Part of running a contracting business involves making sure that you and your employees can be safe on the job. This requires a number of safety measures. While most of them depend on the field and the specific task at hand, others apply to almost everyone. Here are five safety measures you can expect to see in most construction jobs.
Operate Equipment Only While Alert
You probably already know that you shouldn’t be operating construction equipment while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is true for many other types of heavy equipment operation, like driving. But more specifically, you should ensure that you can use equipment while you remain alert. This may mean taking care to schedule tasks when you have the most focus and energy. That way, you can save low-risk jobs for the end of the day or while you’re waiting for your coffee to kick in.
Handle Dangerous Substances with Care
Construction involves interaction with a variety of substances that could possibly be dangerous. Some of them are naturally occurring, like radon. Others, like lead pipes or asbestos, may be present on the jobsite and require special handling to mitigate or remove. You may also have to work with solvents or treatments that can be hazardous if you touch or aspirate them. Even common substances like paint can be a problem. Knowing what you can do with them and how to dispose of them helps you avoid injuring yourself or others.
Wear Personal Protective Equipment
OSHA keeps a list of the most common construction safety violations for each quarter of every year. One of the most common causes of accidents or injuries is a failure to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE that you may frequently use in construction work includes:
- Hard hats
- Protective eyewear
- Heavy clothing
- Masks and other forms of respiratory protection
Making sure that you know what to wear based on the task can protect you from immediate and long-term injuries.
Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
Another common source of injuries, according to OSHA, are falls or accidents that happened because you or someone else on the jobsite weren’t paying attention to the surroundings. At all times while you are working, you should be paying attention to where you are walking, where other people are positioned and how your tasks and their work affect each other. In many cases, there are risks happening behind you that you don’t realize because you can’t see them immediately. Using a system of notification or alert can help you and other workers avoid hurting each other by accident.
Report Unsafe Working Conditions
On almost any job site, accidents could happen. And when this occurs, people often ask themselves after the fact if there were some things they could have done to prevent it. This requires you to periodically evaluate your working environment and determine if there are ways to make it safer. Preventing injury or illness on the jobsite obligates you and everyone else to make a note of unsafe working conditions. Sometimes, employees are afraid to call attention to it out of fear that they may get in trouble. However, this can lead to a higher risk situation. Cultivating an environment in which people feel safe reporting issues to management leads to improved safety measures.
Learning how to stay safe while you do your job is part of running a successful contracting business. For more information, visit CSLS today!