Tips for Staying Safe On the Job
These safety tips will make sure that you get home every night safe and sound and with all ten fingers.
Jobsite safety tips
Construction sites are inherently dangerous. Anytime you gather large power equipment, sharp tools, and lots of workers in close quarters, accidents are bound to happen. That doesn't mean that they can't be prevented, though. Here are a few safety tips to make sure that you make it home safe every night with all your digits intact.
Put the phones away
Construction sites are not a good place to be around if your mind is wandering. Cell phones are a major distraction for most people, so it’s best to keep that mobile device in your pocket with the ringer off. Better yet, leave it in your truck. You wouldn’t operate heavy machinery or dangerous tools while intoxicated, right? Well, studies show that texting has the same effect on your ability to perform a task as being drunk.
Protect your digits
Did you know that toes are in contact with the ground 75% of the time you’re walking and that they are the most important part of your feet when it comes to balance? So unless you want to lose your toes, invest in steel-toed or composite-toed boots! Composite-toe boots are becoming more and more popular because they provide the same, if not better, protection as steel-toed boots while being lighter and warmer.
Drink more water
Did you know that more than 40 percent of heat-related worker deaths occur in the construction industry? Water is cheap. If you are the boss, make sure your workers have enough water on site every day. On super hot days, the Department of Labor recommends four cups of water every hour.
Good posture helps
A day on construction site can leave your back sore and your body aching. Maintaining good posture can go a long way towards keeping your body in better shape. The less pain your body is in, the better you can concentrate on doing a great job on the task at hand. Egoscue exercises take very little time and are a great way to keep your body aligned.
Run cords along the building
Kicking your extension cords against the building is a good habit to get into. Cords next to the building won’t get tripped on, stomped into the mud or trapped under the next delivery of trusses. They should also last longer if they’re not always being walked on, rolled over with wheelbarrows, or frequently crushed by 10-ton equipment.
Don't forget the SPF
Skin cancer is no joke. Unfortunately for many in the construction industry the sun is pretty much impossible to avoid. Just a little bit of sunscreen can help, though. According to skincancer.org, regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen can reduce risk of melanoma and other skin diseases by up to 50%. Keep lotion on the job site!
Prepare for the worst
When it comes to safety, it’s always better to be over-prepared than underprepared. Nicks, cuts and worse happen on jobsites all the time, so always have a first aid kit in your truck, trailer or toolbox.
Maintain a three-point grip
When you're climbing a scaffold or a ladder, always maintain a three-point grip. That means that one hand and two feet, or one foot and two hands, should stay in contact with scaffold or rungs at all times. Keep your body as close to the frame as possible. Leaning way out could cause the whole works to tip over right on top of you. And never climb on the cross braces; they're not designed to handle the weight.
Turn down the tunes
Don’t work with the radio so loud that you can't hear others nearby. You don’t want to be thinking you're all alone, swinging lumber and ladders around with no regard for the people around you, only to find that there was a guy behind you- you just couldn't hear him before you cracked him in the head with a 2x4.
Bend over nails right away
Any time you’re working on a demo job it is incredibly important that exposed nails get bent over so that no one steps on or gets snagged by one. All it takes is one pointy nail sticking from a piece of wood to give someone a flat tire or a punctured foot. Plus, bending nails over makes carrying and throwing away old boards both easier and safer.
Park on one side of the street
Have all the workers park on one side of the street so that anyone driving by does not have to run a skinny gauntlet of parked vehicles. This will both keep the neighbors happy and make it less likely that you’ll get run over while grabbing something out of your truck.
Clean it up!
Prevent trip hazards and make a good impression on the homeowner or general contractor by keeping the jobsite clutter-free during the day. Then, pick up the jobsite every night before leaving. Any tripping hazards will be easier to spot in the afternoon than they will be with blurry, pre-coffee eyes the next morning.