Construction is a hard industry to work in. Both physically and mentally.
There are many days that are filled with joy when on the job, and there’s also many times where conditions outside can be potentially dangerous. The conditions you work in vary depending on the weather outside, since most work in this industry is done in an outdoor setting.
In 2020, there were 55 fatal work injuries that occured in the United States due to extreme weather, specifically due to the heat. In addition, the most common cause of death in the construction industry are slip and falls.
Due to these deaths and the prevalence of injuries in construction, it is now more important than ever to stay safe when working in these types of jobs.
But what exactly are the best tips to stay safe? Let’s find out.
Understand The Potential Hazards
If you end up working in an inherently dangerous field, you need to understand the risks of what you are doing. Chances are, you likely signed many forms in your offer letter that acknowledges the risks of what you do.
In the construction industry, there are multiple risks that are usually apparent which are:
- Physical hazards: Workplace factors that can cause tissue damage by the transfer of energy from the factors or agents to the individual.
- Chemical hazards: Occupational hazards that can result from a substance’s physical and chemical properties. Examples include carbon monoxide, sodium hydroxide, and compressed gasses.
- Biological hazards: Biological substances that pose a threat to the health of humans such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites.
- Ergonomic hazards: Physical conditions that can cause injury to your muscles, such as lifting boxes improperly, working on a slippery surface, and exposure to vibration.
Being aware of these risks help you be a safer employee, and they can also encourage you to stay safer when on a job site.
Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Let’s say that you are using a hacksaw to cut a tree. But, you’re not wearing any safety equipment whatsoever.
Now let’s say that you forget eyeglasses and there’s an exorbitant amount of dust that gets in your face from the tree. You now have injuries in your eyes that make it difficult for you to see and now you are out of work for months due to the lack of PPE. Depending on what you are doing, it is necessary to wear the proper PPE, depending on the work that you do. The types of PPE to wear includes:
- Head protection
- Eye protection
- Respiratory protection
- Hand and foot protection
So just remember, a lack of PPE can result in tragic or even deadly consequences.
Prioritize Training and Education
Safety training is just as important as staying safe on a job site. Every single one of your employees should know what to do if an emergency or another unexpected situation arises.
For example, if there is a fire on the construction site, you should know how to evacuate from the area, call the necessary help, while also ensuring that you and your colleagues are in a safe environment.
It’s also necessary to prioritize communication in the workplace. If anything, having proper communication is now even more important than ever due to the increasing amount of injuries in construction.
It might be a great idea to implement a system to report unsafe conditions to a supervisor or even encourage your employees to mention if they feel unsafe at any time.
Not too long ago, I heard a story where my friend who used to work in construction got called in to do a job where the conditions were unsafe, their PPE was not up to code, and it was generally unsafe.
His managers berated him for not doing the job, and eventually his supervisors chose to fire him. In that case, he could have pursued legal action if he had enough evidence or if his bosses were negligent with another employee.
If there were another similar situation that arises, he would need to call a Philadelphia personal injury attorney. His attorney could help him determine if he had a solid case and if he has enough evidence to bring action toward a negligent employer.
Remember To Stay Safe On The Job Site
In summary, some of the best tips to stay safe on a job site include understanding the potential hazards, wearing PPE, and prioritizing training and education.
More importantly, if there were a case where an employer was negligent in making their employees work in dangerous conditions, there might be grounds for legal action or a lawsuit.
Just remember that it is in your power to stay safe while working on a job site, and you should use your own discretion when choosing to work in a potentially dangerous environment.