Safety in construction is important to the team here at Rinehardt Injury Attorneys. Below are the top 5 causes of construction injuries in OSHA Construction Reporting and the most important measures for injury prevention:
Cause #1: Falling from Heights
Safety in construction solution: Of course, the most effective way to protect workers from the risk of injury from falls is to work from the ground wherever possible. Complete activities at ground level wherever possible. For example, use prefabrication methods and tools with extendable handles.
When working from steep heights is a necessity, four basic components of fall protection include:
- Proper worker training.
- Appropriate selection of equipment for the specific work environment.
- Ensuring that all equipment is properly fitted.
- Having frequent equipment inspections.
Cause #2: Trench Collapse
Safety in construction solution: Plan to place equipment a safe distance away from the trench opening and locate all utilities. Water and soil make mud, so always be extra cautious during and after rainstorms. Beware of low oxygen and toxic fumes. Never assume you have time to move out of the way if a collapse starts.
- Move extra excavation materials at least 2 feet away from the trench.
- Remove personnel from the edge of the trench who are not working on it.
- Keep all equipment away from the site to prevent cave-ins and blunt force trauma.
- Do not enter trenches that have not been reinforced or inspected at the start of the day or after a rainstorm.
- Do not work under suspended loads.
- Never start digging till all underground utilities in the area have been accounted for.
- Keep materials and soil piles at least 2 feet away from the edges.
- Make sure air tests are carried out if the trench is more than 4 feet deep. Oxygen deprivation is the second leading cause of fatalities in unregulated trenches.
- Evacuate the trench immediately if you smell a strange odor or see rainwater accumulating at the bottom.
Cause #3: Collapsed Scaffolding
Safety in construction solution: To prevent scaffolding from falling provide an access ladder. Only use scaffold-grade lumber. Install guardrails and toe boards on all scaffolding 10 or more feet above the ground. Make sure the scaffold can support four times the maximum intended load (including the weight of the scaffold).
- Inspect Scaffolding Before Use.
- Adhere to Guidelines.
- Train Workers Properly.
- Ensure Scaffold Stability.
- Use the Proper Safety Equipment.
- Know the Load Capacity.
- Beware of Power Lines.
- Stay Organized.
Cause #4: Electric Shock
Safety in construction solution: Use lock-out/tag-out practices to ensure that circuits are de-energized before servicing equipment. Ensure all electrical equipment is properly grounded or double insulated. Inspect tools prior to use and check extension and power cords for wear and tear. If damaged, remove the equipment from service.
The more aware you are, the lesser the risk of danger. Follow these preventative measures to protect yourself from electrocution:
- Be aware of overhead power lines and keep a safe distance.
- Use ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI).
- Check tools and extension cords for cuts, abrasions, and damaged insulation.
- Do not use power tools and equipment in a way it was not designed for.
- Follow procedures for lockout/tagout.
- Receive proper training.
Cause #5: Failure to Use Appropriate Protective Gear
Safety in construction solution: Involve employees in discussions concerning what specific protective gear brands, colors, and models to purchase since they will be the ones using it during the workday. Ask employees how their protective gear is working for them and what recommendations they have for the next time you are purchasing more. Address complaints promptly and keep open communication with employees to provide the most comfortable and appealing equipment possible.
- Create a Company Culture of Safety. Creating a company culture in which the health and safety of all employees are a priority will instill an internal motivation in workers to wear protective gear.
- Conduct a Hazard Analysis.
- Carry out regular protective gear training.
- Choose the right protective gear.
- Enforce Your Policy.