On construction sites, worker safety is everything. Rigorous codes exist that aim to protect the safety of workers in the construction industry but ultimately, the safety of workers lies in the actions taken by employers and employees. Fewer accidents happen on construction sites where employers are dedicated to protecting workers by ensuring the highest quality of equipment is used and all workers receive high-quality training.
#1. Provide Crane Training
For all workers involved in the use of cranes or other lifting equipment–including managers, operators and inspectors–crane training courses are essential in establishing a set protocol that will lead to safe operation of the equipment. After completing a crane training course, employees will receive a certification or qualification. Often, the certification or qualification expires after a period of two years, so make sure that employees keep their skills current by attending crane training every other year.
#2. Use High Quality Material Handling Equipment
Proper material handling is essential for both the safety of workers and the protection of the materials being transported. Material handling is an umbrella term and encompasses equipment used to store, pack, lift and move materials. Materials handling equipment should all be of high quality. From equipment as simple as stretch-wrap to larger equipment like dock equipment, a malfunction on any level of the material handling spectrum can lead to costly and dangerous results.
#3. Use High Quality Rigging Equipment
Another safety measure to help protect employees is making sure rigging equipment is high-quality and secured. Multiple workers should always check to ensure that the rigging capacity is greater than the load to be carried. Accidents can occur if the rigging or components being used are too weak. Chain hoists are sometimes used when lifting or lowering especially heavy loads by a drum or lift wheel. Equipment should be relatively new, and always inspected before use on the job.
#4. Enroll Employees in Industrial Rescue Courses
Industrial rescue courses are an important measure that employers can take to help ensure their workers would know what to do in the unlikely case of an industrial emergency. Even though no one ever plans on disastrous circumstances on job sites, it is essential that workers are prepared to deal with adverse conditions should they arise. Industrial rescue aims to train workers how to perform rescues in confined or isolated spaces and covers topics such as mechanical advantage, regulations overview and hauling systems.
#5. Address Fall Protection Through Equipment and Training
Fall protection equipment and training are some of the most essential safety precautions for construction sites. Depending on the industry, OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires that fall protection to be provided at various heights. For heights of six feet or higher on construction sites, workers are required to use fall protection equipment. Fall protection training courses primarily instruct construction employees on how to identify potential hazards and then take preventative measures before any unsafe circumstances arise.
Every construction site presents different hazards and risks that need to be carefully considered by site managers and overseers to ensure the safety of workers is accounted for.