At a construction site, every worker and supervisor should be aware of the risks they face on a daily basis. The dangers can come from a number of sources, from working in high or tight spaces to handling heavy equipment and chemicals. Preventing safety hazards on the job site should be a high priority.

Proper Equipment

When handling tools, machinery, or hazardous materials, workers must use proper equipment for the job to protect themselves from danger. Sometimes, to save time or steps, a worker will substitute another tool for the correct tool designed to do the job. This puts everyone at risk. The incorrect tool could break or lack the protective guards necessary for the task.

Working without personal protective equipment (PPE) is another priority. Neglecting to wear hard hats, safety goggles, ear plugs, gloves, masks, boots, or harnesses when necessary can lead to serious injury. These items should be readily available for workers at each job site.

Mandatory Safety Standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) is charged with overseeing workplace safety. OSHA enforces stringent safety standards for businesses in every industry.  Representatives from OSHA may schedule periodic inspections to ensure that the standards are met. Workers can also appeal to OSHA if they believe a serious hazard exists at their workplace.

To further reduce risks, construction companies should develop safety policies based on OSHA’s standards and tailored to the specific type of work that they do. All supervisors and workers should be expected to learn and follow proper procedures. Posting signs at the work site can raise awareness and prevent accidents.

Worker Training

While all workers receive training before they are permitted to use machinery or equipment, regular refreshers and continuing education can enhance skills and increase understanding of safety measures. This is especially important as tools and machinery continue to advance in technology.

Construction companies should provide continuing education or training units and require workers to complete a minimum level of advanced training, learn new skills, or qualify for certifications. This benefits both the company and the employee, and ultimately can lead to better safety on the job.

It is possible to reduce exposure to safety hazards at a construction site through preventative measures. Owners, managers, and supervisors should take the lead to ensure the workplace meets safety standards and workers follow correct procedures at all times.
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