Construction work involves heavy machinery, dangerous materials, high places, and other clear dangers. While modern construction technology and practices have decreased the overall risks of construction sites over time, there are still some salient work safety hazards to be aware of.
In this article, we’ll take a look at five of the most common construction work safety hazards and how you can take steps to keep your team safe. Make sure to check out the US Standard Products blog for work safety tips and incisive insights into the latest developments in the world of construction.
Falls are still the most common cause of death on construction sites, making heights the most serious risk in construction. While working at height is simply part of the reality of construction work, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to make this practice safer.
First, any employee who will be working at height needs to receive thorough safety training that covers different types of equipment. Keep in mind that it’s the employer’s responsibility to assess the risks of a given work environment. You should use all reasonable safety measures such as nets and rails to minimize the risk of a serious fall.
2. Loud Noises
Noise isn’t an obvious threat like heights or moving objects, but it can lead to short- and long-term hearing damage, especially after prolonged exposure. Personal protective equipment is a necessity at any worksite with loud noises.
Again, it’s up to the employer to assess the level of noise and make sure that employees are in a safe environment. Noises can begin to cause hearing damage at as little as 70 dB.
Asbestos is another long-term threat that workers may not be as aware of during work hours. People can suffer health effects later on even if they don’t notice anything at the time of exposure.
As an employer, it’s critical to let your employees know exactly where any asbestos is located. You also need to provide sufficient training so that they understand how to handle any unknown materials that could contain asbestos or another harmful substance.
4. Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome
Affecting joints, nerves, and blood vessels, Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome is a notable risk for construction workers. It’s a real threat to workers who spend long periods of time handling power tools.
While the condition can typically be avoided by good practices including PPE equipment and regular tool maintenance, there’s no way to reverse Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome after it starts to cause symptoms. With that in mind, employers need to be proactive about their workers’ safety in order to prevent long-term damage.
5. Airborne Materials
Damage from asbestos isn’t immediately obvious, but the material itself is at least easy to identify. Unfortunately, airborne particles and fibers can also cause a variety of health problems, and workers may not realize what they’re inhaling.
As an employer, you’re responsible for both providing PPE safety equipment and confirming that your employees are using it as directed. Merely giving it to your staff without explaining the risks or requiring compliance isn’t enough to demonstrate your commitment to their safety.
Construction involves a wide variety of hazards, but employers can greatly reduce the risks by taking some simple steps to create a safer work environment. US Standard’s superior products can help you update your safety practices to protect against these threats and ensure the safety of your workers.