How Your Contracting Business Can Handle Animals on the Construction Site

Every now and then, you may find animals on the construction site. Sometimes, a runaway pet looks for shelter. In other cases, it’s wild animals you have to worry about. You don’t want to get hurt, and you want to avoid hurting them as well. Here are a few things that you should know if you encounter animals on the construction site.

Control Entrances/Exits
The best way to avoid an unexpected encounter with an animal is to control entrances and exits. You may need to build some kind of fencing around the job site, particularly if you are engaging in dangerous activities. At the beginning and end of the day, you should plan to run the perimeter of the fence to see if there are obvious gaps where an animal could get in. Do the same with doors and gates. If your entrances make it easy for animals to enter, you’ll be more likely to have problems with them. At job sites near wooded areas or waterways, you may need to upgrade the type of entrances you use for security.

Research Local Rescue Organizations
For many people in construction, the question is not when they will encounter an animal, but rather who they should call when they do. If someone’s lost pet wanders onto the job site, it may be relatively obvious what you should do. But for any other type of animal, you may not know. And in fact, being unable to act can put you at greater risk. Before you work on a job site in an area that is less familiar to you, do a little research into local organizations that handle wild animal rescue. That way, if you encounter a snake or an injured rodent, you have the right number to call and you can do it immediately.

Set Safe Rules for Interactions
As a general rule, your safest bet is to avoid engaging with the animal directly until you can contact the proper authority. Even a lost pet that appears friendly could be sick, injured or otherwise unsafe. As you research local animal handling organizations, find out how they want the public to respond if they find one of these:

  • Mountain lions
  • Snakes
  • Biting or stinging insects
  • Domesticated pets
  • Livestock
  • Rodents

Write out a safety plan and make sure that anyone on the job site has access to it. In areas where animal encounters are common, you may need to practice following a routine to normalize it.

Buy Protective Equipment
You probably don’t need to outfit yourself like you are about to spend a week hiking in the wilderness. However, a small amount of protective equipment may make a big difference. For example, the ability to make loud noises can frighten off predators that might otherwise try to attack you. Wearing protective boots and tucking your cuffs into your socks or gloves can reduce the likelihood of insect or rodent bites. If all else fails, there are certain types of repellent sprays that you can use either as preventative or as acute protection during an attack.

Stay Aware
Hopefully, you have created a space on the job site that is harder for animals and insects to invade, so that you can focus on your work. But early in the morning, and right around sunset, you should pay extra attention to your surroundings to confirm that you are working alone. People are at higher risk for injury when they are distracted and do not notice a wild animal coming into their space. Working with others, and having a system where you watch out for things that the other person might not see, minimizes the chances of a surprise attack by an animal.

Minimizing wild animal interruptions on the job site can make it easier for you to get your important work done. To learn more about how you can prepare for the contractor licensing exam, visit CSLS today!

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