Prevent Injuries At Construction Sites By Following Safety Guidelines
When you are working on residential construction projects, it is essential to use good safety practices to prevent injuries or deaths. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration can provide a list of safety tips for the owners of companies that offer new construction or renovation services to customers in Texas. If you are building a new home or having an older home remodeled, then it is important to hire a contractor who uses the appropriate OSHA guidelines. In some cases, a property owner is considered liable when a construction worker is injured while constructing or renovating a home. In addition, you also need to protect neighbors and pedestrians from any type of injury while they are traveling past the construction area.
Common Types of Construction Site Injuries
There is an assortment of safety rules that you should use when constructing or remodeling a home, and you must verify that a construction company is following proper OSHA protocols.
1: Prevent Falling Injuries By Using the Correct Safety Equipment
Most construction injuries occur when a worker falls, but it is possible to prevent this problem by using the correct safety equipment. It is important to use a ladder or scaffolding that is in top-notch condition. When setting up scaffolding and ladders, the devices should be placed on a sturdy and level surface. To avoid electrocution, place the metal ladders and scaffolding away from wires and cables. The experts at OSHA require homebuilders to have fall protection devices near these locations:
• Hoisting areas
• Unprotected edges
• Wall openings
This is only a partial list of places for fall protection equipment because an inspector from OHSA may require additional safety devices at a construction site. A contractor should teach her employees how to climb on scaffolding and ladders to prevent a fall. Experts recommend wearing helmets along with having safety straps while using scaffolding, and in some cases, these items are also appropriate while using a ladder.
2: Using Construction Vehicles Correctly
Being caught between vehicles or objects is another common way that construction workers are injured while they are working on a residential project. This typically occurs from vehicles that are used on the construction site, including bulldozers, dump trucks and forklifts. Additional crushing or impact injuries on constructions sites include having heavy objects such as metal or wooden beams fall onto a worker. By using vehicles and lifting equipment correctly, construction workers are less likely to incur an injury. The vehicles at a residential construction location must have multiple types of braking systems to protect workers, including:
• Parking brake
• Emergency brake
• Service brake
In addition, the construction site’s vehicles should have a manual audible warning system. Inspectors from OHSA also verify that vehicles have working windshield wipers, doors and windows. The drivers of the construction site’s vehicles must have a clear view from all of the windows, including the rear window.
3: Using Caution Around Electrical Wires and Cables
The workers at a residential construction site frequently use power tools and large equipment that requires electrical power. Not only should the employees understand how to use nail guns, saws and other electrically powered tools, but also, they must understand how to avoid power lines and cables. Electrocution from electrical devices is another leading cause of injuries at constructions sites. It is possible to receive an electrical shock while sitting inside a vehicle and driving over a cable, or occasionally, an electrical wire can spark when someone is near it, leading to death. The combination of moisture and electricity is also dangerous because water can transmit an electrical charge. OSHA experts suggest that construction site managers have frequent meetings with employees concerning the dangers of electricity. In addition, all electrical items at a construction site must have legible labeling and signs. In some geographic locations, OSHA recommends having signs and labels in multiple languages.
4: Preventing Fires and Explosions At Residential Construction Sites
A fire or explosion can occur at a residential construction site because workers use chemicals and electrical devices during the building process. It is important to have a locked cabinet for any chemicals or combustibles that are used at the construction site. Employees should never transfer chemicals into different containers or mix several substances together. Certain chemicals must remain separated to prevent explosions from a buildup of fumes. In addition to making sure that there are no fires or explosions at the construction site, there is a danger from fumes that can lead to dizziness or unconsciousness. Construction site managers should have fire extinguishers available in several locations so that a worker can extinguish flames quickly.
5: Training Meetings and Written Guidelines
To prevent injuries at residential construction sites, managers should have a written plan in place for employee training and emergency situations. To avoid any problems at residential construction sites some of the guidelines to consider include:
• Integrating safety rules as part of a worker’s job
• Making workers accountable for their dangerous behavior
• Creating safety standards during the project planning process
• Verifying that workers are trained properly
• Having fall protection devices according to OSHA standards
• Making sure that employees are not using drugs or drinking alcohol
• Discussing the safety guidelines with employees each day
• Inspecting equipment along with watching workers closely
• Installing barrier systems to protect pedestrians in the area
• Having a clean and organized construction site
In addition, a residential construction site manager should make sure that workers wear goggles, steel-toe boots, hard hats and highly visible garments.
Jessica Kane is a writer for OSHA Campus Online, a provider of affordable advance online OSHA training courses that are accepted nationwide!