Construction work is dangerous, even when there are safety practices on the construction site. However, if an employer fails to follow OSHA safety rules then injuries can increase. There are a number of ways that employers are able to prevent accidents and an on-the-job injury.
Keep an Orderly Workplace with Proper Signage
Cleanliness is not often thought of as a deterrent to accidents, but a clean and orderly workplace can reduce the chance of injury. An unclean and cluttered area can be harder to maneuver around and this means workers are more prone to hazards. No matter what the work environment is, an orderly work environment will help keep employees safe. Signs need to be posted that remind employees of safety procedures. These signs should be in noticeable places and spaces where the procedures should actually be practiced.
If a worker is working from a height, then he or she must always use a harness or other restraint system. Covers and safety nets should be used to protect objects and workers that could fall. In addition, toe boards and guardrails on every elevated platform can make heights safer.
Personal Protection Equipment
Every worker should be provided with and also required to use personal protection equipment. This equipment can include basic safety gear like safety goggles and helmets, along with fall protection equipment. Employers should also take the time to teach employees how to properly use the personal protection equipment.
Safety at Excavation Sites and Trenches
Excavation sites and trenches need to have proper shields and supports in order to prevent deadly cave-ins. An easily accessible exit needs to be in place to allow workers to escape when there is an emergency.
The Use of Correct Scaffolding
Scaffolding needs to be erected on the level ground and there should be solid footing in order to avoid the risk of it collapsing. Proper materials need to be used, including toe boards, midrails, and guardrails, to protect workers who need to work on the scaffold. A trained employee should be supervising the assembly, moving, and dismantling of a scaffold in order to prevent any accidents.
Inspect Equipment and Tools
An employer should have a regular schedule of inspection for equipment and tools to make sure that these items are always in working order. Repairs should be made as needed. These inspections and repairs reduce the risk of accidents caused by product defects, equipment failures, or workers using the wrong tools or equipment for the job.
Protection for Chemical Hazards
Construction workers work around a lot of toxic substances and chemical hazards. Employees need to be educated about the dangers of these chemicals and substances and how to work around them safely. Warning signs should be posted, and clean-up kits need to be readily available where the substances are stored and used.
Vehicle Safety Bars and Proper Maintenance of Vehicles
Many construction workers have fallen when getting in and out of heavy equipment and vehicles. Installing steps and safety bars can prevent these fall injurers. Workplace driving accidents are a common workplace accident. Maintenance should include monthly inspections and vehicles should be repaired as soon as possible if needed.
Employers need to provide training to employees about the dangers they can face doing their jobs and how to avoid them. Include information on using the safety equipment designed to protect them and following the necessary safety procedures.
Regular Meetings about Safety
Employers should be having regular meetings on the site to remind their employees of safety issues that are specific to the site and job duties. When work that is especially dangerous is being done, a meeting should be held right before so employees are more alert to the potential risk and can have the right knowledge in order to avoid accidents.
There should be a safety plan in place. The foundation for a safe working environment is an effective accident prevention program. This program should cover every level of employee safety. Employers need to inspect work sites and look at protection hazards before a project is started. In addition to looking at safety hazards in the beginning, employers should also evaluate safety measures at key phases of the project. These preventative measures should be implemented when work begins, and workers need to be educated on the measures.
Have Proper Staffing
Overtime hours are usually implemented because of low staffing. Overworked employees can suffer from burnout and exhaustion and cut corners in order to meet expectations. Hiring more staff can prevent accidents due to employee exhaustion.
Don’t Take Shortcuts
Accidents are more likely to happen when employees are skipping steps in order to complete the job quicker. Instructions should be clear and organized to prevent mishaps. These shortcuts can be the difference between a life-threatening catastrophe and a minor injury.
If an accident does happen, it should be reported immediately, even if there wasn’t a serious injury that occurred. An injury that seems minor when an accident first happens may become more serious down the line. Reporting the accident can make sure that protocol changes happen to prevent future accidents.
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