6 Must-Haves for Construction Safety on the Job Site
The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that workplace injuries are declining. In part due to a better knowledge of how the body works and how to avoid injury, but it’s also due to better equipment. Construction is still a dangerous industry with many fatalities which is why it’s best to arm yourself with the best gear for construction safety.
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OSHA Standards for Construction Safety
The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a list of recommended personal protective equipment for construction safety. For construction, they recommend safety glasses all the time and face shields when needed. For boots, they recommend shoes that are slip-resistant and puncture-resistant with safety toes. OSHA requires hard hats that are routinely inspected for dents, cracks or deterioration and replaced after any blow or shock. As always ear protection is a must at any site where chainsaws or heavy equipment will be used, and they should be clean.
Safety glasses are a must for construction safety. Without protective eyewear, workers are putting their livelihoods at risk. Protective eyewear can cost anywhere from $5 to $200 depending on the features you choose. The best protective eyewear is anti-fog, has some form of brow guard to block sweat and debris, and is comfortable. For those who have glasses, it’s important to either get protective wear to go over the glasses or prescription protective eyewear. Dewalt makes prescription protective eyewear that meet OSHA requirements. This is an easy step to ensure job safety.
Work boots have to be slip-resistant and puncture-resistant. But some boots fit better and work better than other boots. Timberland is a very popular brand, and with the free cleaning and conditioning, it’s hard to beat. Their Pro Titan Work Boot features an alloy toe, waterproof leather, and is safe from electrical hazards. It’s a pretty hard boot to beat; however, it’s important to go in and be able to try them on. Because construction workers spend so much time on their feet, it’s important for their work boots to fit properly. So trying the shoes on in store and knowing what their warranty or return policy is extremely important. While many shoes have similar features, the fit could be different can potentially lead to injury. Set up safety guidelines for the type of recommended boot and work being performed. Different boots have unique safety features.
Most construction jobs require gloves. Either the climate is too cold, or it’s too hot and worker’s hands get slick which is where gloves come in handy. So long as gloves fit snug to the hand they will help workers, of course, this is dependent upon the field. An all-around good glove is the Carhartt Grain. This model is 100% duck cloth so it is very pliable with a good range of motion. And with reinforced full grain leather, it will protect workers from general scrapes, punctures, splinters, and other injuries. It makes this glove great for construction safety. However, if you’re doing welding or electrical work you might need a different glove more specific to your job.
When anyone thinks of construction, they immediately think of hard hats, and they are the most recognizable symbol of construction. They’re also the most important part of construction safety gear. Hard hats protect employees from concussions and other traumatic brain injuries. Hard hats shouldn’t be white, as it is harder to tell whether there’s been damage to the hard hat. And depending upon the job, the material of the hard hat is incredibly important. A great Class C and G hard hat is the Fibre-Metal Roughneck Hard Hat by Honeywell. It is ANSI and CSA type 1 compliant, and less than one lbs. The hard hat also protects from vertical impacts and penetrations.
Ear protection helps construction workers from going deaf. And with all the sounds on a construction site, it’s hard to imagine people not using ear protection. One of the best headphones is the Howard Leight by Honeywell Sports Sound. It is excellent for noise reduction, using directional microphones to amplify voices but silences loud noises that could hurt your ears. With its lightweight and compact design, it stores easily. And it’s fairly easy to clean and adjusts very easily. As two AAA batteries power it, the headphones have a battery life of approximately 350 hours before needing to be replaced.
Construction safety helps keep workers safe on job sites, which are safer now than they were in the past. And with all the available safety advancements sites will continue to get safer.