Two Critical Components of Construction Worker Safety

Material handling

Maintaining a safe working environment on the job is imperative. Safety for employees and other people should always be number one. On a construction site, workers can be put into precarious situations in order to complete their job. Safety materials, hardware, and training is often required to guarantee a level of safety within this type of environment. According to OSHA requirements, fall safety measures must be present in elevations of over four feet in general workplaces. This can increase to five feet in shipyards, six feet in construction sites, and eight feet in longshores or ports. The three step process for OSHA safety standards, specifically involving dangerous falls, are plan, provide, and train. As a result of these careful safety measures, material handling, and training, worker related injuries and illnesses have gone down substantially. This is comparing 10.9 cases out of 100 workers in 1974, to 3.4 cases out of 100 workers in 2011.

1. Fall Protection

Safety standards when it comes to workers in construction and material handling includes protection in the event of a fall. There are many things that can aid these standards. These would include fall protection equipment such at nets, harnesses, ropes, and guards. Safety nets are often used in situations where a worker is up very high and scaffolding has not been installed yet. Fall protection courses are also available to teach workers how to identify any safety hazards, and what to do in such an event. A person can fall seven feet in 2/3 of a second, so the absence of safety equipment and training can have consequences. All protection measures should be tested frequently as well, to ensure that everything is working the way it should.

2. Material Handling Equipment

Personal safety equipment is important, but so is proper equipment for material handling. On a construction site, there are dangers in lifting, placing, and generally working with large parts of material. These are a variety of ropes and slings used to lift heavy materials, based on what exactly the material is and the total weight. Wire rope, web slings, chain slings, along with crane services, should all be approved and inspected to make sure they are not damaged or overused. Following important guidelines in material handling when using this type of lifting equipment can prevent accidents in dropping material.

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