To keep their workers safe, it is essential that employers are familiar with what they need to do in order to provide a safe, working environment. Employees, too, should be aware of potential hazards and what to do to avoid them.
Here, we take a brief look at some of the key safety tips all construction managers should know.
Ensure that fall protection systems are in place
Falls are one of the leading causes of deaths in the construction industry. Managers need to ensure protection systems – either guardrails, safety nets, or personal fall arrest systems – are in place wherever a worker may be near an unprotected edge that is six foot higher than the level below it.
This applies whether the worker is simply walking along a surface, or using machinery, such as a hydraulic winch.
Managers should ensure scaffolding is properly erected and inspected regularly. Sturdy work-boots and hard hats should be worn when working on or around scaffolding and no tools or equipment should be left lying on the planks.
Although they may seem like the most basic piece of equipment, ladders – or rather the improper use of them – are the leading cause of fall-related injuries and deaths. So, just like scaffolding, ladders should be inspected daily and managers should ensure that all of their workers are trained on how to select the correct ladder for the task and how to use it properly.
Using the right tool for the right job is vital, no matter how big or small. For example, choosing the correct hydraulic winch will ensure you have the pulling power you need.
Ensure workers have the correct personal protective equipment (PPE)
Any worker on a construction site must be supplied with the correct personal protective equipment. This includes a sturdy and well-fitting hard hat as well as protective eye and face-wear. Employers have a responsibility to provide this equipment free of charge to their workers. Further guidance is available on the Health and Safety Executive’s website – https://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/index.htm.
In addition, should a worker need prescription eye-wear, the protection provided must be either fitted with the correct prescription lenses or be able to be worn comfortably over the worker’s existing eyewear.
All personal protective equipment should be inspected regularly and replaced immediately upon any sign of damage.