The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) constantly revises standards and disseminates new risk information to improve workplace safety and keep employees safe. They give information on typical violations and death data from numerous sectors annually. One of their primary worries is “The Fatal Four.”
Despite the fact that it seems like the name of a death metal band, this list is really about the four most common causes of death in the construction industry. It’s no surprise that the industry with the highest number of fatalities and violations has its own OSHA list.
Looking at these threats can make employees and managers more aware of how critical it is to protect themselves and others around them. The most effective way to avoid fatalities is to obtain sufficient training and attend OSHA compliance courses from Hard Hat Training. Supervisors can ensure that their employees are ready for work by asking them to attend these classes before beginning their next assignment.
A construction site, as expected, contains various raised areas. Employees on a building’s roof or on a second-floor platform are at risk of falling to the ground at any time. According to OSHA, the most common workplace offense is the failure to prevent falls.
One of the reasons many individuals fall is the need for sufficient safety equipment. OSHA regulations apply even at lower heights. If a fall does occur, there should always be some form of safety systems, such as a net or guardrail, to give some protection. Workers should also be given safety equipment like harnesses.
In the construction business, ladders and scaffolding are also important sources of falls. While many people assume ladders are easy to use, they must be in good functioning order before being utilized. This includes being slip-resistant and having regularly spaced rungs. They, like scaffolds, must be anchored in place so that they do not collapse when in use.
Workers must also ensure that the equipment is used correctly. When climbing or descending ladders, children must face the rungs rather than backward. They should also use ladders instead of scaffolds because they are less robust and can hold the same weight.
Construction sites are more than just swarms of laborers. They are also laden with heavy machineries like bulldozers and excavators. Since drivers work at such tremendous heights, they may only notice people occasionally and can easily run one over. Even if the automobile isn’t being driven, it might be dangerous if someone is lifting or moving something.
To begin, all drivers must be properly licensed to operate the apparatus allocated to them. This ensures not just legality but also that they will not drive recklessly. Communication is also crucial since they may use a walkie-talkie to alert others when they are approaching a specific spot.
Other employees can protect themselves in a number of ways as well. Using protective equipment, such as hard helmets, will protect their heads if something, such as debris, falls from a machine or building. Vivid colors, like neon orange, can also aid in the visibility of machine drivers as they move through the site.
If they see a machine coming through, they should stay away from it. Even if they don’t want to cause trouble, appliances might be unexpected and vary from their usual path due to anything as simple as a shift in the wind.
Excavators are regularly used on construction projects to dig trenches to create ways for new buildings or to remove obstructions. They may become entangled and stuck if other staff are unaware of them. Many of these holes can be quite deep and challenging to escape from. This tragedy accounted for 5% of all construction fatalities in 2019.
Signs must be posted around trenches or excavation sites to warn personnel not to enter the area. Placing guards or fences is another excellent safety strategy. Obstructions should also be avoided because it is easy to cover over trenches accidentally.
Workers who become imprisoned or stuck in tight spaces as a result of machinery are also caught ins. When a machine or other piece of equipment is not properly shut off or locked, it might move in on someone. As a result, devices should always be supported. While approaching a stationary item, drivers should also ensure that no one is nearby.
Working on construction necessitates the use of energy to power these places. Engineers and electricians have arrived to operate on these dangerous components. Yet, electric fixtures such as power lines may already be in situ and, because they are not visible, may endanger any worker. Shocks, burns, and explosions can occur if you touch a power line or operate with wires incorrectly.
Supervisors should also contact the utility company to verify that electricity is switched off on the construction site when doing tasks like excavation. This will keep machinery from colliding with power lines and causing injuries or fatalities. Heavy-duty gloves and goggles should be supplied to anyone working near electricity in case they come into touch with a live wire.
Electric tools must be handled with prudence as well. This includes using them only in dry weather and ensuring that they are grounded or well-insulated. When a worker notices that something is amiss with a tool, they should immediately alert a supervisor and never attempt to use it. Frayed wires can cause injuries.
Attending OSHA Training
Having a “fatal” list means that construction workers must take their jobs seriously. A project has a lot of goals to achieve, and remaining safe is just as important as accomplishing it. Attending classes that teach you how to comply with OSHA rules is the most convenient way to do so.
Supervisors may use Hard Hat Training classes to ensure that their entire team is ready to take on tasks in a safe manner. Hard Hat Training covers a wide range of topics, including those relevant to the “fatal four” hazards in the construction industry.
Workers can take classes online or with an expert visiting their company to provide materials. After completing the course and passing an exam, their management may assess whether they meet the standards to conduct their job safely.
In addition to this specific training, all members of a construction crew can participate in crisis management programs such as first aid and CPR. While the programs do not make someone “certified,” they do better equip them to carry out their duties and minimize the risk of fatality.
Although the construction industry may be dangerous, not every site must be. With the right methods and knowledge, your team will be able to execute projects on time and without damaging anyone. To discover more about Hard Hat Training’s courses, visit www.hardhattraining.com.