Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that 1 in every 10 construction workers is injured every year. This statistic helps to show how construction work is considered one of the most dangerous occupations people can have.
If you are new to this industry, here are some basic tips that can help you stay safe from harm and other construction site related accidents.
- Wear Protective Equipment – Wearing the right personal protective equipment (PPE) at a job site is critical and it can save your life. We understand PPE is not always the best looking gear, but when dealing with your life put your ego to the side and put it on. Some common items include a helmet, heavy-duty gloves, protective eyewear, high visible clothes, strong boots, no loose clothes, and more for specific jobs. Different jobs have different risks and equipment so check with someone more experienced for info on this.
- Always Be Cautious When Handling Heavy Equipment – Many construction injuries come from being around heavy machinery. Pay attention to potential danger zones: a radius around an excavator, the location underneath weak or heavy items (like large pipes or wood), and many more situations. Staying vigilant and being alert can make a large difference in your potential safety. It may require some conscious effort at first to understand the danger zones, but once you do it should become second nature and so can easily avoid them.
- Inspect Your Ground – Boots are your friend here for sharp scraps and dirty grounds. However, also test potential fragile scaffolds, wobbly ladders, and other foundations that require you to stand or step on to make sure they are safe and request help when needed. Also, depending on the weather conditions, learn to go slower or rely more on a guide rail if it is wet and slippery.
- Be Careful With Loading and Unloading – Heavy material like pipes or lumber may not seem dangerous, but have potentially thousands of pounds of crushing force. When unloading large items get help from others and communicate effectively about your actions.
- Have a First Aid Kid Ready on-the-go – Although it’s not practical to have one right on yourself, make sure there is at least one first aid kit on the job site where everyone knows it is located. A standard kit can be found cheaply and can save lots of time, infections, money, and potentially health to have on-site.
All construction workers should practice safety at all times. This kind of work requires the worker to be extra vigilant, and one can never stop thinking about it.
This is not a comprehensive list by any means but should help to start your thinking process. Everyone’s jobs are different, so you should seek out the instruction of those more knowledgeable than yourself with years of experience.