Everything You Need To Know About Construction Safety
As long as the need for roads and infrastructure exist, there is going to be a demand for construction workers. There is no certification needed to work in this field, but the proper construction safety courses should be given prior to allowing the individual to begin working. With all that the job requires, the workers are sometimes put in situations where serious bodily harm and/or death can and does occur.
There are nearly 6.5 million individuals who work in the construction business and the fatal injury rate is higher in this industry than any other industry in the world. For this reason, construction safety education is vital.
Common Construction Safety Concerns
-Electric shock and arch flash/blast
-Failure to use proper protective gear
-Repetitive motion injuries
Scaffolds are used to perform different types of construction in high places. When a scaffold is not assembled properly or if it is not used properly the possibility of falls are eminent. There are approximately 4,500 injuries and 50 fatalities from scaffolding falls each year. There are many things that must be done to ensure the safety of those working on scaffolds.
The scaffolding must be sound and sufficient enough to hold its own weight plus four times the maximum weight. It must be placed on solid ground. Never use anything unstable such as barrels, boxes or loose bricks to support the scaffold.
-There must not be any changes made to the scaffold except under supervision of a trained competent person
-The scaffold must have guardrails, midrails and toe boards.
-Repairs to items such as braces, brackets, trusses, screw legs or ladders must be made immediately.
-Scaffold platforms must be bound tightly with scaffold plank grade material
-The scaffold must be inspected by a competent person and re-inspected at set intervals.
-Scaffolds must always be at least ten feet away from power lines at all times.
Falls can happen for many reasons and is the primary cause for fatalities in the construction industry. Many things can cause workers to fall such as unstable working surfaces, misusing or not using fall protection and simple human error. There are a few things that can be done to help limit the amount of falls that occur:
-Use elevated platforms to provide safer working surfaces
-Put up guardrail systems with toe boards and warning lines
-Make sure all holes are covered
-Use a safety net system or give workers a body harness
OSHA Stats On Construction Safety
According to OSHA, there are about 24,000 injuries and 36 fatalities per year due to falls from ladders and/or stairways. A lot of these injuries were bad enough for employees to have to have time off of work. There are a few precautions that must be taken to lessen this fall risk:
-Use the right ladder for the task
-Have a competent person check for structural damage, grease, dirt or other contaminant
-Mark ladders that are unsafe for use
-Never go over the ladders maximum load capacity warning label
-Never use metal ladders around electrical work or overhead power lines
To prevent falls when working in or around stairways:
-Make sure the treads and walkways are free of debris and dangerous objects
-Make certain treads cover the entire step and landing
-Correct any slippery conditions right away
-Stairways higher than 30” should have at least one handrail
When it comes to construction safety, it is imperative that workers are taught and made to follow any and all safety precautions no matter what kind of job they are performing. Making certain that all safety precautions set forth by OSHA are followed will result in far less injuries and fatalities.