According to the U.S.A. Bureau of Labor Statistics, at least 150,000 injuries occur on construction job sites each year. Despite advancements in safety technology, the number of accidents and injuries on construction sites keeps adding up. Construction site injuries are three times more likely to be serious than injuries sustained in an office setting. However, some, if not all, accidents are easily preventable and controllable.
If every person in the vicinity of construction sites follows some practices and is vigilant at all times, the number of injuries, deaths, and overall accidents will be greatly reduced.
In this article, we will discuss how managers and staff can work together to create a safer work environment for all by reducing accidents, especially at night.
|Info: The most common construction accidents in the USA are-
2. Caught in or between objects
3. Struck by objects
10 Practices to Prevent Construction Accident Fatalities and Injuries
1. Use Reflective Clothes and Tape
Reflective tape and clothes can play a very big role in preventing accidents at night on the construction site as well as accidents in construction.
Every employee and staff must wear reflective clothing at night to be easily seen by equipment operators and drivers. Use reflective tape in areas that need to be highlighted to ensure the alertness of staff.
These simple tools are really effective in keeping workers away from harm and reducing injuries.
2. Minimize Night Work
You should try to minimize night labor as much as possible. Working late hours, particularly at night, increases the risk of a construction accident.
The contributing factors that increase the chances of night accidents are
- Increased fatigue at night
- Lack of alertness
- Reduction of visibility at night
So, try to avoid night labor as much as possible for the safety of your employees and staff. That way, you will be able to minimize fatalities at night.
3. Adhere to OSHA Guidelines
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration says that falls are the primary cause of construction site accidents that end in injury or even death. Even workers who are only six feet or more above ground level can face serious injury or death.
Many falls, on the other hand, can be avoided if OSHA guidelines are followed. Project managers should also inform OSHA if any of the criteria are broken.
Every construction site should follow OSHA’s recommendations and protocol to increase safety precautions on job sites. Some may even go as far as to make use of things like safety consulting services to come up with a comprehensive safety plan for the site. Plus, OSHA’s guidelines are equally effective in protecting the employees on the construction sites and the public involved in any construction accident.
If you have any doubt, you can consult a construction accident lawyer to see if there have been any OSHA violations.
4. Maintain Tools and Equipment
All equipment and tools, whether machine-operated or handheld, should be inspected and maintained on a regular basis according to the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure that they are in good working order and pose no hazard to anyone. The same goes for labelling tools and equipment on-site – everything should have construction labels present to comply with regulations and safety. This clearly identifies any hazards, and should give any necessary instructions on operating any tools and machinery. It is also important to remember the following:
- Make sure that no gas-powered and electrical equipment is defective.
- Check for wear and tear, and replace damaged or broken parts.
This is one of the most effective ways to avoid construction equipment accidents on New York City construction sites.
5. Arrange Regular Safety Meetings
Lack of communication is one of the major causes of construction accidents. How can employees avoid mishaps when they don’t have detailed information on the place they work or the equipment they handle?
So, be a good project manager and try to have safety meetings almost daily that:
- Brief employees about different safety measures on their respective job sites.
- Provide everyone with proper instructions.
- Discuss the changing regulations with everyone.
- Discuss with regards to risk management and set safety standards.
- Update yourself and keep others updated about work progress and possible accidents that can occur.
If you don’t take feedback from your employees and solve the real issues they are facing, accidents are bound to occur.
So make the most out of daily meetings, share information, and most importantly, tell your workers that their health and safety come first.
6. Wear Protective Gear and Clothes
Wearing safety gear and clothes on construction sites should be made mandatory to prevent accidents.
Staff should wear loose and temperature-appropriate clothes; otherwise, they will suffer from fatigue and lose their focus and concentration, resulting in increased chances of mishaps.
So they should wear appropriate clothing and gear, like these protective gloves from unigloves.com, in order to stay safe during their job.
They should wear:
- Work gloves
- Hard hats
- Reflective clothes
- Correct footwear for the job
- Hearing protection
- Long-sleeve lightweight shirts or sun hats with UV protection
7. Take Regular Breaks
If you don’t want your employees to suffer from overexertion and fatigue due to working long hours without taking enough breaks and, as a result, getting injured, then you should allow them to take enough breaks.
Regular breaks are important not only for productivity but also for safety. Because during breaks, workers can re-energize themselves by resting, drinking fluids, and eating snacks that eventually help them to stay alert and focused, reduce their fatigue, and finally avoid accidents that can occur due to exhaustion.
8. Use Clear Signage to Warn of Danger
When not in use, you should always mark high-voltage areas and wires and turn off the electricity.
You can use rope and pylons to cordon off areas so that people do not inadvertently enter areas where the risk of falling debris or other hazards is high.
You can simply use signs with words like “Danger,” which play a crucial role in ensuring safety and preventing accidents.
9. Keep the Workplace Clean and Well Lit
While loose materials and debris are unavoidable on a construction site, strive to reduce any clutter to a bare minimum. Equipment should be properly stored away when not being used in the short term, this further reduces clutter and the risk of injury.
If working on a site that involves the use of chemicals or hazardous fluids, it would be wise for these to be safely stored as well. Using solutions from a reputable company such as Storemasta or others similar will adhere with health and safety regulations whilst also maintaining safety for employees without being inconvenient.
It’s always effective to keep walkways free from clutter, and workers should clean up after themselves as they shift from one place to another.
And if workers have to work at night, make sure the construction site is well lit and visible enough to avoid possible mishaps.
Remember that even a simple trip, slip, or fall on the construction site can result in a serious injury. So to prevent possible injuries, everyone should try to clean up cutters and debris as much as possible.
10. Drive Carefully
Drive carefully and defensively, whether you are driving your personal car to your job site for the day or operating heavy machineries like a bulldozer or backhoe.
Before driving a construction vehicle, always practice backing up and try to become familiar with maneuvering in tight places as well as with the equipment you will be driving.
Some Other Guidelines That You Should Follow
- Workers shouldn’t have to work in a dangerous working environment. Rather, they should report to their supervisors about how bad the working conditions are.
- Workers should warm up before they start working.
- Ensure that workers are physically fit.
- All workers should be well hydrated and maintain a healthy diet.
- Project managers should provide employees with all the necessary and proper equipment.
- Workers should report injuries immediately and seek treatment. And if needed, they should consult a construction accident lawyer immediately.
Every life is precious, and every injury should be attended to.
Always remember that prevention is better than cure. Workers can easily avoid many accidents and fatalities by just being cautious and using the right practices. So, practice all the advice vigorously on your construction site job to be safe and healthy.
Risking your life with poor working practices and a disastrous environment just for some money is never worth it.