Health and safety on construction sites

Both the worker and the employer must ensure health and safety on construction sites.

For this it is important to adopt a series of habits that allow not only to comply with the regulations, but also to offer the maximum guarantees to prevent accidents, or protect the person in case they occur.

Clothing for safety on construction sites

Within the work, collective protection systems are established and personal protective equipment is used, so that combining both ensures maximum safety.

Within the group of personal protective equipment, clothing is one of the most important points to pay attention to, since it is part of passive safety since it helps minimize the effects of any accident or unforeseen event that may occur.

To achieve maximum safety, it is important to consider the following equipment:

  • Safety footwear: Good safety boots are one of the best investments that can be made in terms of health and safety on construction sites. Although a correct cleaning and order is maintained within the work, it is inevitable that in some cases we can find a nail or sharp element that we can step on without realizing it, and of course, when using cutting and drilling tools or even being in constant contact with materials that can fall and hit our feet, Good footwear will always be a guarantee of safety.
  • Garments: they must be the size of the operator, guaranteeing maximum freedom of movement but without being excessively loose. It is important that it breathes properly, and offers maximum resistance to tearing and breakage. Depending on the tasks to be performed, there are garments that have reinforced areas, thus reducing risks significantly.
  • Gloves: Protective gloves can be presented in different materials and compositions. There are those that are intended to protect the skin from contact with products that can alter its balance, while others prevent burns, cuts, perforations, etc.
  • Helmet: the helmet is essential in any work, and must be worn whenever the worker is inside the facilities. It prevents any detachment or fall of materials or tools at different levels from causing injuries by accident.
  • Glasses: they are necessary to protect the eyes in the case of performing tasks where detachments of material or excess dust occur. This is common for example when cutting metals and ceramics.
  • Hearing protection: wearing good ear protection helmets is necessary when carrying out very noisy tasks.
  • Other personal protective equipment: in turn, there are also other personal protective equipment such as harnesses, girdles, knee pads and in general all those that are useful to guarantee safety when performing any type of task within the work.
Safety boots

The importance of proper signage

Signage is essential in any work.

It is very important that it is indicated properly from where the first aid equipment is located to the warnings regarding safety such as those that warn of the risk of suspended loads, falling objects, presence of vehicles, electrical risk, flammable materials, explosive materials, toxic materials, radioactive materials, risk of obstacles, falls at different levels, and so on.

And of course, it is also necessary that there are prohibition signs that prevent activities such as lighting fires or smoking in dangerous areas, access to specific areas for unqualified personnel, non-potable water, and so on.

Hazard marking on construction sites

Order and cleanliness of the area

One of the best ways to avoid accidents on site is precisely by keeping everything well organized and ensuring a good cleanliness of the environment.

This is a point to consider, so you should always control that all areas are well clean and free of elements that can lead to a worker tripping, slipping or even key some element.

Correct cleaning in the construction area

Carrying out work at height

When working at height, the operator must ensure their safety by using personal protective equipment.

In addition, the work must have collective protection systems such as nets, fences and elements that prevent the worker from accidentally falling, tripping or slipping.

Scaffolding must be well anchored and adequately settled, as well as anchorage that complies with safety regulations.

Caution in work at height

Protection in holes and areas at different levels

It is very important to protect both the gaps and the areas at different levels to avoid falls.

For this, nets will be used as passive protection elements, while for active protection guardrails or any other element that guarantees maximum safety will be placed.

Special attention must be paid to elevator shafts and areas that may be more dangerous, because they are inside the work and, therefore, the worker usually has a false sense of security, being more exposed to this type of accident.

It is very important to bear in mind that signage and warnings do not replace the use of health and safety elements of construction works, so that both the employer and the professional and workers must always be aware of all these details, since they are the ones that help prevent accidents and, if it occurs, that its effects are minimized.

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By Catharine Bwana