Did you know that one of the leading causes of death among construction workers is caused by individuals being struck by objects [Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)]? Some of the objects workers are struck by most often include:
● Heavy equipment and vehicles, like trucks and cranes
● Falling or flying objects, like tools and flying particles
● Concrete or masonry walls that are being constructed
Although employers are expected to implement control measures of their own to help reduce the chances of an accident like this occurring, construction workers still manage to suffer injuries from falling objects that strike them while they are working on a site. What this means is that as a construction worker, you need to be taking measures into your own hands to help avoid from being hit by an object that could cause a fatal injury.
So, how can you do this?
Well, there are various types of jobs construction workers are required to do which means the safety measures that should be taken will vary. But, in an effort to help you if you are currently working in the construction industry, below we have highlighted some of the most common types of jobs construction workers must complete along with some safety tips for you to implement that are expected to help keep you and those working around you safe.
- When you are working underneath cranes, hoists, or scaffolds, OSHA recommends that you implement the following safety tips:
- Don’t exceed capacity.
- Stay clear of lifted loads and avoid working under a suspended load.
- Beware of unbalanced loads.
- Always barricade all dangerous areas.
- Use toeboards on scaffolds to prevent objects from falling.
- Don’t store materials on scaffolds in excess of what you need for immediate operations.
- Don’t assume the crane operator sees you.
- Wait for the operator to acknowledge that you have seen before walking underneath it.
- Be aware of power lines, unstable soil, high winds.
- Only use qualified workers to help you.
- If the task you are completing requires you to work with power tools such as saws, drills, and grinds, remember to:
- Only work with equipment you have been trained with.
- Inspect your tools before using them.
- Wear safety glasses, goggles, face shields, gloves, boots, and hearing protection.
- Operate according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Guard rotating and moving parts.
- All guards must be in place while the tool is being used.
- If you will be performing any type of overhead work, always:
- Secure all tools and materials.
- Use toeboards, screens, guardrails and debris nets.
- Barricade the area and post signs.
- OSHA says that materials that are being stored in buildings under construction shall not be placed within six feet of the hoist way or floor openings, nor within 10 feet of an exterior wall which doesn’t extend above material.
- If your job requires you to operate a powered industrial truck such as a forklift, which is rather common on construction sites, OSHA says that you should:
- Only operate the machine if you are trained and certified to do so.
- Always follow safe operating procedures for picking up, moving, putting down, and stacking loads. Be sure to observe height limitations when stacking loads.
- Don’t exceed vehicle capacity or load capacity.
- Operate at a safe speed and don’t exceed five mph.
- Slow down in congested areas or on slippery surfaces.
- Avoid traveling with elevated loads. Check to be sure your reverse signal alarm works and can be heard above surrounding noise level.
- Inspect the forklift before using it to ensure the brakes, horns, steering, forks, and tires are all in good working condition.
- Look around for any potential hazards such as workers or other objects when you are lifting or lowering material.
- Clear all personnel before lowering the blades.
OSHA provides plenty of other helpful safety tips for construction workers to implement and you are encouraged to read what they are at your earliest convenience.
Now, as cautious and as careful of a worker as you might be, you know that not all construction accidents can be avoided. Therefore, if you recently suffered an injury while working on a construction site in or nearby to Albuquerque, NM and you would like to learn more about the benefits you are entitled to receive, contact Albuquerque, NM construction accident lawyer Brian K. Branch today. At our firm, we help individuals just like you understand what their legal rights are, how much they are entitled to recover for the injuries they sustained, and what can be done when your employer fails to provide you with the benefits you are eligible to receive.
So, if you are ready to schedule an initial consultation so that your concerns can be addressed and we can explain how our firm can help you get through this tough time, call us now at 505-207-4401.