With the summer months starting to wind down, you can expect concrete jobs to begin slowing down. Concrete contractors need to stay focused on safety when a busy season starts to come to a close. Here are some tips to make sure you end the season safely for you and your concrete company.
Check Your Safety Gear and Equipment
During the concrete season, it’s easy for your safety equipment to get worn down. Set up a weekly check for you and your team to check your gloves, hard hat, eyewear, etc. It helps if you do this at the same time each week to ensure it doesn’t get missed. At the end of the season, make sure that you inventory all your equipment and start looking at placing a new order for next season.
Just like your safety gear, your precious equipment likely took a beating this season. Ensuring that you have enough oil in your vehicles and that your tires have the right amount of pressure are a few tips to make sure your equipment will last as long as possible. You have to keep in mind that working with the equipment you’re working with is dangerous enough; you always want it to be in the best condition possible.
Stick with Safety Training Sessions Along with Ergonomics
With the season starting to slow down, it’s easy to get out of your scheduled routine and skip out on the smaller details. Make sure you are still conducting your regularly scheduled safety training sessions. Having a clear path for safety training to the end of the season will ensure your employees have safety on the front of their minds.
Like many construction trades, concrete companies go through some of the most vigorous work on the job site. From prepping to pouring to finishing, you are always moving your body to complete the job. Make practicing ergonomics, especially at the end of the year, a priority. Try also to use available equipment when possible to take the burden off your body.
Be Mindful of Jobsite Hazards and Preparation
During this time of the year, it’s easy to check out and take a more relaxed approach at the job site. Ensure you continue to consistently watch out for items at the job site that could harm you or the project. Keep your attention on finishing the project strong and not letting your momentum decrease when it comes to safety. One of the most common injuries that can happen on a concrete project is handling rebar, so make sure these are handled cautiously to avoid any injury.
After preparing site after site all season, it can be easier to get away from the fundamentals. Make sure that you are taking the right amount of time to prepare by inspecting the underground for utilities or major obstructions. It’s also important not to miss the details, like making sure the forms will handle the concrete. It’s crucial to make sure the forms are built with enough strength to avoid a blowout, which can even be deadly in some cases.
Heat-Related Fatigue During the Concrete Season
Working from sun up to sundown during the summer can take a toll on your health. It’s especially important to be mindful of the heat towards the end of the summer when days can still be hot and cause fatigue. Concrete also puts us in a challenging position because it will attract heat from the sun. Even if you are working late into the evening thinking your beating the heat, it’s still being absorbed from the sun.
The good news is that heat illness is one of the easiest to dodge. You can do this by making sure that your team is staying hydrated. You can encourage your team to take frequent breaks and grab some shade during their break to help cool down. Even if you’re behind on your projects, try to avoid pouring any concrete on severely hot days. It can send you even further behind if your team gets fatigued and is not ideal for the material.
Working With Lifts
Depending on the type of job your working on, you might need a lift to help move heavy materials on the job site. Ensure that you are still using the same safety procedures you learned during your training on how to operate these machines. It can make a difference for not only your safety but also the members of your crew from getting an injury.
Having a spotter can make the difference in running a smooth operation with these machines or running into issues. Putting a spotter to help with the movement and placement can increase your chances of not running into an accident or causing an injury.
Always Work With Safety In Mind
These are just some of the potential hazards concrete companies can experience on the job site. Indeed, risks will always be there, but they can be prevented from turning into accidents or injuries with the right practices and proper planning. Stay on the lookout as you go to close out this season so you can hit the ground running when the busy season starts back up.
This is a guest post written by Rob Boucher for eSUB. Rob has been in construction project management for over five years. He enjoys working with construction trades and building business for them.