By Joel Levy
Every week at least one person is killed on a construction site in the United Kingdom, but the truth is that various simple measures can prevent this.
We all know that construction has its dangers with hazardous chemicals, falling objects and damaging noise levels however; there are many different pieces of equipment that can literally save your life.
From personal protective clothing to lifesaving tools, here are the top 10 safety essentials that you MUST use/wear when working on a construction site:
1. Hard hat
It goes without saying that objects can become loose or accidently dropped at a great height. A hard hat can protect your head from falling objects, but it must be reinforced on top and fit your head properly.
The law requires you to wear head protection whilst on a construction site, as on almost all sites there are situations where head injuries could happen. Suitable head protection should be in good condition, fit you properly, and only be bought from a reputable supplier.
A lanyard arrest system or harness should be worn when working from a mobile platform. A risk assessment should be done and the appropriate measures chosen to reduce the consequences of a fall.
3. Ear protection
Continuous noise at around 85-90 decibels can really damage your hearing, so it’s imperative that you wear appropriate hearing protection be it in the form of ear plugs or earmuffs. However, it’s equally as important that you can still hear warning signals like a fire alarm ringing.
4. Hi-visibility clothing
When heavy equipment vehicles are used on site, it’s crucial that all workers can be seen at all times to avoid an accident. You can do this in the form of a reflective jacket or hi-viz waistcoat, as well as hi-visibility trousers. Make sure you appear noticeable, even when it is raining heavily.
5. Rubbish disposal
Did you know that many accidents occur on construction sites simply through mess? There needs to be clear access to the site and workers should be able to access their work safely. Therefore the site needs to be tidy and rubbish disposed of properly.
Loose nails and abandoned coils of wire can get trapped and lodged in heavy equipment machinery and cause a lot of damage.
6. Guard rail/toe board
According to the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE), a self-employed painter was killed when he fell from the first lift of a scaffold. There was no intermediate guard rail or toe board. Make sure there are double guard rails and toe boards or other protection at every edge to prevent an accident.
7. Eye protection
Airborne materials and dust are very common on construction sites due to various jobs like drilling. You need to protect your eyes with strong goggles or a face shield.
Your hands go through a lot on a daily basis and in construction they are exposed to various chemicals, hazardous equipment and much more. They are just as at risk of getting hurt as your head and eyes, so protect them with gloves and gauntlets.
9. Steel toe capped boots
A falling beam or drill can do serious damage to your foot, especially if you aren’t wearing proper boots. Steel toe capped boots can save your big toe from getting spiked by a sharp falling object. If you are going up ladders, you may need to change into lighter shoes.
10. Fire extinguisher
It goes without saying that there are many different flammable materials, liquids and gases on site. Make sure they are properly stored in a ventilated area and that all smoking is banned in or around where the flammable material is stored. What’s more, there needs to be a suitable fire extinguisher on site.
So there you have the top 10 safety essentials for a construction site. It’s crucial that you wear correct clothing and use appropriate equipment because it really could save your life.
Don’t believe us? A driver was killed when his trousers got stuck in a rotating core barrel he was using. If he’d used the right tools for the job and worn suitable attire, it could have been a different matter.
This article was provided by safetywearworld.co.uk. Safety Wear World has written numerous articles on home improvement, DIY and health and safety in the workplace.