The construction of buildings, roads and bridges entail a lot of risks and hazards for workers. These have to be accounted for with appropriate engineering control, and effective personal protective equipment and programs, which include safe working practices.
On active roads, the construction crew is met with additional challenges when installing equipment, including anchors for soft ground, especially during low light and nighttime conditions. High visibility clothing is just one of the many necessary components to ensure a safe work environment.
There are many industrial supplies for an effective personal protective equipment program, but it is equally important that every person is trained on the proper donning of their PPE. Here are some situations in construction and how to deal with the hazards that come with them.
Low Light and Nighttime Working Conditions
Everything becomes a working hazard at night and with low lighting conditions. Even simple tools or hoses left on the ground can become a serious hazard. On active roadways, a passing motorist is a potential hazard as well.
Even when there is flood lighting, construction workers still need to wear high visibility clothing that meets the ANSI standards. Regular clothing will allow a motorist to see the crew at about 300 feet, but with high visibility clothing, the range extends at 1,280 feet. Vehicles cruising at highway speeds need about 1,200 feet of stopping distance.
In risky construction environments, the Class 3 high visibility clothing is required for all workers. They have to wear a reflective vest, sleeves, and trousers that outline the human body. In low-risk sites such as those separated from the speedway, only reflective vests are required.
Head and Face Protection
Another primary concern for any type of construction is head injury hazards. Anything can cause serious head injuries in a work site. A dropped tool or a low hanging beam can be fatal to the unprotected head.
This is why hard hats should be considered as a second skin for workers, and it must be worn at all times in the job site. Other protection gear for the face includes safety glasses, a face shield for eye protection, earplugs and earmuffs.
Steel Toe Working Boots
Comfortable protective work boots and footwear are literally the foundation of safe workers. They provide complete protection and support for daily activities on the job site. Steel plating protects against potential crushing injuries while the non-slip thread helps to eliminate slips, falls and tripping. It comes with a high-cut ankle to support against sprains. For rainy season and wet environments, slip over latex boots are advised for workers’ additional protection.
Before any construction work can start, there should be an assessment of potential worksite hazards to properly identify and mitigate the risk of accidents and injuries. Every person on the site should be provided with the appropriate equipment and tools to keep them safe while working.
Fall suppression systems and body harnesses are required for elevated work. Every machinery that needs stability must be attached with ground anchors. Signage, caution cones, barricades are essential in communicating road hazards to the motorist. Every job site differs in risks and hazards, and being prepared for anything is the key in keeping workers safe at all times.