Construction sites are hazardous places to work and there are safety tips you should follow, because a majority of accidents can be prevented by adopting simple measures and proper working procedures. To make construction sites, safe and secure places to work in, work must be done carefully and appropriate safety measures taken, to lessen the work injury cases.
Basic Safety Rules to Follow
- Construction sites must be tidied up all the time and the passages kept clear. The debris must be removed at the earliest.
- The materials should be sorted out and piled up safely ensuring that the stacks are not too high.
- The floor openings should be kept fenced or covered. Sufficient lighting must be provided for adequate visibility
- The location and operation of fire-fighting equipment must be known to all.
Safety measures for Construction Site Workers
- The dangerous part of the machine should be installed with a guard before it is operated.
- Since there may be some dangerous places not covered or fenced, areas with insufficient lighting must be avoided.
- Site workers must be watchful at all times, looking out for hooks, moving cranes, or other lifting equipment.
- The condition of electric cables of any electrical installation or tool must be checked before its use.
- Electric cables must not be dragged on the ground and their contact with water must be avoided.
- Electrical tools must be installed with an earth leakage circuit breaker before they are used.
- Chemicals must be used and handled with care.
Measures for Personal Safety
- Protective equipment must be worn all the time you are on the site.
- Stay away from drinks or drugs while working.
- Personal hygiene must be maintained.
- Unsafe conditions must be reported immediately to the supervisor if noticed.
Emergency Response Measures for Accidents
Awareness of the working environment and adherence to the supervisor’s instructions is necessary. In the event of an evacuation during an emergency, stay calm and find out:
- The dangerous situation which has set off the alarm.
- The routes for evacuation.
- The safe areas designated by the company that you must run to.
In case of a serious injury, you should:
- Stay calm but seek help immediately.
- Attend to the injured person, and provide first aid.
- Help with the immediate rescue work as much as possible.
- Inform the site safety staff.
- Do not try to move the injured person, unless it is absolutely necessary to do so.
- The accident scene must not be tampered with till the arrival of the investigation team.
When a fire breaks out, you should remember:
- A small fire can be put out with a fire extinguisher.
- If the blaze is out of control, do not try to extinguish the fire on your own. The Fire Services Department must be called immediately.
- The emergency telephone numbers posted on the notice board in the site office must always be kept note of.
Measures for Workplace Safety
When working on False work:
- Confirm if the false work is erected as per the design.
- Ensure whether the false work is securely erected.
- The struts of the false work should be well secured.
- Ensure that the props are erected vertically and arranged at a suitable distance in a row.
- Report to your supervisor when any unsafe situation is found.
When working on Scaffolding:
- Before use, confirm if the scaffolds have been erected by trained workmen, under the supervision of a knowledgeable person.
- The scaffold must be inspected and certified safe by a competent authority before use.
- The instructions of the competent person should be strictly followed. The scaffold must not be altered by anyone unless authorized to do so. Never work on an unfinished scaffold.
- When it is necessary to work on a mobile scaffold, lock the wheels of the scaffold before you start working.
- Do not work on a scaffold unless it has been provided with a suitable working platform. Fencing.
- No work should be done in a hazardous place unless all the floor edges and openings have been fenced.
- If you notice any dangerous places that have not been installed with fencing or the fencing has been damaged, reinstall or repair the fencing. If this is beyond your capability, inform your supervisor at once.
When working on a Ladder:
- Use a ladder that is of good construction, sound material, and adequate strength.
- The ladder should be examined before use and inspected at regular intervals.
- The ladder should be placed on a level and have a firm footing.
- Place the ladder at an appropriate angle.
- The ladder should be of sufficient length and its upper end should be at least 1 metre above the landing against which the ladder is propped.
- Do not use a ladder unless its upper or lower end has been securely fixed or secured by another worker.
- If there are electrical installations nearby, do not use metal ladders.
- Use a suitable working platform If working 2 metres or more above the floor.
When Lifting Appliances and Gear
- The lifting appliances should be operated by trained workers, and crane operators should be certified.
- Before using lifting gear such as hook, shackle or chain sling, check whether there is any wear and tear.
- The weight of the load to be lifted should be checked and the safe working load of a lifting appliance or lifting gear must not be exceeded.
- Adopt the correct lifting method.
- Do not use a lifting appliance or lifting gear unless it has been examined and certified safe by a competent examiner.
- A lifting appliance should have been regularly repaired and maintained by a competent authority, before use.
- No unauthorized repair is allowed.
- The manufacturer’s safe working instructions for a lifting appliance must be strictly followed.
- Do not work beneath any suspended load.
When Working with a Material Hoist
- The workers should not ride on material hoists.
- The material hoist should not be operated without prior proper training.
- The safe working load of a material hoist should not be exceeded.
- The material hoist should be used only after it has been examined and certified safe by a competent examiner.
- Do not use a material hoist unless its gates have been installed with an effective interlocking safety system. The hoist is only operable after all the gates have been closed.
- Use a material hoist only if it has been repaired and maintained by a competent person. No unauthorized repair is allowed.
- Do not put loose materials into receptacles unless properly secured.
- Ensure good communication with the operator of a material hoist by understanding and following all his signals.
When Load shifting Machinery
- Unless you are a worker concerned, do not work in an area where a loader, an excavator, etc. is in operation.
- Do not operate any load shifting machinery without training and approval.
- Operators of forklift trucks, bulldozers, loaders, excavators, trucks or lorries should possess appropriate certificates.
Preventing Cartridge-operated Fixing Tool hazards
- A cartridge-operated fixing tool can be operated only by a valid certificate holder.
- While operating a cartridge-operated fixing tool, suitable eye and ear protectors must be worn.
- Use a cartridge-operated fixing tool with great care Portable Power Tool
- The dangerous parts of a portable power tool such as saw, grinder and drill must be effectively guarded before use.
- Place the electric cable and hose of a tool at an appropriate position to avoid tripping Cartridge-operated Fixing Tool hazards
When Working with Compressed Air
- Compressed air should be used only for specified purposes.
- Only good construction compressed air equipment, pipes, and relevant devices, examined and certified safe by a competent examiner must be used.
- Fix the connectors properly.
- Do not twist the pipes.
- Do not abuse the use of compressed air for cleaning purpose. A vacuum cleaner or brush should be used to remove dust from skin and clothing
When Working with Electric Tool
- Check the tool. its plug, and connecting cable, before using an electric tool.
- Do not use a damaged tool.
- Check that the electric tool’s connecting cable is well protected, before using it.
- Do not use an electric tool unless its metal casing is earthed and its power supply is provided with an earth leakage circuit breaker.
- Do not repair or alter any electrical installation unless competent to do so.
- If you meet any fault or problem, report it to your supervisor immediately
- The fence on all sides of an excavation should be intact.
- Safe access should be used for ingress and egress.
- No soil or other materials should be piled at the edge of an excavation.
- Make sure that a trench is securely shored before working in it.
During Gas Welding and Flame Cutting
- Only those aged 18 years and above, holding a valid certificate must be allowed to use the equipment for gas welding or flame cutting.
- Only those gas cylinders that are fitted with flashback arrestors, must be used.
- Wear personal protective equipment.
- Keep the workplace clean.
- Place fire extinguishers within reach.
- The gas cylinders must be kept in an upright position, and secured properly to avoid overturning.
- Any gas leakage detected, must be reported to the supervisor immediately.
Preparing for Fire Risk
There is always a fire risk. However, the chances of fire can be reduced, and you will know what to do when a fire breaks out if you:
- The workplace must be kept clean and tidy at all times.
- The machinery and tools that may generate sparks or heat, must be handled carefully.
- Do not smoke or use naked flames in any area where flammable and explosive substances are stored.
- The location and use of fire extinguishers must be known to all.
- The place of assembly for fire evacuation must be known to all.
Caring for Public Safety
- Members of the public are not aware of the risks of the work carried out on construction sites, hence attention must be paid to public safety.
- Preventing the fall of materials from height is a must as it can be hazardous.
- Materials should not be stacked on floor edges or scaffolds.
During Waste Disposal
- All unwanted materials, and was tamest be disposed of at a designated place.
- The supervisor must be notified of the requirement for the separate disposal of chemical or inflammable wastes.
- Do not leave planks with nails on passageway.
The above tips if followed meticulously can save precious lives and property on your construction site.
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