Home Construction Safety: How to Prevent Accidents on Site

Industry Observer

Whether you are building your dream home or undergoing renovations on your house, it is important to keep safety top of mind. What may seem like routine construction work on your favorite place could be a dangerous place full of potential threats. 

In 2019 alone, 5,333 workers died on the job, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). About 20% of worker fatalities in the same year were in construction – accounting for one in five worker deaths for the year. While not every construction site will require extensive work, there is always a risk for injury. 

Regardless of whether you are working on building your home or visiting the property to check progress, there are a few things to keep in mind to promote safety and prevent serious accidents on a construction site.

Watch Your Step

Always watch where you are walking on a construction site! Never step on loose boards, planks or tiles. Tread carefully, especially when approaching open holes or areas that have been marked off. Do not climb scaffolding or a ladder if it appears unsafe. 

Safety professionals at Manchin Ferretti Injury Law note various injuries can occur due to exposed electrical wires, faulty construction, and shoddy workplace conditions. Prevent an accident altogether by watching your step and only entering permitted areas.

Wear Protective Gear

Protective gear could save your life. Opt for a helmet and glasses when necessary, especially if you are entering an area where loose debris may be airborne. Consider wearing a mask with proper filtration if working with paint or other harsh chemicals. 

Sturdy, close-toed boots are a must anytime you step on an active construction site. Consider wearing full-length clothing that protects your skin, including gloves. Depending on the construction work present, you may need additional personal protective equipment (PPE), such as earplugs and welding leathers.

Maintain Equipment

Preserving heavy construction equipment requires regular maintenance and cleaning. From rain to dust and everything in between, natural and artificial forces may affect the effectiveness of machinery. Keep a log of the last time a machine has been used and cleaned to ensure it is functioning properly. 

Leaks, misalignment, exposed electrical wiring, and lack of oil/greasing could cause constriction equipment to malfunction, resulting in serious property damage or a personal injury. Maintain equipment properly to extend its working life and to prevent unwanted damage or accidents. 

Educate Yourself

Before you dive into a construction project on your home or allow someone else to do so, ensure you are educating yourself on the project. Read all proper manuals and ensure equipment and plans are up to code. 

Taking the extra time to learn about materials, equipment, and what is needed on your construction site could prevent a serious accident and paying too much for your desired outcome. Use the resources available to you and always ask questions if you have them. 

Ensure There is Ample Light

Fumbling around in the dark is a recipe for disaster: if you can’t see, don’t walk any further. Before you enter a dark space or begin work when it is dark outside, prepare yourself with proper lighting equipment.

Portable light plant towers, balloon lighting, roadway luminaries, and flood lights are just some of the lighting options available on a construction site. Not all lights are created equal and some tasks may demand certain lighting requirements.

Take Breaks

Every job requires workers to take breaks and construction sites are no different. Taking ample breaks to ensure you and your fellow construction workers are adequately hydrated, fed, and rested is important to ensuring a job is well-done. Taking ample breaks can also reduce the chances for accidents and injuries from overworking and exhaustion. 

Preventing Construction Accidents is Everyone’s Job

Construction sites are notorious for being dangerous, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. Watching your step, wearing appropriate gear, maintaining equipment, educating yourself, using proper lighting equipment, and taking breaks can make a world of difference on your construction site. 

By using these helpful tips, you and your construction team can help prevent serious accidents and unwanted property damage. No matter how big or how small a construction site is, always put safety first. 

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