The construction industry provides jobs to many Americans, with many sites having safety features in place. Unfortunately, this isn’t universally true. In fact, one in five worker deaths in 2015 were in construction. With over 20,000 safety citations issued that year, there is clearly more that can and should be done to keep construction workers safe. Continuing our previous post on avoiding construction accidents, here are four more ways to make construction sites safer for workers.
Choosing the right ladder and using it correctly
OSHA issued 2,662 citations for improper ladder use in 2015, most commonly for incorrect ladder choice, failure to secure the ladder, or carrying materials by hand while climbing the ladder. Ladders should be inspected for damage every day before use, and those found defective should be marked or tagged out immediately.
Be sure to use a ladder that is at least one meter higher than the landing it needs to reach. Before use, tie ladders to a secure point at the top and bottom. When climbing, always maintain three points of contact: two feet and at least one hand. When you need to carry tools up a ladder, always use a tool belt or a rope to pull things up. Never try to carry your materials by hand.
Safer scaffolds and aerial lifts
Scaffolding should be built on solid footing at least ten feet away from power lines. It should also be fully planked and built with guardrails, midrails and toeboards. All construction sites using lifts or scaffolding should have a fall protection system in place. Never work on scaffolding or lifts covered in slippery substances like water, ice or mud, and keep walking surfaces clear of tools and equipment. Never use boxes or ladders to reach higher places while on a scaffold or lift.
Proper eye and face protection
All workers must wear face and eye protection when working on any activity that puts workers in contact with liquid chemicals, chemical gasses or vapors, light radiation, flying particles or molten metal. These activities can include drilling, chipping, grinding, sanding, woodworking and welding. Employers must provide eye and face protection free of charge to any workers who may have contact with these hazards. When using eye and face protection, make sure that it fits properly and doesn’t interfere with your movement. Inspect eye and face protection before use and immediately replace any protection that has cracks or chips.
Proper head protection
Employers must also provide all employees with head protection free of charge. Workers must wear head protection whenever there is a risk of being hit on the head. On a construction site, that risk is almost always present, so be sure to wear your hard hat at all times. Check your hard hat regularly for cracks, dents or any other sign of damage. Make sure your hat fits snugly and doesn’t come loose during normal movement.
Do You Need a Construction Liability Accident Attorney?
If you or a loved one is the victim of a construction accident in South Carolina, personal injury attorney F. Craig Wilkerson can help. Contact us online for a free case evaluation or call us at:
- 803-324-7200 (Rock Hill attorneys)
- 803-289-7202 (Lancaster attorneys)
- 803-396-5200 (Fort Mill attorneys)