According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an average of 6.5 million people work within the construction industry on approximately 252,000 job sites across the U.S. each day. While a career in construction can be extremely rewarding, it can be dangerous as well. After all, construction sites are inherently hazardous due to the nature of the work. If proper safety precautions are not taken, the likelihood of incidents – from minor injuries to fatalities – increases. In fact, the number of fatal injuries is higher for construction than the national average for all industries. Minimize risks by following the four safety suggestions below.
4 Smart Ways to Stay Safe on Construction Sites
1. Always Wear Personal Protective Equipment
Utilize personal protective equipment (PPE) whenever appropriate. OSHA requires employers to provide well-maintained, properly fitting PPE to keep workers safe from on-site hazards that can lead to injury. Employers must provide training to employees regarding when and how to use specific safety equipment and educate them about any limitations of the gear as well as the risks associated with misuse. Know your rights, and ensure your employer complies with OSHA standards.
2. Pay Close Attention to Training
In construction, knowing how to operate equipment and properly complete certain tasks can be the difference between life and death. Take training seriously. Ask as many questions as necessary to fully understand all aspects of the topic. Do not hesitate to tell your supervisor if you need additional instruction. It’s simply not worth the risk.
3. Test Equipment Prior to Use
Equipment malfunctions can cause injury or even death, so always test tools prior to use. Whether a coworker instrument used it incorrectly or it experienced an internal glitch, you do not want to find out the hard way that the machine needs to be repaired.
4. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Some people can zone out on the job, and simply complete their work on autopilot. Construction workers cannot afford to be absentminded. Pay close attention to your surroundings from the time you enter a work site until the time you exit. From the people, to the machinery to the conditions, construction sites are filled with moving pieces and unforeseen issues. When something unexpected does occur, situational awareness can be the difference between life and death.
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