At Nocti Business Solutions (NBS) safety is always a top priority. With the demand for construction workers expected to grow twelve percent by the year 2026, teaching construction safety is a major focus for our organization. As more entry-level hires with less experience are made, employers and management will want to ensure that the fundamentals of worker safety are well known and strictly followed. To help with that, we’re providing this article to explain the basic steps to construction worker safety.
Why is safety so important for construction workers?
In an environment with heavy machinery and tons of moving parts, the probability of accidents increases significantly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 100,000 injuries happen every year in the construction industry, with one percent resulting in death. We are not sharing this information to scare anyone away from working in the construction industry, but we feel awareness is the best tool for prevention.
Major construction hazards in a construction site.
Before we get into safety tips, it’s important to identify common hazards found in a construction site. If workers and employees know what dangers to look for, they are more likely to predict and avoid them. Below are the common hazards that lead to injury in a construction site:
• Slips, trips, and falls
• Working at height
• Moving objects
• Material mishandling
• Structural collapse
Five safety tips every construction worker should follow:
Take extra precaution getting on and off equipment
The number one cause of injury at a construction site is getting on and off of equipment. The size of equipment varies, but every piece is made to be sturdy. Whether it be a truck, high-low, or jack-hammer, each one won’t budge if a worker slips and falls. That’s why workers should always take precaution when mounting and dismounting equipment. Workers can start by double-checking their boots and gloves for mud or other slippery materials. Additionally, they need to remember to keep a firm grip and always take a three-point stance while on equipment.
Avoid crowded work areas
Construction projects generally take up a lot of space so work areas should be free and clear of bystanders. Having fewer people in an area lessens the probability that someone will be hit by swinging tools or flying debris. An uncrowded work area also ensures that fewer workers will be in harm’s way if a structure fails or materials are mishandled.
Loading and unloading equipment
Another common cause of injury is the mishandling of equipment, particularly during the loading and unloading stage. To avoid accidents while loading or unloading equipment, workers should ensure that trucks are as level as possible. Also, they’ll want to double check that ramps are secure and equipment stays center whenever moving it. Lastly, unloading equipment is never a one-man job. There always needs to be a driver (or mover) and a spotter, someone who helps guide the equipment on and off the truck.
Identify overhead obstructions
Workers must always be aware of overhead obstructions and underground utilities, including electrical lines, piping, ventilation, and framing. Team leaders should mark every one of these, making it as easy as possible for workers to recognize any obstruction. Keep in mind workers may not always have a completely clear line of sight so it is imperative for these obstructions to be well-known.
Use your senses
Last but not least, workers need to stay aware of their surroundings using their better judgment for safety. This is sometimes a problem for entry-level workers who are not sure if something is wrong or comfortable bringing attention to a problem. Consequently, that’s why such ideals should be taught by management. If something doesn’t look, sound, or smell right—SAY SOMETHING!
Build a safer work environment with NBS
Looking to build a safer work environment? Use NBS technical skills assessments to ensure that your workers have the knowledge and skills to keep your work environment safe. We offer a wide variety of Construction Employee Assessment Tests, each focusing on keeping workers safe.
Construction Employee Assessment Tests
• Building Construction Occupations
• Building Trades Maintenance
• Cabinetmaking and Millwork
Whether you are training new employees or testing experienced workers, make sure each of them has the skills and knowledge to keep your construction site safe and injury free. Contact NBS today!