Worker safety is one of the biggest concerns for businesses that operate in the construction industry. 5,250 workers died on the job in 2018, which is equivalent to around 14 deaths every day.
While employers take several measures to control workplace accidents, such instances continue to arise. Each year, thousands of accidents take place at job sites across the US, most of which occur due to the absence of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Let’s look this matter into more detail:
The Importance of Personal Protective Equipment in the Construction Industry
The importance of enforcing PPE among construction workers cannot be overstated. For starters, it helps protect employees from hazardous elements present at the construction site, ranging from falling debris to wet floors and everything in between.
Ensuring employee safety is crucial. Ethically, it’s the right thing to do, but there’s more to it. Workplace injuries cannot only affect operational efficiency but also give rise to lawsuits and hefty payouts.
Moreover, it offers compliance benefits, saving your business from penalties and fines on non-compliance with safety codes. To ensure you act in accordance with the law and safety regulations, you need to develop a personal protective equipment program.
Let’s learn more!
Develop a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Program
It’s imperative that you formulate a comprehensive PPE program that outlines the potential hazards at job sites and clear instructions about PPE that all workers should know when performing certain tasks or present at certain places.
The workers should not only be provided with high-quality PPE but also trained to use them correctly. You can use signage and instruction posts at different locations at a job site to reinforce the rules and ensure compliance with the safety codes.
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about a construction worker? Most likely, the answer is a hard yellow hat, and there’s a good reason behind it. Hard hats safeguard construction workers from falling objects and help avoid head injuries.
READ: True story: The importance of hard hats in saving lives
It’s important that every worker or other personnel present at the construction site wearing a hard hat. Not only they safeguard from head injuries, but they also offer protection from electric shocks. Regularly inspect hard hats for damage. Discard and replace the ones with cracks or dents.
It’s also crucial to protect workers from loud noises in the construction site. According to OSHA, plain cotton is not an acceptable protective device. Hearing protection equipment like earplugs and earmuffs do the trick.
Eyes and Face Protection
Construction workers are under constant threat to pick up physical injuries from falling objects or flying particles. They are also exposed to hazards like caustic liquid, chemical gases, light radiation, and other elements present at the job site.
Therefore, protection for the eyes and face is absolutely necessary. Face shields help protect against potential splashes or sprays of hazardous liquids and radiation. Moreover, safety glasses prevent particulates or chemicals from striking the eyes.
It’s important that the face and eye safety products fit comfortably and do not hinder the worker’s movement. Remember, protective eye and face protection devices must comply with OSHA standards, so don’t compromise on the quality of equipment.
Respiratory protection should also be a top priority. It’s very critical on construction sites with toxic substances and hazardous fumes. Some common examples of harmful substances include dust, pesticides, and spray paint.
READ: Respiratory Protection - OSHA
Respiratory problems are more likely to occur in closed spaces with insufficient ventilation. Long-term exposure to these hazardous toxic elements can cause permanent damage to the respiratory system and lead to long-term, life-threatening diseases like cancer.
Hand injuries can render the workers unfit to work. Unfortunately, hands are one of the most commonly injured body parts at construction sites.
From operating tools and equipment to carry heavy products, workers use their hands to perform a variety of tasks. It makleaves their hands prone to cuts and damage. Hence, hand protection gear is vital to their safety.
Workers should be provided high-quality gloves to protect against a variety of dangers. Particularly, if they use chemicals or perform electrical work like welding, they should be provided with special heavy-duty rubber gloves with insulation.
Foot protection shouldn’t be taken lightly. While it’s not possible to equip every employee with steel-toed boots, you should make sure every worker wears slip resident, hard-wearing shoes with puncture-resistant soles that provide protection against slips and falls and sharp objects.
Moreover, workers who are responsible to carry out heavy-duty tasks or work during extreme temperatures should be provided composite-toed footwear to ensure protection against hazardous material, electric shocks, and heat.
In addition to putting a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) program in place, it’s also important to invest in the latest equipment and tools. From concrete and masonry engines to compaction machinery, all of your construction apparatus should be working properly.
It’s crucial that you don’t treat PPE as a substitute for poor machinery, but a layer of safety to protect employees from inherent dangers associated with working in the construction industry.
PPE plays an instrumental role in keeping construction workers safe on the job site. When preventative measures and controls fail, PPE protects workers from injuries when accidents take place.
The supervisors should routinely inspect PPE to ensure workers' safety remains in check. Moreover, the condition of equipment and tools should also be evaluated frequently and any damaged machinery should immediately be repaired or replaced with a new one.
And that’s pretty much it. We hope it helped you develop a better understanding of the importance of PPE in the construction industry.
If you’re looking to buy high-quality construction equipment for your construction workers, get in touch with California Tools and Equipment today!
Based in California; we’re a leading contractor of construction equipment that provides the best quality PPE at competitive rates.
We also have an extensive range of cement mixers, power tools, air tools, hand tools, and other construction tool and machinery.
To find out more information about products, give us a call at +714-500-7984.