Being a construction worker is one of the most dangerous and potentially fatal jobs. There are roughly 150,000 construction jobsite injuries each year, and one in five deaths among U.S. workers is in the construction industry. But despite bulky safety gear and protocols that is meant to keep construction workers safe, they’re still prone to accidents that could cause serious injuries or even be fatal. Here are a few tips to stay safe on the job site.
Utilize Safety Gear and Equipment
Suiting up is one of the most important steps before beginning a job. Safety gloves, hard hats, safety goggles, ear plugs, and other necessities should always be worn. Take the few extra minutes to ensure you have on injury preventing gear to keep yourself safe. Be sure to utilize safety technology as well.
The clothes you wear can also be part of your gear. Wear durable clothes that can protect your body from potential hazards. Reflective vests can ensure you’re visible if you’re working at night or on the side of the road, long sleeved shirts and long pants that cover every inch of your body can protect you from cuts and scrapes. Don’t just protect the obvious areas of your body (eyes, head, hands) but keep your entire body safe from danger.
Update Your Gear
Tools are used daily as a construction worker, and after constant use, they’re likely to need replacing. Be sure to recognize what tools are worn and which aren’t working as they should be and get them replaced. Not only can this make the job go more smoothly but can also decrease your risk of potential injury. Take the time at the beginning or end of the day to assess the condition of your tools and update them when necessary.
Take Your Time, Don’t Take Shortcuts
While your end goal might be to move on to the next job, rushing can not only mean you do a botched job and end up having to come back later, but can also put you ask risk. Taking shortcuts can lead to accidents that can put you in a dangerous situation, expose you to hazards, and get you hurt. Take a few extra minutes to be sure the job is done right and safely – you will end up thanking yourself later.
With experience and wisdom often comes ways to save time and still achieve quality work, however sometimes when it comes to safety, shortcuts are dangerous. Sticking to the fundamentals like climbing a ladder as you were taught early on or using a harness when working at higher heights can make a major difference in safety. Following the basics is tried and true.
When working in places with no controlled temperature for hours, it’s important to recognize when you need to take a step back from the job. Take a minute or two away from the job to cool yourself down or warm yourself up. Staying hydrated and fueled up throughout the day can ensure you’re in the best physical condition to handle a job. You know yourself best, and if you begin to feel light-headed, over-heated or tired, remove yourself from a potentially dangerous situation until you feel better.
Assess Before Beginning
Not all jobs are the same, so evaluating the situation before beginning can save you trouble in the long run. Take a few minutes to assess the work area for potential hazards such as slippery surfaces, exposure to dangerous chemicals or wires, temperature changes, etc. Rushing to get into a job to get it done can not only put yourself at risk but can give you more work to do in the end. Inspect the entire area, such as cords and equipment, to notice any defects that may be a hazard. By taking a look at what the job requires, you can avoid dangers and will be able to determine what gear you’ll need.
Get AD+D Insurance Coverage
AD+D coverage, otherwise known as Accidental Death + Dismemberment insurance is important to protect your family financially if something happens to you. If you’re the sole, or only person working in your household, this is especially important for your family to be able to pay bills, cover medical costs, and other expenses. Whether your accident is fatal, or you’re stuck in bed recovering or months, the right AD+D insurance can give you and your family peace of mind.