According to OSHA, the U.S. construction industry consists of 6.5 million workers and more than 250,000 sites in operation daily. With so many people to oversee and so many jobs to complete, supervisors might inadvertently let safety fall by the wayside.
It's time for a change. These three tips can help you uphold strong safety management at your construction site.
1. Wear appropriate PPE
What personal protective equipment your work site requires will depend on the nature of the work and the machinery used. Some PPE is nonnegotiable: helmets, eyewear and no-slip footwear. Others are necessary only on a case-by-case basis. Earplugs or earmuffs protect workers' hearing on noisy jobs that involve jackhammers, etc., and gloves made from anticorrosive materials are crucial for jobs involving toxic chemicals.
However, stocking these supplies is as important as ensuring their functionality. If PPE appears cracked, torn, broken, only semifunctional or otherwise compromised, workers should report the problem to their supervisors immediately and resist working until properly equipped.
2. Practice workspace awareness
A construction site has many moving parts that can fall into disarray and cause an accident. But so long as workers pay careful attention to how they work, they can avoid serious injury:
Inspect scaffolding and ladders: Do not rush the setup or tear down. Pay attention to the gradient of the support surface and load maximums.
Select safe operating areas: Machine use in cramped quarters or in a place with high foot traffic can lead to trouble.
Avoid risky habits: Using equipment improperly (holding tools by the cord, etc.) only invites problems.
3. Choose the right OSHA-compliant first aid kit
Apart from PPE, a first-aid kit contains, but is not limited to, the following individually wrapped materials:
- Absorbent compresses
- Adhesive bandages
- Adhesive tape
- Burn treatment
- Medical gloves
- Sterile pads
Construction work sites, however, must go beyond what's typical. OSHA defers to the American National Standards Institute for how to stock and preserve first-aid kits for the construction industry.
All construction safety managers ought to invest in Class B first-aid kits rather than Class A, as Class B are stocked for riskier operations than the average office environment. Depending on the nature of the construction site in question, managers will have to also choose between Type III and Type IV kits, which may vary in performance. A Type III kit, according to Quest Safety Products, is resistant to water, whereas a Type IV kit is entirely waterproof. Type IV kits are also tested for resistance to corrosive chemicals and falls.
IndustrySafe safety management software for construction sites helps workers every day by facilitating comprehensive inspections, monitoring hazards and providing rapid incident reporting as well as training resources. Request a free demo today.