A construction zone, to the untrained eye, may seem like a lot of chaos, mess and men running around like chickens with their heads cut off. This is far from the truth, actually. A well run construction site does have a lot going on but it is very structured, organized and safe. It has to be, otherwise there is a huge potential for a lot of people to get hurt. Protection from chain slings to crane training and OSHA fall protection training is implemented at every turn in order to ensure the safety of the workers and minimize accidents. If you are contractor or a foreman, your main responsibility is to your workers. If you are looking out for their safety then they can concentrate on their work without fear of something happening. Here are a few ways that you could keep your workers and work site as safe as possible.
You should be on a constant rotation of looking over the equipment and machines that are being used. They need to be kept up to date and up to code, most importantly. Safety equipment like chain slings and safety nets should be tested weekly to ensure worker safety. High rise equipment like cranes can be cause fatal accidents if something goes wrong while it is in use so it is definitely worth the time and money to make sure that everyone is in perfect condition. Not one corner should be cut when checking equipment. This is very important. It can be easy to get into a routine when checking equipment and end up just skimming over the same things that you look at all the time. The problem with this, is if one time there is a problem, then you will miss it. Don’t take the checks for granted; act like each check is the first time that you have ever checked over that particular piece of equipment.
OSHA offers protection training for construction workers and other manual labor or skilled workers. Each employee should go through this training whether they are out on the site or in the office. They will learn how to use chain slings, ropes and other safety equipment as well as what apparel is appropriate and why protective clothing and a hard hat should be worn at all times when on the site. This isn’t a class that each employee should only go through once. Periodic safety classes will help the workers to remember what they have learned and to be sure to implement it. Again, it’s easy to take safety for granted when you have to think about it every day. After a certain period of time goes by with no accidents, people can begin to get lax. Regular safety courses will keep safety at the forefront of each worker’s mind.
There should be rules and policies that have to be followed when on site. This could be anything from always wearing a hard hat to no civilians on site to making sure they follow safety protocols. Every rule you put in place should have a reason behind it that can be explained to your workers. Using the examples above, wearing a hard hat will protect the most sensitive part of your body from being injured should something fall from above while you are not looking. Civilians should not be allowed on site, even with hard hats, because they have not been trained in the OSHA protection courses and do not know what is safe and what is not and could get hurt. They don’t even know what chain slings are or why they are needed! And finally, following safety protocols is important because without them, there could be a lot of injuries and even deaths that occur.
Other than the safety of your workers and the people around them, it’s important to make sure that these things are taken care of because if an accident does occur, chances are your insurance premiums will sky rocket and you may not be able to afford it anymore. Keeping safe will be better for everyone in the long run. This includes yourself, the workers, the company and the public.