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Job Safety Tips

Face it, all construction sites have some element of danger. Our job is to minimize that risk and prevent injuries. While taking precautions can slow down production, find a happy medium between the two. Here are some basic safety tips that we here at Builder Chicks find can reduce the risk of injury without bringing your project to a standstill.

Provide Fall Protection: Reduce the risks of falls by using appropriate harnesses and tie-offs when working at heights. A reminder: The safety rope should have no more than 15 feet of free fall room. More than that and survival is reduced.

Prevent Explosions: Separate gas and oxygen tanks from welding equipment by a minimum of 20 feet. Alternately, a wall 5-feet high, or higher between the welder and the tanks is permissible.

Reduce Excavation Accidents: You've seen it, you dig a trench one day and the next day it's slid shut. Soil slippage accidents are horrific but preventable. Install and check support wall reinforcement every hour when excavating. In addition, keep an escape ladder within easy reach of all workers in the trench.

 Leave the Safety Guards On: I know what you're thinking...the guards on your power saws slow you down. Too bad. The safety they offer is worth going a little slower. And once your crew adapts to their use, they'll be nearly as efficient as they were without the guards.

Require Eye Protection: This is essential to maintaining a safe jobsite. Try tear-off lens covers for quick cleaning and optimal visibility.

Use Scaffolding Training: Follow OSHA's scaffolding training tips to prevent falls and injuries. Many accidents on scaffolding are preventable.

Put Protective Caps on Rebar: This is common sense, but too often, workers will forget to put the safety caps on and rebar can be tough to see, leading to impalement and other injuries. Keep an ample supply of rebar caps on the jobsite at all times and appoint one person to oversee their immediate use.

Keep the Jobsite Clean: Admit it, no one wants the job of picking up the scrap wood or the discarded appliance boxes but it's essential to the safety of the site to keep it clean. Implement a work plan where the workers remove all debris as soon as the immediate job is complete. Offer weekly incentives to keep the practice fun and reinforce the habit.

Leave the Hardhats On: This is an ongoing concern for project superintendents who continuously find workers who removed their hat, "only for a moment," but forget to put it back on. Falling boards and other items can kill. Establish a jobsite rule that warns workers one time and then dismisses them for the remainder of the day, without pay, if they are working in a dangerous area without their hardhat on.

Assign Jobs Responsibly: In a pinch, it's easy to send a carpenter's helper over to run some wiring but it's foolish and dangerous. Protect your workers from injury by requiring adequate training an/or certification before assigning them to skilled tasks.