Springtime brings with it a lot of new things: longer days, blooming flowers, singing birds... and construction season.
Whether you're brand new to the construction industry, or a seasoned pro, springtime is a good time to refresh your memory about ways to stay safe on the job. This is especially true if you'll be working on ladders, roofs or other elevated areas.
Plan - Provide - Train
Falls from heights are one of the biggest risks that construction workers face. Falls are the most common cause of construction worker deaths, and a leading cause of serious injury.
Every employer has a responsibility to ensure that workers have the training and equipment to stay safe on the job. When it comes to falls, the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration recommends a three-part strategy:
- Plan for safety: Before you start a job, be it a big one or a small one, make a safety plan. Evaluate the area and identify any potential hazards. Estimates should always include the cost of providing safety gear and the right tools for the job.
- Provide the right equipment: Anybody who will be working more than six feet off the ground should have fall protection gear. In addition, workers should be provided with the right tools to do the job safely, including appropriate ladders and scaffolding.
- Train everyone to be safe: Every worker should be trained on how to avoid falls and how to use their equipment safely. This is especially important when workers will be taking on new duties or using new tools.
Construction is a competitive business, and it can be tempting to move quickly or make do with the tools you have to get the job done. But this is never in anyone's best interest.
Take the time to be safe. If you notice a colleague behaving unsafely, speak up. You may end up saving their life.