Whether you have been working in the construction industry for a while or you’re only starting, it’s important to ensure that you remain safe on the job. While it’s as much as your employer’s responsibility, human errors are made and it’s essential that you check your equipment every so often. Not only this but keep yourself in check by keeping an eye on your mental and physical health. Here are some ways you can keep up with ensuring your safety on the job.
Be Aware Of The Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Much changed over 2020 with the introduction of the coronavirus across the globe. Despite the dramatic changes that have occurred in different countries, essential services have continued, and construction is no exception. Scientists have concluded that the virus spreads through droplets by coughing and sneezing, but the virus can still be transferred if someone is showing no viral symptoms. The US Government have therefore suggested multiple ways to keep safe at work amid the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that you should keep in touch with your supervisor if you display symptoms and follow recommendations if you do become unwell. Familiarising yourself with these recommendations will keep transmission rates low among other staff and keep yourself safe on the job.
Check your PPE
There is no point in wearing your PPE if it’s not regularly checked. Make sure you have all your PPE with you when ready to begin your shift each day or night as it could potentially be the final straw saving you from a hazard. Not should you only make sure you have Hi-Viz, safety boots for grip and a good form of protective headwear, it’s also important to ensure you regularly conduct a fall protection equipment inspection. This may include checking your harness, self-retracting lifeline (SRL) and lanyard. For more detail, check that you have everything on this list. Pre-use checks should be conducted before each shift. Larger checks on the other hand don’t need to be completed constantly but its recommended that a competent person does them annually to ensure the safety of yourself on site. It is also recommended that you have a full induction before beginning each job, as different sites and locations can have different hazards.
Follow Safety Rules and Regulations
Research suggests that there are around 252,000 construction sites in operation each day, seeing a total of around 6.5 million construction workers labour on them every day. With that being said, the same research found that in America, fatality rates are higher in the construction industry than any other industry. Falling incidents seem to be the top contender for accidents in the construction industry. It is therefore essential that you make sure your safety is a top priority when on site. While ensuring your PPE is pristine, it’s also important to follow the rules and regulations set out by authorities and employers. Ensure your scaffold is firm and is level on solid ground. Make sure you are carrying out a fall protection equipment inspection each day. Maintain a habit of following and understanding safety signs too. Attempt to report hazards and issues as much as you can and check in with your supervisor if you want to be updated on these regulations. Ask if you’re in doubt!
Work on Your Wellbeing
It is widely known that the construction industry contains a constant battle with mental illness. Within America, the construction industry is the second-highest industry for suicide rates. This is particularly the case as the industry is male dominated. Employers are making it their top priority to ensure the wellbeing of their workers, both physically and mentally. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made this more of a target for them. The common risk factors with working in construction are overwhelming. They include being in a high-pressure work environment that is male dominated, worrying about losing your job depending on the season, chronic pain associated with labour and alcohol and substance abuse.
To maintain your mental and physical wellbeing, ensure that you work on these things yourself and also with your employer. Having open conversations about the issues that may be affecting you both on and off the job is a sure way to seek help. Co-workers can provide you with advice and you can gain valuable perks out of your relationship with your employer. Having that mutual understanding is the key to minimising the stigma among the construction industry surrounding mental health. It’s also important to make sure you keep your employer or on-site supervisor up to date with any physical issues that may hinder you from doing the job as well as you’d like. To ensure productivity and efficiency, ensure there is an established relationship available for you to lay the foundations for future talks surrounding your wellbeing.