This article will outline the essential items required for safety when working on construction sites.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is the first line of defense for construction workers against potential hazards. PPE includes items such as hard hats, safety goggles, earplugs or earmuffs, respirators, gloves, and safety shoes. Employers are required by law to provide workers with the appropriate PPE for the job site, and workers are expected to wear them at all times.
Hard hats protect the head from falling objects and impact from stationary objects such as beams or pipes. Safety goggles shield the eyes from dust, debris, and flying particles. Earplugs or earmuffs protect the ears from excessive noise or loud sound, while respirators protect against inhaling hazardous substances such as chemicals, dust, or fumes. Gloves protect the hands from cuts, bruises, or exposure to chemicals, while safety shoes with steel toes prevent falling objects and heavy equipment from injuring the feet.
Fall Protection Equipment
Falls from height are one of the leading causes of construction site injuries and fatalities. Fall protection equipment includes harnesses, lanyards, lifelines, and anchors. Employers must provide fall protection equipment to workers working at the height of six feet or more above ground level.
A full-body harness is worn by the worker and attached to an anchor point using a lanyard. The lifeline is a rope or cable attached to the harness and anchored at the top of the structure. It is used to prevent workers from falling if they lose their footing. Anchors are the fixed points where the lifeline is attached, and they must be able to support the weight of the worker.
Scaffolding is a temporary structure used to support workers and materials during construction. Scaffolds must be designed and erected by qualified personnel and inspected before each use. Scaffold planks must be made of durable material and strong enough to support the weight of the workers and materials.
Guardrails should be installed on all open sides and ends of the scaffold to prevent workers from falling. There must be toe boards on all sides of the scaffold to prevent tools and materials from falling off. Scaffolding should also have adequate access and egress points, such as stairways or ladders.
Fire is another potential hazard on construction sites, and workers must be prepared to respond quickly in case of a fire. Fire extinguishers must be located in easily accessible areas throughout the job site, and workers should know how to use them. The fire extinguisher required will depend on the type of fire that could occur.
Class A fire extinguishers are suitable for fires that involve paper, wood, or other combustible materials. In contrast, Class B fire extinguishers are ideal for fires resulting from flammable liquids such as gasoline or oil. On the other hand, class C fire extinguishers are perfect for fires that involve electrical equipment, and Class D fire extinguishers are suitable for combustible metal fires such as magnesium or sodium.
First Aid Kits
Accidents can happen on construction sites, and there need to be first aid kits to treat injuries immediately after they happen. The kits should be placed in a safe and easily accessible place, and workers must know how to use them. First aid kits should include bandages, gauze, adhesive tape, and an antiseptic solution.