Chances are if you work in the construction industry, you have probably been trained in safety and know there are hazards involved in your job. The construction industry is one of the more dangerous labor industries. More 4 out of every 100 construction workers are involved in nonfatal injury incidents each year. There are also nearly 1,000 work-related fatalities in the construction industry each year.
Nearly all of construction accidents are preventable with some safety awareness and precaution. Here are some of the easiest ways to prevent injury:
Equipment. Getting on and off of equipment is the biggest cause of injury to machine operators. When getting on and off, make sure there is no mud on your boots, use gripping gloves, don’t jump, and always use handrails if they are available. Do not use equipment for anything other than its intended purpose.
Other Workers. When using large equipment, people on the grounds can be a hazard. Always scope out the area where you will be working, to make sure there are no other workers in the vicinity. If your equipment or machine has a horn, use the horn to alert others to stay well away. Always check behind the machine as well before backing up. It is usually the job of the construction site foreman to make sure others stay out of the way of machinery in use.
Swinging Equipment. Make sure you and your supervisors know the swing radius of the equipment you are using. Consider roping off the area it will move within. Have another worker serve as a lookout to make sure no one enters the functional area of the equipment.
Limitations. You should be familiarized with the capabilities of any of the equipment and machines you use. Make sure you know what kind of incline, surface and weight they can handle.
Above and Below. An area should be examined so you know what is overhead and what is below ground, before construction begins. Make yourself aware of any power lines, water or sewage lines, gas lines and so forth. Avoid working near overhangs or other overhead objects if possible.
Seat Belt. It is not uncommon for equipment to tip over as a result of heavy lifting, uneven ground, etc. The seat belt is your primary protection in these instances, and you should always wear it.
Safety Gear. Always wear the proper equipment for the type of work you are doing. Most jobs require you to wear a hard hat, steel-toed boots and nonslip gloves.
Electrical. If you are working around an energized site, make sure that all electrical supply has been cut off. Check outlets, extension cords and anything that may have electricity running through.
Water. Simple slip-and-fall accidents are also very common on the construction site. Always look out for puddles and clean up to avoid slipping accidents.
For more detailed information on construction safety, visit the occupational safety and health administration website.
Here at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, we know the importance of taking the right safety precautions. If an accident does happen, visit our emergency department. For more information, visit us online or give us a call at (727) 819-2929.
Top Ten Construction Safety Tips (Equipment Today)
Safety in the Workplace—Preventing Construction Accidents (Construction Best)
News Release (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Construction: NAICS 23 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)