The Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA)reports that over 4,000 workers were fatally injured on the job and that one in five of those deaths were related to construction workers. The leading causes of these accidents rest in three categories:
- Falls (being the leading cause)
- Struck by an object
Falling can be a serious risk that lies within any construction oriented job, but OSHA has set guidelines to be followed to help ensure employee safety. Here are some ways that employers keep their employees safe from these disastrous feats:
- Guard every floor hole into which a worker can accidentally walk (using a railing and toe-board or a floor hole cover).
- Provide a guardrail and toe-board around every elevated open sided platform, floor or runway.
- Regardless of height, if a worker can fall into or onto dangerous machines or equipment (such as a vat or acid or a conveyor belt), employers must provide guardrails and toe-boards to prevent workers from falling and getting injured.
- Other means of fall protection that may be required on certain jobs include safety harness and line, safety nets, stair railings and handrails.
Research conducted by the National Safety Council has estimated that approximately 4,000 injuries occur in the workplace due to electrical hazards each year. However, there are steps that can be taken and tools that can be used to help decrease the risks in your own place of employment.
- Voltage Testers are an essential tool of any electrical work by providing assurance that no wires are live which may cause a surprise shock.
- Always check cords to all tools before use to ensure a hazard free connection.
- Proper usage of safety equipment, such as Gloves and Eyewear, is often required and for good reason. This is another part of a preventative measure against accidents. Ensuring all members of the team are wearing the required safety equipment is one way to look out for others and to be mindful of yourself at the same time.
Some of the most common workplace injuries pertain to the back and are often caused by improper lifting. Here are some tips to help avoid a painful back injury when lifting something heavy:
- Address the object properly by always bending at your knees and not at your waist.
- Keep your back as straight as possible. Never hunch over.
- Test the object first and get help if the object seems too heavy. Sometimes a helping hand is just what we need.
- Remember that the best way to avoid injury on the job is to take preventative measures. Always exercise caution and use safety equipment. Never be caught without a first aid kit and keep a watchful eye on yourself and those around you. Together, as a working team, we can help reduce the statistics and encourage a healthy and safe workforce!