Fall protection

5 Frequently Asked Fall Protection Questions Answered

Working in construction can be risky business; often having to work at considerable heights in order to get the job done. Thus, keeping yourself and employees safe in order to prevent costly lawsuits and provide peace of mind requires having to invest in reliable fall protection equipment for all involved.

Continue reading 5 Frequently Asked Fall Protection Questions Answered

Why Safety Checklist Save Lives?

If you’re in an industry where safety is an important concern, a safety checklist becomes a must. However, it’s something that can literally save lives when it comes to the construction industry.

Construction jobs tend to be very dangerous in nature to say the least. There are many hazards at a construction site that can very well lead to a disaster, and are hence best avoided.

It’s the contractor’s job to make sure potential risk factors are averted and a safe working environment is maintained, both before starting as well as during the work.

Importance of a Safety Checklist

A safety checklist can go a long way in improving the level of safety at the worksite, as well as reducing the chances of potential accidents. Ideally, the contractor should come up with one before even starting the work, in order to make sure they don’t miss identifying any of the potential risks.

This especially includes the risks that they may already be aware of, those that are believed to be common factors leading to accidents at other construction sites. Furthermore, a safety checklist can also be a great way to make sure that you, as a contractor, are complying with Work Health and Safety Regulations.

Let’s take a quick look at just some of the many important reasons why a safety checklist is an absolute must.

Risk Minimization

We have already talked about this above so we won’t go into details here. However, if you have been in the construction industry from even a short time, you definitely know the threats everyone working at a construction site is faced with.

The use of equipment such as cranes, saws and many other similar ones turns out to be a cause of many potential risks. A good safety checklist can help avoid these risks to a great extent, given that it’s ensured everyone follows it on a daily basis.

Reduced Costs

While it’s definitely not the primary reason to have a safety checklist, having one does reduce the overall costs of the project quite a bit. As accidents are very common at construction sites, it also means spending a heavy amount just on the recovery of workers as well as the damaged caused to the worksite. On top of that, the potential delays on the project that may result from a severe injury can also be harmful for your budget.

Lower Insurance Costs

This is kind of a hidden benefit of having safety checklists. While it may not seem a direct benefit, construction companies with a very good safety track record can get considerably lower insurance costs than others without an impressive safety track record. That undoubtedly is a vital parameter that you want to take into consideration when you are in charge of a construction project.

Fewer Legal  Disputes

As a continuation of the previous point, a solid safety checklist can save you from a lot of trouble when it comes to construction disputes. Having a detailed list with the various significant safety parameters ensures there will be no unpredicted disagreements over safety issues. Furthermore, in that manner you can be sure that you have done your best for the safety of your team. This is something indispensable for anyone who is working in construction and can be appreciated by those who work with you.

And a Couple of Challenges

When it comes to safety checklists, there is no doubt that project managers should be all for it. Nevertheless, there are a few challenges that have to be taken into account while building your checklist. We have listed the most crucial of them below:

Paperwork

Paperwork can be a serious pain when we are talking about safety checklist. There are so many different aspects that have to be considered and eventually covered in written form. This can take a lot of time and undermine the progress of your project.

Predict Everything  

From a theoretical point of view, keeping track of every single dangerous that may pop up on site is more than necessary. However, this always isn’t easy. There are simply too many different parameters that should be taken into account. Especially when we are talking about a new type of project in an unfamiliar area.

Convince People To Be Careful

By now, let’s suppose that you have managed to overcome the aforementioned obstacles. Here is the last and probably higher. Making your team actually taking the safety checklist seriously can be harder than you think. There are many workers, especially the more experienced ones, who develop through the years an illusion of full safety due to their great experience. In cases like that, it can take great effort to convince your team that regardless of their skills and knowledge they have always to take safety measures very seriously.

Things to Include

You should ideally not only come up with as many things as possible in your safety checklist even before you start the work, but also keep adding to it as you come across newer threats. It’s an ongoing procedure and it can always become better on the way. That being said, here are some of the common and essential things to be included:

  • Site inspections to look out for small structures that weren’t a part of your plan, and other similar things that may need your attention.
  • Making the employees aware of the potential hazards and risks before starting the work, so that they can avoid them if the situation arises.
  • Placing a fence around the site in order to keep the outsiders from entering the site without permission, and exposing themselves to the risks they may not be aware of.
  • Providing all the workers with the required protective equipment as well as making sure it’s being used by them properly.
  • Making sure first aid facilities are always available at the site.
  • Placing construction signs around the site to make the public aware of the hazards and risks they may be exposed to if come in close proximity of the site.

Conclusion

It’s evident that safety checklists have tremendous importance for every construction project. Putting them together can tough and it requires a lot of attention and experience. There surely is a learning curve in the whole process and that is why you have to invest a lot of time in inspecting the construction site and in talking openly with your team about the daily dangers that it may face. In that way, you can be confident that you did your best in creating a safety checklist that save lives.

About the author:

Anastasios Koutsogiannis is working as marketing coordinator in GenieBelt, a construction management and mobile tool.

work at height safety tips

Employee Hazards: 7 Height Safety Tips For Construction Workers

Working at considerable heights, as a construction worker, comes with its own set of employee hazards – especially if certain height safety tips aren’t implemented as they should. Thus, with dozens of injuries occurring on a daily basis, forming part of one of the largest causes of workplace accidents, it’s important to ensure that certain work at height safety tips are implemented in order to receive peace of mind on site whilst employees are hard at work maintaining deadlines and delivering quality craftsmanship.

1. Conduct a risk assessment.

Prevention is better than trying to find a cure, in which case, it’s absolutely necessary (if not required by law in some instances) to conduct a thorough risk assessment of any possible trips and falls, hazards related to chemicals being used, as well as possible special precautions which need to be taken in order to keep the public safe. Record your findings and figure out how to reduce any of the risks mentioned-above in order to create a safer work environment.

2. Locate access routes.

When working at heights, it’s crucial to assess any access routes in order to prevent unnecessary accidents – planning out safe routes in order to conduct the work necessary to complete the job. Employees need to be able to move easily between certain points on the construction site without having to work at considerable heights if at all possible.

3. Inspect height safety equipment.

Of course, as any construction worker would know, you have to inspect your height safety equipment such as your construction safety harness prior to use as well as after the end of a long shift – ensuring that each element is in proper working condition according to the manufacturer’s standards. If not, you may find yourself in a tricky situation at a considerable height, putting your own life in danger as well as the lives of those who need to come to your rescue.

4. Implement the use of handrails.

Where possible, why not implement the use of handrails – ensuring that employees stay in between the rails for increased safety. Protective rails can easily be built by onsite carpenters. Made to be a permanent fixture or a portable add-on depending on your needs. As a quick and easy fix, it’s one of the best ways to eliminate safety hazards at a construction site.

5. Keep the fall distance in mind.

This may seem quite obvious, but that doesn’t mean that many contractors fail to keep the fall distance in mind when using fall protection equipment. According to Simplified Safety, “Your actual fall distance needs to not only include the length of your lanyard when deployed, but also your body length below the D-ring and any sag in your harness and anchor system.  Count on a good 18.5’ minimum before you’re able to use a 6’ lanyard with deceleration device.”

6. Choose the correct platform.

In order to be able to work at considerable heights, you’re going to need some form of construction platform to work on. Whether you choose scaffolding, a ladder, or a lift, it’s important to evaluate the situation carefully before jumping to any decisions. Once you’ve made up your mind, add proper height safety measures such as rails or height safety equipment for increased safety.

7. Always opt for anchor points.

Having to support the weight of the worker as well as 5000 lbs. per person attached, your anchor point would have to be stronger than a simple PVC pipe in order to keep you where you need to be. Thus, adding a reliable anchor point to keep workers safe will only add to your peace of mind and ensure the sanity of those working at considerable heights.

When evaluating certain safety hazards in a construction site, it’s important to ensure the safety of your employees by figuring out how to improve the work environment for increased productivity without compromising the safety of those your employ. At the end of the day, safety comes first – ensuring peace of mind whilst protecting your assets in the event of an accidental fall or injury on site.

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