Falls are one of the leading causes of injuries and fatalities in the construction industry. Preventing falls and ensuring the safety of workers on site is vital for preventing accidents and injuries, keeping employees satisfied in the workplace, and avoiding personal injury claims.
As an employee, it’s partly your responsibility, alongside your employer’s, to make the construction site as safe as possible. This may involve wearing fall protection gear, reporting safety hazards in a timely manner, and attending regular health and safety training sessions.
Here are some important fall and injury protection steps on a construction site.
Identify Hazards on the Construction Site
The first step in preventing falls is identifying potential hazards on the construction site. Your employer should conduct regular site assessments to identify areas prone to falls, such as unprotected edges, unsecured scaffolding, or unstable surfaces.
However, as somebody who works on-site daily, you must check equipment before you use it and scaffolding before you walk along. You’ll become better able to identify hazards the longer you work in the construction industry. However, researching and paying close attention to your environment is key to keeping yourself and your colleagues safe.
Pay special attention to elevated work areas, ladders, and stairways. Regular inspections of these areas can help detect and address hazards before accidents and injuries occur.
Beyond this, any waste that has the potential to cause a problem or become a hazard should be removed as soon as possible. To do this, you can hire commercial waste removal dumpsters in Atlanta (or wherever is local to you) for efficient waste removal solutions. While organizing the dumpster hire is the responsibility of your employer, removing waste off-site is as much your responsibility as theirs.
Report Concerns to Management
Part of your duty as a construction site worker is to report faulty or broken machinery, or unsteady scaffolding, as soon as you notice it. Continuing to use faulty machinery or stand on inadequately constructed scaffolding platforms (or allowing others to do so) could put everybody’s health and safety at risk, leading to accidents and injuries.
When you report concerns, it can help management to identify weaknesses in existing safety procedures and protocols. They can then implement the necessary changes to improve on-site safety and prevent future falls and injuries from occurring.
Reporting your concerns and issues is often a legal requirement, and it’s necessary to do so if you want to maintain compliance with local and national health and safety laws. You can protect yourself from liability if an accident or injury occurs if you have previously reported faults and damages.
Attend Health and Safety Training Sessions
By law, employers must provide comprehensive training and education to their workers, especially in the construction industry, due to its high-risk nature. You must attend all of the health and safety training sessions your employer enrolls you on and pay attention to the information you’re provided at these sessions.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your training sessions if you’re unsure of anything, and feel free to take notes that you can refer to at a later date to refresh your memory. With proper health and safety training, you will be well-equip to identify fall hazards, and you’ll learn proper ladder usage, and scaffold assembly.
Encourage your colleagues to also attend health and safety training courses to create a collaborative and hazard-free environment for the whole team to enjoy.
Learn How to Use Fall Protection Systems Properly
Effective fall protection systems, such as safety nets or catch platforms, are essential to prevent falls. Employers will ensure that any systems installed on their construction site are sturdy, safe, and effective. However, fall protection systems are only effective if used correctly.
Learn how to use the various fall protection systems used in your workplace so you can use them appropriately when needed. If you notice any issues with the anchors or equipment, report them to your manager immediately and avoid using them until any faults or damages have been fixed.
Practice Effective Communication
We’ve already briefly mentioned the importance of reporting concerns to your supervisors or management team, and the key element in this process is communication.
Great communication skills might not be the first thing you think about as a construction worker, as it’s a highly practical and technical job. However, possessing top-notch communication skills are vital when it comes to preventing falls and other injuries on-site.
You’ll need to communicate effectively with your colleagues and seniors to report safety hazards in the workplace promptly. This applies to both written and verbal communication, as you may need to provide detailed written documentation if you spot a major hazard or safety concern.