New Years Resolutions
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its top 10 list of violations for fiscal year 2019, and not much has changed on the list in years. On top of that, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the construction industry consistently has the highest number of deaths annually. In 2016, there were 991 deaths in the industry and this number is rising yearly. How can you be part of the solution and not part of the problem? Commit to safety this year. Protect yourself and others by following these safety tips all year long.
Use fall protection
Falls are one of the most common causes of workplace injuries and a leading cause of death on construction sites. Even if fall hazards can’t be eliminated, they can be controlled. Make sure you are trained on how to protect yourself. Start by familiarizing yourself with any potential fall hazards on the job, wear fall protection when working from heights of six feet or more above lower levels and wear all required personal protective equipment (PPE).
Proper use of scaffolding
In addition to wearing fall protection, make sure that you have proper access to enter and exit the platforms. Also, make sure the platforms are fully decked and that the foundation is adequate to withstand the weight of equipment, materials and workers. Stay at least 10 feet from power lines and wear your hard hat, steel-toed boots and any other required PPE.
Correct ladder use
Make sure you are using the right type of ladder for the job and that you always maintain three points of contact. If you are using a portable ladder, make sure it extends three feet above the upper landing. Do not use the top step of a step ladder. Inspect all ladders before use, take all damaged ladders out of service and, if you are using a non-self-supporting ladder, make sure you are using it at the correct angle.
Safe use of cranes and forklifts
Make sure you have been properly trained to operate the equipment that you are using. When climbing on or off any heavy equipment, make sure that your hands and feet are securely placed so that you don’t slip or fall. When operating machinery, wear proper gloves and footwear and do not wear loose fitting clothing. When driving the vehicle, use a spotter to help you with blind spots and alert you of any hazards. Be aware of your swing radius and your surroundings.
This is often overlooked in the construction industry. When servicing or performing maintenance on machines with the potential to release stored energy, lockout/tagout procedures must be followed. You should know which equipment this applies to and how to verify that there is no energy present for the equipment. Make sure that you use the appropriate locks, tags and hardware to assure that no one uses the equipment until the work has been completed and safety controls have been reinstated.
On the job safety is everyone’s responsibility, not just the safety managers or crew leaders. Make sure that you are aware and informed of all hazards you may face on the job. If you have any questions about policies or procedures, ask your supervisor. Following these safety tips will not only keep you safe this year, but for years to come.
Small to mid-size employers use Professional Employer Organizations (PEO) such as LCR Resource, Inc. to assist them in keeping a safe work place. PEO’s can assist in training staff through toolbox talks and establish safety practices to eliminate potential risk factors. Give us a call to find out more (915) 701-2325
Source: Texas Mutual Insurance Company