Every year, severe and fatal injuries occur on construction sites due to negligent workers, employers or property owners. Perhaps many of those at-fault for the accidents believe their site is immune to disaster. Or maybe they are simply distracted or uninformed of the dangers despite the regulations in place to protect them.
While employee handbooks and other required documents will address safety protocols on construction sites, it may help you to know these safety guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In maintaining a safe construction site, the guidelines address the following:
- Equipment hazards and solutions: All construction equipment comes with its potential dangers. Forklifts alone account for nearly 100,000 injuries per year in the construction industry. Only qualified workers should operate forklifts and cranes. Operators should never move materials over workers’ heads, nor should they operate them near powerlines. Equipment should always go through inspection before use.
- Protection from falls: From ladders to scaffolding and trenching, when working with hazardous heights ensure that all surfaces are clear of debris and liquids. Ladders and scaffolding should also be secure and thoroughly inspected before use.
- Training or communication: Some workers may not know what chemicals are dangerous, or how items should be stored. Ensure that there are accurate and thorough clean-up instructions, safety checklists and hazard labels where necessary. Workers should receive regular training on the potential dangers and the safe operation of products and equipment.
The demands for safety in a construction site will change depending on the project and the equipment necessary to fulfill your tasks. Avoid causing catastrophic injuries for yourself and your co-workers by adhering to state, federal and employer regulations.