A Comprehensive Look at Construction Safety

A Comprehensive Look at Construction Safety

4 min read

Every time you step onto a construction site, there are countless hazards that you can come across in just a matter of seconds. That is why construction safety is not something that should be taken without serious diligence and precaution. Whether you are working on a commercial or residential site, or if you are working on a road, demolition, excavation or any other type of construction workplace, taking safety into consideration must be your first priority. Here is a comprehensive look into construction safety and why it can mean the difference between life and death if not given proper attention.

Causes of Injury

In 2012, 4,383 people were killed on construction sites. The math on that shows that nearly 12 deaths occur every single day around the nation. That number is incredibly high, especially when you consider the prevention that you can take to avoid death or serious injury. Of that number of people who were fatally injured in 2012, their deaths most commonly fell into one of four categories. This includes falls, being struck by an object, electrocutions, or being caught in between two objects. Falls made up for nearly 36% of all deaths, which is the most of the four categories. Second was being struck by an object, 10%, followed by electrocution and caught in between objects, 9% and 2% respectively. You will notice that that doesn’t add up to quite 100%, but keep in mind that the remaining injuries that result in death are caused by other factors. But nearly 56% of all total injuries come from one of these four construction incidents.

It is estimated that by being more prepared and cautious in the workplace, over 400 construction workers could prevent injury on an annual basis. While some workplace issues are still likely to occur, there is no denying that the potential of these four categories should be the first thing considered on a construction site.

Importance Of Prevention

The reasons that construction sites should be concerned with their safety range from the obvious to the mandatory. For example, when considering the fact that the lives of people are continually on the line on the worksite, their livelihood should be of the utmost importance. However, it is also worthy to note that some 50,000 inspections happen on a daily basis from state officials and nearly 40,000 inspections occur annually from federal officials.

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These officials look for general safety hazards that may be an issue in the workplace, as well as other requirements that are mandatory from government officials. Most commonly, construction sites can refer to OSHA guidelines for finding out what regulations are required for their specific type of workplace, as well as the best ways to prevent construction site injuries.

You can refer to these guidelines as quick links for guidance:

General Requirements
General Industry
Fall Protection
Wiring and Electrical

Injury Prevention

A great way to start preventing construction injuries is to refer to the links provided above. However, there are plenty of things that you can also do as an individual every time you step onto a construction site.

The first thing that you should consider is that it is very important to always be paying attention to where you are walking and what you are doing. Many times in the construction industry, you may think that hammering the drywall or wiring same electrical units can be the same thing every time you do it. However, each situation is different and you never know what you are going to come across. That is why it is vital that you are always paying attention and have your wits about you. While some construction accidents are unavoidable, you don’t want to be the reason something happens simply because you were careless or lacking adequate attention to detail.

The next thing that you should do on the construction site is prepare yourself to be safe. This means wearing a helmet, goggles, gloves, proper footwear and everything else that is expected on a worksite. Even if your workplace has an exceptional record of safety and does everything by the book, you cannot account for many of the potential dangers that happen on construction sites. It may seem tedious to always put on a hat when on a construction site, but it can quite literally mean the difference between life and death.

Lastly, keeping a construction site clean should be a priority that you must see to each day before leaving. When the bell rings and it’s time to go home, it can be enticing to simply drop your equipment and head home for the day. However, by keeping your construction site safe after hours, you promote better habits overall as a company. Furthermore, you never know who may need to head back to the construction site at night to get something they forgot, and if you didn’t clean up properly then the affects can be potentially fatal.
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Further Steps

Workplace safety is not just about the things that you do. Instead, it is also important to assure that your work is following the guidelines necessary for safety as well. If you feel as if your workplace could tighten up things around the site to make for a more safe environment, here are some suggestions to consider.

One thing that can be done is to make reference to the links suggested above for workplace safety. These rules and regulations can be place around your work so they are continually available for anyone to reference at any given time. Furthermore, these rules will remind people of the importance of construction site safety, as well as the potential hazards that can occur if the rules aren’t followed.

Another thing to consider to promote construction site safety is to have safety meetings and orientations that tell employees of proper protocol for workplace safety. You can use safety training DVD’s (like the ones found here) to help make the meetings more enticing and interesting. If the meetings aren’t properly delivered, employees may not be eager to participate. However, the dangers that come from not being safe should be enough to entice employees of the importance of safety. If they do not follow these rules, then the results could be potentially fatal.

No matter the type of workplace, safety should be a top priority for the employees involved. But this suggestion is even more valid when considering the importance of work safety on construction sites. As noted here, there are too many potential dangerous situations that can present themselves in the workplace. And the best way to avoid them is to consider the tips motioned here every time you step on a construction site.

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