In an industry that can be as dangerous as construction, it comes as no surprise that safety is a cornerstone. However, between OSHA requirements and company policies, many workers can see safety as a pain instead of the lifesaving tool that it is. With falls accounting for 33 percent of all construction fatalities, here are some easy ways to prevent worksite falls and accidents.
The easiest and most important trick is to follow the OSHA fall prevention campaign: Plan. Provide. Train. Hold regular safety meetings that emphasize to workers that safety is just as important as the job itself. Keep these meetings interesting by focusing on a new issue each meeting such as a recently updated OSHA requirement or work through the company safety policy bit by bit. By not repeating the same thing every meeting, workers will stay engaged, absorb the information, and not be inclined to skip the meetings.
Next, conduct real and frequent risk assessments. Don’t be afraid to point out where you need to improve. Acknowledging that you’re not perfect is the only way to fix the issue and work towards preventing an accident. Inspecting for potential hazards allows you to create an accurate safety plan personally tailored to your worksite and crews. Falls are the leading cause of death in the industry, so it is imperative that companies work to prevent falls before they happen. Fall protection systems such as guardrails, toeboards, canopy structures, nets, screens, scaffolding, and safety harnesses or lanyards can quickly become lifesaving measures that will be smart investments in the end. Periodic equipment checks are also crucial to maintaining a safe worksite. 75 percent of struck-by injuries occur from heavy machinery. Equipment checks will increase your ability to prevent injuries before they happen.
Although a seemingly obvious approach, using common sense can be the smartest yet easiest way to prevent accidents on the worksite. Things as simple as never using a ladder on uneven ground or always wearing and using the appropriate safety equipment can be the difference between life and death in the heavy construction industry. Always follow machinery operating instructions properly, and keep tools and supplies in designated areas instead of strewn about to prevent tripping hazards. Cover sharp edges and wear gloves when working with power tools to ensure cuts and scrapes are limited as much as possible. Workers should also be mindful of their physical state when working to avoid mistakes due to overexertion or heat strokes. Wearing light and loose clothing and drinking plenty of water are essential in southern areas. Take frequent breaks to not tire yourself out and be aware of the most common signs of heat fatigue: dizziness, weakness, nausea, and/or headaches.
Maintaining a safe worksite is a necessary duty for every company in the construction industry. Magellan Construction is dedicated to cultivating a safe environment for all workers and clients.