Are you being compliant? 5 safety rules you may have overlooked
As anyone who’s worked on a construction site will tell you, safety must come first. After all, there is perhaps no other working environment which offers the same potential for injury to anyone who doesn’t show respect to the necessary procedures. Full training should always be provided by your employer, but if you’re looking for a little bit of guidance, then these tips should help to get started:
Ensure that you get on or off equipment in the right manner. Whilst it’s common knowledge that construction machinery can be dangerous when in use, it’s less well known that actually a great many injuries that occur happen when the user is getting on or off the machinery, rather than when they’re actually using it. To ensure you remain as safe as possible, make sure you’ve wiped any mud off your boots before you hop into your Sunbelt forklift rental and put on gloves before you attempt to mount the machine – this is a significant cause of slips and falls. Where there are handles to help you get up or down, use them.
Minimise crowds. Again, when using equipment the focus of safety is usually the person in closest proximity to it (typically the driver). However, many injuries still arise from other people putting them in a position of danger. Because of this, it’s important for you to ensure that before you begin using any machinery, there is no-one within close range who could be injured – or at least, if there are people within close range, they are aware that the machinery is about to be activated and know to stay clear. If a piece of equipment is particularly hazardous, then use a ‘spotter’ whilst it’s being used to make sure no-one is allowed to get too close.
Watch for buried obstructions. Another less obvious cause of accidents, buried obstructions can lead to serious injury and even fatalities. In some cases, electric wires are dug into causing severe shock, and on other occasions hot water pipes can be split, leading to burns. It’s important that before digging into any new area, the agency responsible for the underground site is consulted to make sure there are no hazards beneath the surface – or that if there are, plans can be obtained so that the workers can proceed safe in the knowledge of where they are.
Wearing a seatbelt. Yes, we know: it seems too obvious, doesn’t it? However, people not wearing their seatbelt when using larger machinery continues to be a substantial cause of injury in construction sites. Needless to say, even with the vehicle door shut, the belt should be on and fixed before the machinery is fired up. If you’re at the manager level, then it’s your responsibility to ensure that seat belts and all other restraining equipment are maintained and in perfect working order.
Check when backing up. Again, whilst many people may see this as common sense, it’s still a rule that some don’t adhere to. Needless to say, it’s vital to ensure that you always engage the backup alarms (where they aren’t automatic), as well as consistently ensuring you check your mirrors before moving. You should also check the whole of the machine’s perimeter before you even put the key in the ignition. On more hazardous machines, rear-mounted cameras should be used.