Staying Safe on the Construction Job

Did you know that over 2.2 million people are employed by UK’s construction industry? Over three thousand people have died due to injuries from construction jobs and many thousands have been injured while working on different sites. This is the same all around the globe. The reasons why so many construction workers injure themselves are numerous. Some fall through roofs, from ladders and scaffolding. Others have been hit by falling debris, lifts and dumpers.

Firstly, it is very important to wear the right kind of clothing. Protective equipment such as gloves, goggles and helmets are necessary to prevent injury. When at the construction site, avoid wearing very loose clothes. You should try and wear uniforms that cover most of your body. Protecting your ears is also a good idea because the noise levels can get quite high. If your hair is long, tie it up so that it will not interfere with your work or get into your eyes while you are working.

If you are a supervisor ensure that the site is free of asbestos and lead. Both are very dangerous to health. Employees should be adequately trained so they are aware of safety precautions to be taken. They must also know how to use certain tools and equipments. Wrong usage is often the cause for injury. The employees must be encouraged to report any unsafe condition on the site. They must also inform the supervisor of any medication that they are on, due to illness. When exposed to toxic chemicals or a lot of dust it is advisable to wear respiratory equipment. Wearing of jewelry should be prohibited on the site.

Supervisors and workers alike must keep the work site free of loose material, tools, lumber, pipes that are not in use. While using hand tools, you must only use the right tools for the purpose at hand. Faulty equipments must be reported and not used until repaired. If a worker is unsure on how to use a tool, he can read the manufacturer’s instructions to get a better understanding. After the tools are used, it must be safely stored in the correct place.

Fire extinguishing equipment should be kept in a visible spot. Employees must be told where the units are located. Cigarettes, matches and flammable liquids should be kept far away from the construction site. When using refueling material ensure that you clean up any spills. Even the rags or cloth used should be safely stored until the next use. When using ladders, use approved ladders of good quality. Rubber-soled shoes will give you a better footing. When carrying the ladder from one place to another keep it parallel to the ground and then hoisted it should be three feet above the top spot. Even if it is a relatively easy climb, use both hands.

Three Steps to Improve Construction Site Safety

There are three major issues that every construction site faces when working with water safety. These are regulated by most communities as well as the Environmental Protection Agency. To protect the water supply surrounding a construction site, measure must be taken to control contaminated wastewater runoff, sediment control, and erosion control. Each of these can be harmful to the environment.

Contaminated runoff control

There are many chemical substances that can enter the waste water runoff coming from an active construction site. These may include: motor oil (from heavy machinery that may leak), gasoline, paint, paint thinners, or other noxious chemicals. These spill should be cleaned up and the contaminated soil properly disposed of immediately by a trained construction worker following already established HAZ-MAT guidelines. If these chemicals enter the water that runs off of the site, the result can be contamination of the water supply for the community at large and/or kill plants or animals living in or around the streams, rivers, lakes, etc.

Sediment control

When grading of a site occurs, the underlying and newly exposed layers of soil are especially prone to be carried away with any water that passes over the surface. In wet months or rainy climates, this is of a greater concern. Sediment can change the dynamics of the neighboring streams, rivers and lakes and can harm the flow of water over time. These artificial sedimentary dams can be quite harmful to the environment as a whole and care should be taken to protect newly graded land from being washed away, especially during rainy seasons when excessive water runoff can wreck havoc on the drainage. Street flooding around construction sites can be caused by improper preventative measures being taken or an inlet filter system that is not being properly maintained.

Erosion control

Along with the problem of water carrying excess sediment, causing damming or changing the face of the water system, the opposite can occur. Construction grading activities and a rainstorm can cause the newly graded soil to erode. This could potentially cause a need for added fill dirt or re-grading the soil.

Each of these activities are inter-related in their eventual effects on the environment and each can be addressed using a very effective tool, an inlet filter, which will filter sediment, can control and contain contaminant chemicals and collect debris from runoff that naturally happens at a construction site. These filters are cost effective solutions to a significant problem for active construction sites.