Essential Safety Equipment For a Construction Site
The workforce is a company’s most important resource…and it is also an integral part of its success. In the case of a construction site, it is important for employees to be properly protected with appropriate clothing. Let’s review the safety equipment required to work on a construction site.
Be Seen and Heard
It is important that your employees can be seen when they work in a dangerous environment. One out of three fatal worksite accidents involves a person struck by a moving vehicle. Wearing reflective clothing reduces this risk, as well as installing audible or visual alarms to warn of the presence of a moving vehicle on the worksite.
Protect Your Eyes
Wearing appropriate protection can prevent most ocular lesions. These injuries, often caused by dust or ambient air, result from activities such as stone and brick drilling as well as cutting metal. When the risk of eye injury is great, workers must be equipped with solid, protective eyewear, which must also protect against shock (tempered glass eyewear is preferable). Facial protection also protects against shock, toxic liquids, splashing molten metal, as well as sparks.
Protect Your Ears
Noise can also cause injuries. Continuous exposure to noises of 90 decibels can cause hearing disorders over the long term. Earmuffs and earplugs can provide appropriate protection. This equipment will reduce unwanted noise without hindering verbal communication between workers on the site. Information about the right choice of earplugs, noise-cancelling headbands, and molded earplugs is available here, in a guide published by the Réseau de santé publique en santé au travail (RSPSAT).
Protect Your Head
Objects and tools fall frequently on construction sites. Even a simple bolt falling from a height of 15m is capable of causing serious injury, even death. Hardhats protect your head against this kind of danger and areas in which they must be worn must be clearly identified. Hardhats also provide protection against the rain, the sun and electric shock; opt for those made of high-density polyethylene (PE-HD) or resin.
Protect Your Hands
Workers on construction sites are constantly using their hands, which is why they are susceptible to frequent injury. These injuries can be abrasions and dislocations, or can be more severe such as fractures and burns. Appropriate reinforced gloves can prevent these kinds of injuries. Protective gloves must be worn in areas with toxic or corrosive substances, pneumatic drills and serrated or sharp surfaces that can cause lacerations. More information is available here.
Protect Your Respiratory System
Construction sites very often contain dusts and harmful gasses because of work such as sanding and spray painting. Even though disposable paper masks are effective against dust, you must however equip workers on the site with masks to protect against harmful gasses.
Protect Your Feet
You must also wear safety shoes or boots that are suitable for a construction site. Many accidents and falls occur because of inappropriate footwear. Good safety footwear should be waterproof with anti-slip soles; in addition, it should be sufficiently resistant and unlikely to be punctured in the event of falling tools or sharp materials. L’Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST) publishes a brochure to help you when choosing safety footwear. It’s available here.