Last Updated on December 2, 2021 by Construction Digest
What would you say if I told you one of the two leading causes of construction site fatalities is being hit by an object?
How about that the second leading cause of fatal injuries on construction sites is falls from elevation?
Sadly, this is true.
While there are many hazards present at any job site, its always best to remove as many risks as possible. Take precautions before it’s too late.
Here are 17 tips for helping to make your job site a much safer place to work.
1) Staying focused
Put away phone or any distractions. Full focus should be on the task at hand.
All it takes is one mistake can send an entire construction site in chaos. Work related tasks should be prioritized at all times.
2) Head protection is a must
Construction workers are often exposed to falling objects, flying particles or simply low hanging debris from ceilings and rafters.
The risk of head injuries is very high if you don’t have the proper equipment to protect your head. In many job sites, hardhats are mandatory gear but even this might not be enough to save you from serious head trauma or death – which brings us to our next point:
3) Wear fall protection equipment when working at elevated levels
It’s a best practice for construction workers to use safety harnesses with a lanyard attached whenever they’re at elevated heights. Consider using treble hooks so you can quickly secure yourself as well as easily release yourself if you need to.
4) Know how to use your tools properly
Every tradesman should know the proper way of using each and every tool that’s required for them to do their job properly.
Whether its a saw, hammer or drill – keep in mind that these are highly dangerous machines that can cause injury if handled incorrectly.
5) Watch your step
It’s easy to become distracted when working on a project but never take your eyes off the floor! Always be aware of where you’re stepping especially if there are cords, hoses or cables present at the work area.
If you accidentally trip, you might not be able to control your descent causing serious injuries.
6) Keep children away from construction sites
If there are kids playing at a construction site – then they should never be left unattended.
Obviously, this is a rule for all indoor and outdoor locations but the stakes are much higher on a work site because of all the dangers present such as heavy equipment, tools, materials and hazardous substances.
7) Know your surroundings
If you don’t know where you’re going or what’s coming from where – stop moving until you have a good understanding of the area around you.
Never assume that it’s safe to walk behind another worker just because they’re busy working across from you. Make sure there aren’t any holes in the ground or low hanging objects before proceeding forward to ensure safety.
If you accidentally injure someone else while moving about the work site, the liability could fall upon you.
8) Maintain good communication
It’s important to let other workers know what your current location is and where you’re potentially moving next.
If communicating verbally isn’t possible, use hand signals, whistles or even bells to keep everyone aware of your whereabouts at all times.
9) Don’t overload yourself
When lifting heavy loads, never try to do it alone. Always have a buddy nearby to help assist with the weight.
It’s much better if there are two pairs of eyes on a job than just one because mistakes happen when we least expect them.
Remember that being overworked could lead to sprains, strains, bruises as well as broken bones thus creating a hazardous work environment for those around you.
10) Don’t be afraid to stop working
If there’s any equipment or machine that doesn’t seem quite right – don’t use it until you’ve thoroughly inspected and identified the problem.
It’s better to take a break and contact an expert than it is to push yourself and end up receiving major injuries.
11) Act quickly in case of emergencies
It’s important to stay calm when handling emergency situations but it takes too long for first responders or paramedics to locate workers on construction sites if they aren’t given proper locations.
Make sure you’re aware of all emergency exits as well as fire extinguishers, first aid kits and telephones available at your work location.
12) Keep your tools close by
Properly storing your tools will not only make the work place safer but it will also keep you from wasting time searching for them.
Always return tools to their designated storage areas after use and report missing equipment to your manager right away.
13) Use proper clothing
Safety gear is required on every construction site but that doesn’t mean everyone needs to look alike!
When wearing hard hats, always ensure it’s the right fit by testing out chin straps as well as being able to sit on top of your head without falling over.
Also remember to wear shoes with slip resistant soles so there won’t be any accidental falls.
14) Never rush or push yourself
It’s easy to become ambitious when faced with a lot of work but rushing about haphazardly could cause serious injuries not only to yourself but your co-workers as well.
Always make sure you’ve taken the proper safety precautions by wearing protective gear and following all rules before beginning a task.
15) Stay away from open doors and windows
Never cross under ladders or through doorways that are obstructed by open doors or broken windows because it could cause immediate injury.
Only pass through spaces that are clear of objects, people and other obstructions.
16) Keep a well-balanced diet
When our blood sugar gets low, we lose our ability to concentrate and focus so it’s important to have a balanced diet throughout the day.
Remember that caffeine and energy drinks will only give you a temporary boost which could lead to dangerous circumstances.
In addition, always remember to drink plenty of water at work as dehydration can be just as hazardous as malnutrition.
17) Keep good company
Your safety is directly related to those around you – choose your co-workers wisely because their behavior has an impact on your own!
By keeping positive influences around you who encourage proper work etiquette , this will go a long way towards creating a safe job environment for everyone.