Injuries at Canadian construction sites in 2014 resulted in 232 fatalities according to the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada, making it one of the most dangerous industries to work in. While prevention is key, safety doesn’t happen on its own, it requires active participation by everyone – from office workers to the people handling equipment and performing tasks. Below are 5 tips for a safer and healthier work environment every day:
1. Safer Climbing
You don’t need to be ascending the Matterhorn to know that hand and foot placement is important. When climbing anything, make sure your boots are clean and you’re wearing gloves that offer good grip in wet conditions.Taking an extra minute to check these things can be the difference between spending a day at work versus in the ER.
“At least I don’t have to worry about altitude sickness.”
2. Match Tool to the Job
Just because two pieces of equipment perform similar tasks doesn’t mean they are equal– an iron and a stove-top both create heat, but you wouldn’t use an iron to make a grilled cheese sandwich, so why use the incorrect tool for the job on a construction site? The consequences range from annoyed Environmental Health and Safety officer to risk of injury or death.
3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The days of throwing on a pair of leather gloves and a hardhat are long over, PPE is now a highly specialized industry. Considering your hands are one of the most important tools that you own, they’re worth the right gear. There are gloves that protect against cuts, abrasions, punctures, heat, open flame, oil, impact, chemicals and cold temperatures. Many gloves offer a combination of these, so workers don’t need to switch gloves throughout the day.
4. Know Your Surroundings
There is a lot going on at construction sites, they’re busier than a shopping mall on Black Friday. But, unlike Black Friday shopping, workers on construction sites are genuinely concerned about each other’s welfare. Situational awareness, signage and reminders to wear PPE are useful for an occupied worker about the hazards that are present.
“I would never throw you out of the way for an Xbox 360.”
5. The All-Important Safety Meetings
Regularly scheduled safety meetings are a great way to keep the subject top of mind for workers. When you perform a job every day, it’s easy to forget about small details that can turn into big hazards.
Safety depends on everyone doing their job with the right equipment, skills and awareness, and because you can’t count on every person viewing safety the same way, policies that outline your standards should be clear and available to all workers at all times.
Whether you’re looking to improve your safety program or your employees need a refresher, our Superior Glove experts will work directly with you on-site to review the hazards and find the right protection for you.
(Over the course of a 45-year career, a construction worker has a 1 in 200 chance of dying on the job. Want to learn more? Click here.)