Construction sites are statistically one of the most dangerous places to work. According to the International Labor Organization, there are at least 108 thousand fatal work injuries in the construction industry—representing 30 percent of all occupational injuries. That’s nearly 3 to 6 times riskier than other occupations.
Despite these statistics, several safety tools and practices can mitigate the dangers inherent in construction work. By implementing these tools and practices on your construction site, you can create a safer work environment for your employees and help protect your business from potential lawsuits.
First Aid Kits
A first aid kit is one of the construction site’s most essential safety tools. Accidents happen, and when they do, it’s crucial to have a first aid kit nearby to help treat minor injuries.
A typical first aid kit should include bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relief medication, and more. First aid kits are inexpensive and can be easily purchased online or at most drugstores. However, you can also create your own first aid kit.
Depending on your company’s size and the scope of your construction projects, you may need more than one first aid kit. Having a first aid kit in each of your company vehicles and on each construction site is a good idea. That way, no matter where an accident happens, there will always be a first aid kit close by.
Another essential safety tool for construction sites is a fire extinguisher. With all the potentially flammable materials on a construction site, it’s vital to have a fire extinguisher readily available in an emergency.
You can purchase fire extinguishers online or at most hardware stores. When selecting a fire extinguisher, be sure to choose one that is appropriate for the type of fire that could potentially occur on your construction site. For example, if you work with flammable liquids, you will need a water-based fire extinguisher.
It’s also essential to ensure that your fire extinguishers are properly serviced and updated. Fire extinguishers must be recharged after use, and the rechargeable canister should be replaced every 5 to 10 years. By staying on top of your fire extinguishers’ maintenance, you can be sure that they will work properly in the event of a fire.
Lifting and Rigging
Not all the safety tools that you need for your construction site will be used to directly prevent or treat injuries. Some of them, such as lifting and rigging equipment, are necessary to help ensure that your employees can safely perform their jobs. Several reports show that lifting and rigging accidents are some of the most common construction site accidents.
When working with heavy materials, it’s crucial to have the proper lifting and rigging equipment. It would be best if you had reliable rigging blocks and tackles, chains, slings, and other lifting accessories. Some of this equipment can be rented from local construction supply stores, but you may also need to purchase some for your company. This equipment should be regularly inspected and serviced to ensure that it is in good working condition.
If you are unsure what kind of lifting and rigging equipment you need for your construction site, several online resources can help. You can also consult with a safety specialist to ensure that you have the proper equipment for the job. With it, you can help reduce the likelihood of injuries caused by lifting and moving heavy objects.
Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment, or PPE, is another critical safety tool for construction sites. PPE includes hard hats, safety glasses, gloves, and more. Other safety tools, such as fall protection equipment and breathing masks, can be considered PPE.
It’s best to ensure that your employees are adequately trained on using PPE before they begin work on a construction site. Employees should also be regularly reminded to wear PPE while they are working. That’s because PPE is only effective if it’s used correctly and consistently. If not, it can actually do more harm than good.
Most construction companies are required to provide PPE for their employees. However, even if your company is not legally required to provide PPE, it’s still a good idea. Providing PPE for your employees shows that you care about their safety and well-being. Doing so can help create a safety culture on your construction site.
By outfitting your construction site with these safety tools, you can be confident that you are taking the necessary precautions to protect your employees and avoid potential accidents. There are many more safety tools and practices available. Still, the above items should be considered essential for any construction site.