The construction worksite is a dangerous place and the potential for accidents is high. Most work-related accidents are caused by an unsafe act, unsafe working condition or a combination of the two. However, many of these accidents can be avoided by focusing on safe practices and taking the necessary precautions.
Hazards You May Encounter
Because your job has such a high potential for hazards, it’s important to understand what causes accidents so that you can avoid them when possible. Common hazards include:
- Using defective equipment
- Not using proper protective equipment
- Removing guards from equipment
- Using tools improperly or horseplay
- Unsafe handling of materials
- Failure to secure tools or materials either on the ground or on an overhead surface
Safe Steps to Avoid Accidents
The first step to keeping yourself and co-workers safe is to stay alert on-site and don’t let routine or familiarity lure you into carelessness. Always observe safety precautions before and during a task, even if those precautions make the task more inconvenient or take longer to complete. Cutting corners may not seem like a big deal, but doing so is a primary cause of accidents.
The next step is to research your job. The more you know about your job, the safer you’ll be. Know the proper procedures and safety precautions for any task you do, and if any questions arise during your working day, talk to your supervisor.
The last step is to make a personal contribution. A good way to start this is to follow all safety rules, even if you think they are unnecessary or slow you down. Certain rules on-site are made for your protection, so follow them. Also, just because an unsafe act is not specifically prohibited, it doesn’t mean that you should do it. Use your common sense when evaluating if an act is safe or not – there may be a very easy way to make it safer if you stop to think it through.
Focus on Good Habits
It’s human nature to work yourself into habits and when you break a safety rule, you’ve taken the first and most influential step in forming a bad habit – a habit that can lead to an injury. Good habits, such as noticing unsafe conditions, following safety procedures and wearing the correct personal protective equipment, are just as easy to form.
Develop a safe attitude! This is probably one of the most difficult things to face because most of us have the mistaken notion that it’s always someone else who gets hurt, never us. If we all do our share in observing safety rules and staying alert for unsafe conditions, everyone benefits.
The content of this document is of general interest and is not intended to apply to specific circumstances. It does not purport to be a comprehensive analysis of all matters relevant to its subject matter. The content should not, therefore, be regarded as constituting legal advice and not be relied upon as such. In relation to any particular problem which they may have, readers are advised to seek specific advice. Further, the law may have changed since first publication and the reader is cautioned accordingly. © 2009-2010, 2012-2013, 2019 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.