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A Construction Worker’s Guide to Staying Safe at Work

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Workplace safety is not just about keeping everyone safe while at work, it’s also about protecting the company’s most valuable asset: the workers. Every employee who walks into a job site must consider workplace safety as a top priority, particularly those who spend a lot of their time dealing with or in close proximity to hazardous substances.

Construction workers, according to OSHA, face great risks every time they visit a job site, regardless of what their job description entails. To minimize the risk of injury or fatalities, construction workers must be aware of the various types of risks that they may be placed in during a job. Below is a general workplace safety guide intended for construction workers based on scenarios that they may commonly encounter at work:

1. Be conscious of falls.

Falls cause more injuries and death among constructions workers than any other workplace accidents, and is also the OSHA’s single biggest source of penalties in the construction industry. This makes fall protection an even more urgent problem that need to be addressed. For falls to be avoided, both the company and the worker have to do their respective jobs. It is the company’s responsibility to provide fall protection systems and equipment, and the worker’s responsibility to follow fall-prevention rules and protocols, and use the proper equipment at all times.

2. Be cautious when using machinery.

Serious injuries – even death – involving machinery can happen, and they can occur simply by slipping while trying to climb into or out of a machine or operating platform. Other injuries involving equipment and machinery have occurred when operators are in the way of falling debris, or when the said equipment interfere with overhead power lines. To avoid this, it is important for the machine operator to be fully comfortable and aware of his or her equipment, and to understand the safety boundaries that entail working in a certain area, especially when that particular area contains workers moving around on foot.

3. Keep safe when working in the “trenches”

For constructions workers, working in and around subterranean trenches is common. As such, certain safety rules and regulations must be followed in order to maintain their safety while in the trenches. These include reinforcing plates, providing escape ladders, and having specific rules on materials that are kept near the edges of trenches – regulations that should be imposed and followed by everyone in order to obtain total safety.

4. Understand the dangers of asbestos.

Asbestos can cause severe damage to a worker’s respiratory and pulmonary system when disturbed and inhaled. Thus, it is imperative that constructions workers be aware of the dangers of asbestos, as they are often faced with the risk of exposure to it. Being properly trained and obtaining a certificate from an asbestos safety course from an accredited workplace safety organization is a must, and can benefit both the worker and the company.

5. Be certified, and complete training.

At a bare minimum, construction workers should complete the 10 hour class provided by OSHA before even starting on a job. Those with more responsibilities can undergo the more modules and training. Workers who regularly get exposed to possibly hazardous substances should also undergo HAZWOPER training from OSHA accredited institutions.

Construction workers should put their safety in the workplace above everything else. By getting the necessary training and certification, injuries and deaths at the construction site can be avoided and significantly reduced.



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