Safety is of paramount importance in construction sites; therefore, rules regarding safety have been established for construction sites. This is intended to protect the site, visitors and employees from possible hazardous conditions.
The Construction Industry Safety Checklist, issued by the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation, provides valuable guidance regarding safety regulations pertaining to construction sites including areas such as tools, ladders, motor vehicles, demolition, asbestos and fire prevention. Outlined below is a closer look at some of the key areas.
General Jobsite Safety
Safety signs and warnings must be posted at the construction site and safety meetings must be held periodically. Construction sites should have adequately stocked first aid kits available at all times. In addition, it is essential to follow procedures for handling hazardous waste and reporting accidents.
Work areas must be well-lit, with passageways and walkways kept clear and trash regularly disposed of. Eye flushing facilities and emergency showers should be made available on the site to handle simple emergencies.
Construction sites must keep an adequate number of fire extinguishers on the grounds, and these must be inspected periodically. Flammable liquids must be stored in approved containers and labeled correctly. Sites must have fire alarms and fire evacuation plans.
OSHA Standard Subpart L outlines scaffolding safety procedures such as wearing hard hats, a pair of non-skid boots and tool lanyards while working on scaffolding. Construction workers should never work on wet surfaces or stand on boxes or ladders that have been placed on top of scaffolding. They should also avoid exceeding the maximum load and moving tools while entering or exiting scaffolding. All scaffolding must contain guardrails, mid-rails and toe boards, and the scaffolding and its personal fall arrest systems should be inspected daily.
OSHA Standard Subpart X outlines safety procedures for ladders. A leading cause of falls at construction sites is improper ladder use; therefore, it is essential for workers to follow safe ladder procedures. They should maintain three or more points of contact while they are on a ladder. While ascending and descending ladders, they should keep both feet and at least one hand, or both of their hands and a foot, on the ladder.
Any tools that need to be carried up or down the ladder should be placed in a tool belt. Alternatively, these items can be pulled up once the worker has stopped climbing. Workers must be trained in properly tying ladders off, and all ladders should be inspected each day by a competent individual.
Personal Protective Equipment
According to OSHA Standard Subpart E, safety precautions must be used when the eyes, face and head are at risk. For example, workers must be protected during welding, chipping, sanding, drilling and grinding because of the potential for loose particles, gases or vapors to cause harm.
They must wear head protection when working in situations where they could be struck in the head. Hard hats must be inspected daily for damage and should fit closely to the head. Employers must provide this protection and cannot charge workers for its costs. In addition, they must replace any damaged equipment immediately.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, new construction site rules were enacted to reduce the spread of the virus. These include a prohibition of the use of community water coolers, spacing hand washing stations and restrooms six feet or more apart from one another, instituting staggered shifts for sites with 10 or more active workers and designating a COVID-19 safety monitor who is always on site.
Construction Site Security
Security is another major concern at construction sites. Although Texas does not have a specific security officer requirement that applies to all construction sites, site supervisors often hire security services to protect their site’s assets and workers. Appropriate construction site security can reduce the potential for theft and restrict entry to authorized personnel.
The location, size and nature of the site will determine the specifications of security services. Security officers patrolling a site can prevent the theft of equipment, tools, fuel and other materials, as well as vandalism and arson. They can also prevent robbery or attacks on construction workers. Officers with first aid training can render assistance in emergency situations, such as in the event of a fire or if a worker or visitor becomes injured on the site.
Securing and illuminating the perimeter of a site can also serve as deterrents. Video surveillance provides an additional layer of protection against theft and vandalism.
Reach Out To The Construction Site Security Team
Construction site supervisors who want to enhance both safety and security at their site can reach out to the experienced construction site security team at American Protection Group. Their trained officers and cutting-edge surveillance tools can assist in the prevention of loss, improve safety, protect against liabilities and increase profits.