Construction sites are extremely dangerous places to be in. Because of the kind of work involved, the construction workers face a very high risk of getting injured and are also prone to accidents. Moreover, the equipment that the workers wear to reduce the exposure to harmful chemicals and elements in itself can cause accidents because it tends to reduce their flexibility and restrict their movements. It is said that approximately two people die per week on construction sites across the country. Therefore it is very essential that people working on these kinds of sites follow some basic but important guidelines for their safety as well as the safety of others.
General Guidelines for Construction Site Safety
For reducing or preventing injuries and accidents at the construction site, you have to begin with removing the unsafe conditions that exist as well as reduce the number of unsafe acts that need to be performed. But it is not possible to completely eliminate any of these conditions, as many times it is not predictable. Site workers must be given adequate training on safety issues and must be made to understand how critical it is for each one of them to practice the safety guidelines during work. Steps must be taken in advance to ensure that accidents are prevented as much as possible and if any hazardous situation arises, immediate steps must be taken to combat the situation and make sure that it does not does recur.
Some of the areas where you can practice safety guidelines are as follows:
Safety Around Electrical Equipment
It is critical that all workers know the most danger prone areas before they start working. Since chances for getting electrical shocks are high, care must be taken to prevent it. It is essential for workers to wear rubber gloves and boots, which are insulated. Electrical wiring should not be strung across the work areas and water should not be allowed to accumulate and form puddles in these areas. It is good to treat all electrical equipment as energized until tested and found not to be so.
Ladders should always be checked and maintained in good condition. If it is defective, it should be discarded immediately or marked such that no one will use it by mistake in the work place. The ladder rungs must be kept clean with no traces of oil and grease. Before use, they must be secured properly so that it does not get displaced while a worker is using it.
In a similar way, maintenance of scaffolding is also very important. Only under supervision must scaffolding be set up or dismantled. Fall protection should be provided at all times and employees should wear harnesses while working at heights.
Ensure that debris is not left lying around in the construction site. Also, any equipment that is used during work should be careful stored away after use and not left as it is, as workers might trip or slip on this equipment. Safety harnesses should always be worn if a worker is working at a height, as this is one of the main reasons for death during construction. A person competent to assess the situation and see if any hazards exist should inspect all anchorage points on a regular basis.
Lighting is crucial when working inside a closed area, but especially working at night. The rate of construction site accidents skyrockets when working at night due to insufficient lighting. Proper lighting may include floodlights, barricade lights and especially lights on head gear.
And finally, when working in closed and confined spaces like pits and trenches, it is good to have one standby person who will have no other duties other than to watch the workers on the inside and act or rescue in case of emergencies.
By following these simple guidelines, life on a construction site can become safer and the risk of accidents can be reduced.