Unquestionably, whilst employers do have to take considerable responsibility for keeping their staff and visitors safe on a construction site, it’s important to remember that workers should also take action to keep themselves and their co-workers safe at work. Construction is one of the most dangerous occupations around, which is why every step must be taken to ensure that workers and visitors to the site follow the necessary health and safety procedures. Let’s have a look at CTH Hire Centre’s top safety tips:
1. Wear appropriate PPE
It is the responsibility of the employer to provide appropriate personal protective equipment, but in the event that this is not provided, the worker should ensure that they do not continue in their task until they are given the correct protective apparel. PPE can include but is not limited to:
• High visual clothing
• Well-fitted helmets
• Steel toe capped boots
• Ear plugs for noisy environments
• Protective eyewear
• Fall harnesses
Whilst of course all of these items may not be necessary for every type of job, they should be made available where appropriate.
2. Secure equipment when working at height
Whether a worker is required to climb a ladder or work on scaffolding to complete a job, it’s absolutely vital that both pieces of equipment are up to standard. A ladder should be of the correct height so that it is always one metre above the landing, and all of the ladder rungs should be intact. Ideally the upper and lower ends of the ladder should be secured safely, at the bare minimum another member of site personnel should foot the ladder to prevent it from slipping. Scaffolding should have a safe base and platform and no worker should be required to climb a scaffold which has not been erected properly. Remember that the Work at Height Regulations require all persons working at height to prove their competency when using relevant equipment.
3. Be vigilant
Inevitably a construction site worker will be required at some point to use a piece of electrical equipment. Prior to switching the device on, the worker should ensure that the metal casing is grounded, the power supply has an earth leakage circuit breaker and all cables are protected. Wear and tear in cables and machinery is a major cause of accidents, but is something which can be easily rectified provided that workers are vigilant.
4. Fire safety
Prior to commencing work on a construction site, all staff personnel should be informed of the fire safety procedures. They should understand which escape route they should take if a fire should break out, and ideally they should be trained on how to use a fire extinguisher to prevent a fire from spreading. Workers should ask their supervisors for relevant training.
5. Be careful when lifting
It can be tempting to lift something heavy without using the appropriate lifting and material handling equipment, however this is a major contributor to long term back problems and injury amongst workers in the UK. Whilst there isn’t a maximum weight limit defined by law which workers can lift, it generally comes down to common sense as to what can be lifted manageably, and what needs to be lifted using specialist equipment. With stair climbing trucks, lifting slings, block lifters, winches and many other pieces of lifting equipment available, provided workers are given the appropriate training there is no need for them to lift anything which they are not comfortable with.
At CTH Hire Centres, we can provide a huge range of different tools for hire which can help to keep workers on a construction site safe from harm. To find out more, visit our website or call our team on 01344 872 964 (Windlesham) or 01252 333 122 (Farnham).