What comes to mind when you think of construction site hazards? Is it slips, trips, and falls? Maybe the dangers of electrical work? What about falling objects? The truth is all of these and many more safety hazards are risks on a commercial construction site. Continue reading this blog to learn essential construction safety tips that can help you avoid accidents, personal harm, and even fatal injury.
Provide Your Crew With Routine Construction Safety Training
A common mistake general contractors make is assuming their subcontractors are up to date with current training programs. The safety and health of yourself, your crew, and everyone else at a job site are far too important to leave to chance.
The construction industry presents many occupational hazards, which means the safety training you provide should cast a wide net. Your teams should be well versed in required safety equipment, electrical hazards, moving object protocols, safety net usage when applicable, and many other elements.
For lasting impact, construction safety training also has to be ongoing. Routine, mandatory meetings to cover new regulations, specific site hazards, and observed failures in following rules at a previous job all ensure a safer work environment.
OSHA Is the Gold Standard of Construction Safety
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide training for employees who work in hazardous conditions. It’s strongly recommended that you strictly follow all OSHA regulations—it’s the law. Not enforcing these standards risks the health and safety of everyone involved and opens your business up to financial loss via fines, lawsuits, and workers’ compensation claims.
Ensure the Proper Usage of Construction Safety Equipment
Protecting yourself from injury starts with wearing the proper construction safety equipment. Your personal protective equipment (PPE) can be the difference between completing your day’s work and taking a trip to the hospital.
OSHA has clear guidelines stating that the employer has to provide their staff with all necessary PPE. Contractors should also provide training on how to wear, maintain, and dispose of safety equipment. If it becomes damaged or no longer meets safety standards, the employer must pay for replacement PPE.
As a contractor, it’s also your responsibility to check construction safety equipment like work boots meets safety standards. You may be held liable if an injury results from inadequate safety measures and equipment.
Be Cautious Around Operating Equipment
Though it might be hard for you to miss the sight of a crane, earth mover, or another substantial piece of equipment, it can be pretty difficult for the operator to spot you. A crucial construction safety tip is to instruct all workers to stay clear of machine operating areas unless their presence is required. Machine operators must also be advised on properly using warning signals, checking for people around them, and quickly stopping when dangers are present.
If you’re providing the equipment for your crew, maintain it regularly to ensure peak performance. If your subcontractors provide their own equipment, take the necessary steps to make sure it’s up to the task. Substandard equipment is a leading construction site hazard that can have catastrophic effects.
Continually Supervise Job Sites
Whether it’s a small renovation or an expansive ground-up build, there are always construction site hazards to be wary of. Providing oversight at a job isn’t just a construction safety tip—it’s a good business practice for all contractors.
A construction manager and safety director can work together to oversee a job and enforce safety standards during construction. While it’s not possible to monitor all work in progress, the key is to pay attention to potential red flags and quickly address them with crews. Your directors and managers should also be easily available to your team so any issues can be reported and handled in a timely manner.
Learn more about proper construction management and how it can keep jobs safe, on time, and within budget.
Raise Awareness About Construction Site Hazards
A well-informed crew is a safe crew. By pointing out the construction site hazards you’re aware of before work begins, you equip your team with valuable information that can help them avoid dangerous situations.
If you know the ground is unstable in certain areas, mark those areas to alert everyone onsite to avoid them unless authorized. It’s easy for construction workers to get used to the ever-present hazards they face. Think of the famous photo of a crew sitting on a beam high above the world, eating lunch as if they were at a picnic table.
Certainly, things have changed since then, but the point is no one was doing that on their first day. It was time that brought their guard down. A friendly alert may be all the crew needs to take the extra precautions necessary to avoid a bad situation.
Don’t Overlook the “Small” Stuff
Let’s be clear: when it comes to the well-being of people, every element matters. But sometimes, routine things get taken for granted. An imperative construction safety tip is to pay attention to all site hazards. This includes:
- Setting scaffolding right
- Using ladders with the proper load ratios and the correct length
- Clearing debris from stairways, loading areas, and trenches
The Best Construction Safety Tip? Hire Ironclad Services for All Your Commercial Construction Needs
For nearly two decades, Ironclad has proudly partnered with various industries throughout New England to provide general contracting, construction management, and commercial construction services. Our commitment to quality, cost-effectiveness, and job site safety sets us apart from other contractors.
A job can’t be completed successfully if it’s delayed due to injury or improper construction safety equipment. Our vast experience and full-time safety director help everyone on the job navigate construction site hazards, and we work closely with business owners to ensure their needs and objectives are met. Reach out to Ironclad today to discuss your project and learn more about our new construction, design-build, renovation and remodeling, and emergency restoration services.
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Ironclad Services is a full-service commercial construction contractor headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts. We bring the same level of precision, safety, craftsmanship, and quality to private sector projects large and small as we do the federal contracting work that our reputation was built on.