Construction is something that is time immemorial. In other words, it’s been around long before we were and long before it was most probably given its name.
As far back as stone huts and monoliths, construction has simply been around forever. Fast-forward to today, and construction has benefited from its past, with machinery and techniques at the top of their respective fields.
Safety has also been increasingly at the forefront, and quite rightly so. A safe construction site means no one is at risk of harm or worse. It can also mean that best practices are understood and used by everyone working there. In light of this, here are four construction safety measures that you should always take.
1. Have a Strict Security and Safety Protocol
This is a huge area, and quite rightly so. It involves everything from having the correct signage in unobscured places, so everyone can see them; ensure you have a Safety Work Method Statement both prepared and implemented before work starting, in unambiguous writing; limit access to your site to authorized personnel; and only allow qualified personnel near machines or have the keys to operate them, and only when they’re on site. Make sure workers sign in and sign out when they use certain machinery.
When visitors come to your site, ensure they are supplied with a visible visitor’s badge, and appropriate safety equipment, including a high-viz jacket, safety hat, and/or goggles, depending on where they’re going on your site. Do not let them walk around without someone from your site with them.
2. Train your Employees
Every employer is responsible for the safety of their employees whilst they are working. In a high-risk industry, such as construction, it’s imperative that the employer is explicit in respect of safety standards, and makes sure that everyone knows how to keep themselves and everyone else safe and free from harm.
Safety certificates should be on show and employees should have the relevant health and safety training before they start work. They should also have the correct uniform for their job whilst working, as well as their ID on their person if it’s not safe for them to wear it.
Failure to adhere to basic safety standards could lead to an accident and possibly the involvement of a New York construction accident attorney and they’ll scrutinize everything on behalf of their client to get to the truth of the matter.
They will also want to speak to witnesses that may include employees or visitors. Keeping clear and concise records will help expedite their investigation so that the matter can be resolved.
3. Electrical Safety
One construction worker per day, on average, is electrocuted on site. It’s actually the fourth leading cause of death on a construction site. The use of extension cords and cables, scattered over a construction site, sometimes in damp conditions, can be hazardous.
Furthermore, it’s important to ensure people stay well away from transmission lines, whether overhead or underground, all equipment is in sleeves and any heavy equipment is de-energized after use.
Additionally, any portable electrical equipment being used in damp conditions should also involve a transformer being used to isolate the voltage between conductors.
Voltage shouldn’t exceed 230 volts. Finally, any construction electrical equipment should be certified for heavy-duty usage and a ground fault circuit interrupter should be used to provide ground-fault protection.
4. Correct Chemical Storage
Chemicals can cause trouble when not stored correctly when inadvertently mixed or used by untrained people. They can cause serious health problems, which could result in death, not to mention cause pollution as well as damage to the construction site.
Therefore, it’s important the correct signage is used, ensuring only properly qualified personnel have access to these chemicals and that they’re stored as per the manufacturer guidelines. Taking these sensible steps can mean your construction project remains safe from potentially lethal consequences.
Construction can create beautiful things from nothing that stand the test of time. It can create homes, places of work and education, and places where people can enjoy their free time.
However, if safety standards aren’t strictly followed, and employees are allowed free rein in places they shouldn’t have access to, this may lead to an accident, and it’ll all fall on your lap if you’re the employer.
Therefore, make sure that everyone on your site takes their responsibilities seriously, as an individual, and as part of a collective. Conduct regular risk assessments, go around and do on-the-spot checks with supervisors.
Be seen to be taking safety seriously, and so will your employees. This way your construction project won’t face any unnecessary delays, and you won’t face potential legal action that could leave a stain on your reputation or, worse, leave you without a business.