As we all know, safety is a top priority, and taking preventive measures can make a significant difference in preventing injuries and fatalities.
1. Always wear your seatbelt when in a vehicle or heavy equipment. Seatbelts are critical to preventing serious injuries and death while driving or operating. Over 50% of those killed in motor vehicle accidents were not wearing seat belts. Airbags are designed to be used in combination with seat belts not by themselves alone.
2. Always inspect equipment and tools. Take the necessary time to inspect the tools and equipment you are using for work tasks. Properly repair broken tools or replace them altogether. Make sure equipment is in good working order, and safety devices, such as kill switches or equipment guards, are in place and properly functioning.
3. Always use fall protection when working at heights. Falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry. Guardrails or using a full-body harness with a self-retracting lanyard are two common safeguards to mitigate fall hazards.
4. Stay out of the blind spots of heavy equipment. Struck-by incidents, caught-in between incidents, and run-over incidents occur too often when heavy equipment is operating near ground personnel. Always keep your distance, communicate, and use eye contact to ensure an operator sees you when around their equipment.
5. Never put yourself in the line of fire. Being underneath lifted loads, next to a pipe being cut that has stored energy, or working underneath equipment that is not properly cribbed up are examples of being in the line of fire. Cut away from yourself when using knives or scrapers.
6. Use proper housekeeping measures to keep work areas clean. Housekeeping is critical in preventing injuries and property loss. Injuries such as slips, trips, falls, lacerations, sprains, strains, etc. can be reduced by keeping work areas organized and clean. Property damage and loss such as tools or materials being crushed due to improper storage is another common result of poor housekeeping.
7. Label and store chemicals properly. Improper labeling and storage can lead to injuries or property loss due to fires, corrosive properties, etc.
8. Communicate hazards to others. Never assume someone knows the hazards of a work task, especially if they are new or new to the task. As conditions change, communicate what needs to be done and what hazards the change in plans could bring.
9. Stop work when needed to address hazards. Always stop work when needed to get hazards mitigated to make it safe to continue. Whether you need to involve other personnel such as a supervisor or need to take time to get the right tool for the job, always take the time to do so. Also, watch out for others. If you see someone working unsafely, stop them.
Safety should always be at the forefront of our minds. By following these safety tips, we can reduce the risk of injury or death while on the job. Remember to always wear your seatbelt, inspect your equipment and tools, use fall protection, stay out of blind spots, never put yourself in the line of fire, maintain proper housekeeping, label and store chemicals properly, communicate hazards to others, and stop work when needed to address hazards.
Construction Industry | Occupational Safety and Health Administration. www.osha.gov/construction.