Did you know 90% of workplace injuries occur because of human error?
Sometimes, it’s easy to brush aside the importance of going over some safety tips with new construction workers.
Don’t push these to the side. Instead, whenever a new crop of workers begins a project, go over some construction safety tips.
Keep reading to learn about construction safety tips to share at your next meeting!
Here are some safety tips to share at your summer safety meeting or to new workers.
1. Stay Hydrated
No matter if you are working during the summer or winter season, you always want to make sure your workers are staying hydrated.
Water is the best hydrating beverage although some may not like to drink it because it’s bland and tasteless. A way to make it more enjoyable is adding a slice of lemon to the water cooler or choosing electrolytic drinks like Gatorade.
Your workers will drink more water or Gatorade and stay hydrated throughout the day. This will help them maintain energy throughout the day and help them avoid dehydration.
2. Avoid Caffeinated Beverages
Try not to choose drinks like Red Bull. These do not offer a ton of hydration and instead may cause workers to have a crash after drinking them.
Avoid sugary drinks and carbonated sodas. Anything with caffeine should typically be avoided because caffeine is a diuretic. Your workers will become dehydrated faster when drinking beverages like coffee or Red Bull.
Instead, choose a citrus beverage like lemonade. This is generally an excellent way to stay hydrated. Make sure that 50 % of the cooler is filled with water.
3. Make Lunch Time Count
Choosing the right foods for lunch is an important task. Your workers may scoff at this tip, but it’s not to be taken lightly.
If you aren’t fueling your body correctly, then you are more likely to wear out and grow tired in the afternoon. Junk food is full of preservatives and is high in fat. They contain a ton of calories and typically, its not healthy for you.
Choose a big breakfast and load up on protein so you will stay full longer. For example, boiled eggs and toast will fuel you for the morning. This will ensure that you aren’t starving by the time lunch arrives.
Try to go for a lighter lunch like vegetable salads, fruit, or a sandwich.
If you eat a heavy meal with tons of carbs, you are going to have an energy crash in the afternoon as your body works extra hard to digest the food.
Pick foods that will fuel you with energy to get the job done and not leave you feeling sluggish. If workers don’t, they are in danger of getting sleepy on the job and making mistakes, or worse, getting injured.
4. Be Aware of Circadian Rhythms
Circadian rhythms are the body’s internal clock that controls our sleep-wake cycles. There is such a thing called a ‘Post Lunch Dip’ when most people feel like a nap.
There is typically a drop in productivity and safety during this time every day.
Eating a lighter lunch will help with this desire to nap. If you have a huge meal, you are going to want to nap. If you have to work around a paving machine or run a motor grader, you’re going to need to be alert.
Choose your lunch wisely and be aware of the afternoon slump.
5. Schedule for Cooler Work
If you must work in extreme heat, you might want to reconsider working during the time of day when its blazing. Instead, a schedule for colder parts of the day.
Consider if the job can be completed at night. Could you start earlier in the day?
Make sure that supervisors are watching employees closely to see if they are quite fatigued during hotter weather. Call for breaks frequently.
When workers go into the air-conditioned space, make sure they change out of soaked shirts.
6. Shade the Work Area
Use umbrellas and canopies to shade your workers and avoid direct sunlight. Try and configure your workspace into a shaded area.
Even if its only a bit of protection, some shade is better than zero shade. This will ensure that they do not get severely dehydrated when working.
Make sure there is heavy duty sunblock available for members with sensitive skin. Switch to hard hats that have a wide brim.
These are all easy ways to keep your workers protected from the direct sunlight. They will help your construction workers from tiring out quickly from the hot sun exposure.
7. Choose the Right Clothing
Nape protectors, full sleeves, cooling vests, vented hard hats, and bandannas are available to purchase. This might be something to consider purchasing.
Clothing should be a light color and can reflect the sun. Try and choose material that has a lot of cotton in it. Most of the time, uniform shirts are made of polyester. This is so they don’t break down quickly, but they don’t breathe well.
Find clothing with fabrics that help provide a cooling effect when absorbing sweat. There are specially engineered fabrics that do this. They can be pricey, but they are worth it. This will help workers stay cool.
Tank tops and bare backs should not be permitted. Make sure your workers are protected from the sun. Looking cool isn’t worth being exposed to the direct sunlight and passing out later.
8. Keep an Eye on Each Other
Keep an eye out for signs of heat exhaustion in your workers. By doing this, you may be able to prevent a terrible accident. Make sure a supervisor is surveying the workers and looking for signs of heat exhaustion.
Focusing on safety at work is a serious matter.
Specific symptoms pop up when one has a heat-related illness. For example, slurred speech, stumbling, disorientation, and lethargy are signed of this. These should be easy to spot.
Don’t have this happen when people are moving machinery. This is a huge tip to take into consideration on days when it is blistering hot. Take the right precautions and you should be able to avoid any heat illnesses in your workers.
Keep the water cooler filled with water and have frequent water breaks if its a particularly hot day.
This will keep anyone from stumbling when using dangerous equipment or driving work vehicles.
9. Basic First Aid
If someone has had high exposure to heat or demonstrated the above symptoms, have the person lie down in a cooler area or shade. Make sure their feet are elevated.
Blood flow will move more readily to the brain and decrease cardio loading. This will give the body a chance to begin to focus on cooling down.
Take off their work boots and have some fans nearby to help lower the body temperature and provide cooling. Offer them water.
This is important to do as soon as someone displays any signs of heat illness. By being preventative, you can make sure your workers are safe.
10. Watch Out for Heat Illness
The progression of heat illness is as follows: heat exhaustion, cramps, and heat stroke. For some, heat stroke can be deadly.
This can all be avoided when taking the proper precautions. Make sure you have frequent water breaks and have someone keeping an eye on your employees.
You want your employees to be safe and take their co-workers safety seriously.
11. Removal of Snow and Ice
In the wintertime, if there are ice and snow in the work area, make sure that it is removed. Workers do not need to dodge this while working in extreme temperatures.
Employers should make sure that snow is removed. Have sand and salt put down and the larger pieces of ice chipped away.
Making sure these things are done beforehand will reduce the risk of injury of any of your workers. They will feel a lot safer and more confident at their work site because of these precautions.
12. Prepare and Inspect Vehicles
Before heading out into the colder season, work vehicles should be inspected. You want to make sure they are fully functioning.
Another thing to consider when using vehicles in the wintertime is making sure they are properly stocked with emergency items.
Winter emergency kits should be inside work vehicles. Make sure they include things like a snow brush, ice scraper, shovel, flashlight with extra batteries, tow chain, blanket, snacks, water, and emergency flares.
Contact Us Today
We hope you found this article helpful. Construction safety is important.
By sharing these tips whenever you meet or have a new crop of workers begin, your employees will feel a lot safer and confident when working.
Do you want to invest in on the job site surveillance? We have you covered!
Contact us today to learn more about why remote video security is a worthwhile investment that can be installed on the job site.
This will make your site a secure place for your employees and ensure theft doesn’t occur. We would love to work with you.