the first step to a healthier worksite. The next step? Make sure you have the right protection for your construction business. Talk to a local, independent agent about comprehensive contractors insurance from Frankenmuth Insurance.