According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4,836 fatal workplace injuries in the U.S. in 2015 — 937 of which occurred in the private construction industry. Typical construction site hazards include everything from improperly erected ladders and scaffolding to unsafe operation of heavy equipment such as cranes and forklifts. The following tips can significantly improve safety for construction site workers:
- Proper training: Safety in construction begins with appropriate training. To maximize its effectiveness, safety training for construction workers should be ongoing and job-specific. Post-event safety training is also essential for preventing similar incidents from occurring in the future. Develop a set of safe operating procedures for every assigned task.
- Fall protection steps: The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) points out that falls are typically the leading cause of construction-related fatalities each year. If you employ construction personnel who work at heights, aerial lifts or elevated platforms can provide a better construction safety alternative to scaffolding or ladders. Using safety netting and body harnesses can also help to prevent fall-related injuries and fatalities.
- Preventing trench collapses: Trenches pose another common safety hazard in construction site operations. OSHA recommends enlisting the services of a professional engineer to design a protective safety system for trenches deeper than 20 feet. Provide a safe, convenient method for exiting a trench such as a ladder, stairway or ramp.
- Electrical safety precautions: Working around electricity can pose a major hazard in construction site operations. Key electrical safety steps include promptly replacing frayed or worn wires and cables, keeping ladders and scaffolding at least 10 feet away from power lines and ensuring all electrical tools and equipment are properly grounded.
- Construction worker safety practices: Construction employees should play a prominent role in their own safety. All construction site workers are responsible for following recommended construction safety procedures. They should also immediately bring any improperly operating or unsafe tools or heavy equipment to the attention of their supervisor. In addition, workers should always wear proper personal protection equipment such as helmets, gloves, safety goggles and face shields.
- Make first aid easily accessible: When a construction injury does occur, immediate treatment can often minimize the impact. A basic first aid kit for treating cuts, sprains, scrapes and minor burns should be readily available at each work area. If employees cannot locate the first aid kid or if it is missing some medical supplies, they should notify their supervisor as soon as possible.
- Construction site fencing: Install fencing around dangerous areas such as trenches or excavation sites, as this can prevent workers or passersby from accidentally falling into a deep hole. Repair or replace damaged fencing as quickly as possible.
Contact Titan Alarm, Inc. for Your Construction Site Security Needs
Unattended construction sites are vulnerable to acts of vandalism, such as damaging equipment or fencing, that could jeopardize the safety of your workers. If you operate construction sites in the Phoenix, AZ area, Titan Alarm can provide an effective, affordable security solution for your company. Contact us to schedule a no-obligation construction safety/security consultation today.