5 Great Construction Safety Tips

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According to the United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nearly 6.5 million people work at approximately 252,000 construction sites across the nation on any given day. These workers build our roads, houses and buildings and maintain the world’s infrastructure.  At Armstrong Steel, we have joined forces with some of the most respected builders and contractors in the nation. From the first step in the buying process, all the way to finishing your building or steel garage, we strive for the best and safest customer experience.

Construction workers face many potential hazards while on the jobsite. Falls, trench and scaffolding collapses, electric shock and failure to use equipment properly are all ways workers can severely injure themselves on the construction site. However, since 1970, workplace deaths have been reduced by more than 65% and occupational injury and illness rates have declined by 67%.  That’s due to companies implementing better safety standards and guidelines. First time builders and seasoned professionals alike benefit from increased safety procedures on a construction site.

Here are five great tips to stay safe while working in construction:

1. Get the right safety training

It’s important for every staff member to know all the correct procedures whether on-site or in a training facility. Every job site is different, and presents new challenges for workers. With technology still evolving and changing, make sure your staff understands how to perform their task successfully and are aware of all the safeguards in place. Ask if your company implements training or outreach materials to eliminate and reduce construction-related dangers. Other preventative medical knowledge, like CPR training, can be valuable for workers to learn in case of an emergency.

2. Know your equipment

Do you know what you are working with? All staff involved in the construction process must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times to minimize injuries. PPE’s include hard hats, gloves, safety goggles, face masks or earplugs.  Some construction workers require harnesses if involved in roof work or scaffolding. It’s not only knowing the equipment you wear; it’s also about understanding the materials you use. When you are erecting your steel building, you know all of your prefabricated components are at the top of the industry standard. Identify and inspect all materials and tools to make sure they are working right and up to code. OSHA requires certain standards from health and safety inspectors in order to assure safe and healthful workplaces, and employers must comply with all applicable standards. It’s also important to be organized. Make sure your tools are cleaned after every use and stored in a proper facility when you’re not handling them. This simple task makes for a much safer work area for others.

3. Know your area

Nobody wants to be surprised on a job site. Get to know the area, or perform a walkthrough to become familiar with it in advance. Write down anything that you would deem unsafe, and note any hazards or dangers that might get in your way during the workday. Do your research! Are there any sewer, fuel or water lines in the way? Check before digging and contact the utility companies in your area. If possible, limit workers access to these areas and definitely block these areas off to the public. Use highly visible signs to prevent all entry after working hours.

4. Follow the rules

What good is a plan unless you follow it? Everyone needs to know what the precautions and problems are on site, as well as understand the risks associated with the job. Make sure that plan is distributed and is easy to follow. Try introducing a checklist and give every worker a straightforward task to complete. When your pre-engineered steel building is delivered to your job site, it comes with a set of easy to read instructions. We also have a fully staffed technical department available to answer any questions you have in the building process.

5. Prepare for emergencies

Accidents can and do still happen, so make sure to have the right first aid equipment on hand at all times. Most workers know how to handle different types of injuries and are prepared at all times. This includes First Aid kits filled with bandages. In fact, OSHA requires that adequate first aid supplies are available on every jobsite. When it comes time for you to construct your steel building, if you plan ahead, you can save yourself a lot of trouble.

When it comes to your business, your employee’s safety is paramount. Raising awareness leads to lower accident rates and a more positive workplace environment. Follow these helpful tips to make sure your next job site is safe and secure.

Photo courtesy: Chris Waits

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