While working with the construction sector, there are number of safety precautions one must take to stay safe and have a healthy working environment. Personal protective equipment (PPE) must always be worn while on construction sites to avoid certain circumstances and other hazards.
Each year there are a series of accidents that happen in the construction sector. This happens due to the luck of proper safety equipment or in most cases failure by the workers to wear them. In this article, we are going to look at a list of construction safety equipment and their uses at work. First take a look at the term PPE.
The construction industry is known for its high-risk work environment, with many hazards posing a significant threat to workers’ safety. Fortunately, understanding manual labour hazards and controls is pretty easy, and there are various safety equipment and controls available to mitigate these risks and ensure that workers remain safe on the job site.
What is Construction safety equipment?
Personal protective equipment is equipment created to protect construction workers from accidents and traumatic injuries, and potential hazards, including the utilization of industrial stairs. PPE is a common term that you will come across in any construction site. However, it is also used in other sectors such as health, military, firefighting and even police.
When it comes to construction, there are several PPE materials used to protect the different parts of the body. When each part is protected, there is reduced risks of injuries which can sometimes take a toll on someone. Below, are the different construction safety equipment and the different parts of the body that they protect.
Safety Shoes for workers foot protection
Safety shoes come with many benefits when used at the construction site. Most these shoes come with reinforced toes aimed at protecting the feet from potential hazards like heavy objects falling on your toes. The main function of safety shoes is for foot protection. Let’s see how this is achieved.
- As you carry heavy materials from one place to another or if your construction site has several machines and people working, then you are at risk of falling objects. Safety shoes such as steel toe boots will ensure that any crushing objects will not injure your feet.
- Construction sites always have wet floors here and there. Safety shoes are made with anti-slip soles that will ensure that you don’t fall when working in slippery environments. The shoes should fit you well and should be comfy as well.
- Your feet will also be protected from electrical hazards such as electrical shocks and even accumulation of static electricity.
- Safety shoes also protect workers from punctures. At any construction work site, there are numerous sharp objects that can be on the floors. A normal shoe will not provide the proper protection from such objects compared to safety shoes.
- They also protect from extreme weather, fatigue and even burns.
Safety Clothing for workers body protection
Safety clothing is important because it helps to reduce a worker’s exposure to certain skin hazards. The proper construction coverall will protect you from chemical agents that may be on contaminated surfaces, splashes or in case you get immersed in them. Such chemicals can lead to skin diseases if they get in contact with your skin.
Some construction work wear are designed to protect workers from high temperatures, solar radiation and even ultra violet. Furthermore, you will not get injured by flying metal chirps that can get into contact with your skin. To top it all, you get to keep your normal clothes clean from the mess at work. Work coats and overalls that are selected according to standards to provide the necessary protection to the workers.
Safety Gloves for workers hand Protection
If you never want to visit the risk workplace then wearing safety gloves is the way to go on a construction site. When you work at a construction site, your hands will automatically be exposed to different risks. Safety gloves protect the hands from chemicals, burns and most importantly cuts. There are different types of safety gloves that area approved for construction sites.
Depending on the construction site that you are working in, the gloves provided must be in position to protect your hands accordingly. Some of these include
- Coated fabric gloves. These are designed to protect your hands from liquids and chemicals with mild concentration.
- Leather gloves. These are the most common gloves used in general construction. They tend to protect the hands from cuts, heat and even abrasion.
- Chemical/liquid resistant gloves. These are generally used in sites dealing with chemicals and liquids of high concentration.
- Kevlar gloves. If you work in an environment with and cold conditions then these are ideal for you. They also offer protection against cuts and they are abrasion resistant.
Safety helmet for workers head protection
Head injuries can always be avoided by wearing the right safety helmet while at a construction workplace. Below are some of the major benefits of wearing a safety helmet.
- The most common use of a safety helmet is to protect your head from head injuries. Construction sites are prone to falling objects and if you are not lucky enough you can end up being hit by one. Hard helmets are crucial for all construction workers to avoid fatal injuries and ensure safety. The helmets should have a padding to absorb impact from the objects and for comfort. It should also have a head band or straps to ensure the helmet stays on the head no matter what.
- They help in identification of workers for example head helmets of supervisors are different from normal workers. Also, the helmets show different identifications of the many workers on site.
Safety Mask for workers respiratory protection
According to the legal occupational health and safety act, it is mandatory for construction sites to provide safety masks to their workers. Safety masks offer protection against respiratory hazards that can be harmful to one’s health. The masks should be in good condition when they are to be used. They should always be kept clean and once damaged, they should be discarded immediately.
With safety masks, your employees will be protected from dust which is common on construction sites. They also protect the workers from different gases that can cause respiratory problems. Such gases can include and are not limited to carbon dioxide and others that require adequate ventilation.
Safety Glasses for workers eye & face Protection
Safety glasses are another form of PPE that is important in a construction workplace. While working at a construction site, you are at a risk significant eye injuries. Workers are usually exposed to hazards such as dust, metal fragments, grit, flying nails, wood splinters among others. The implications of such are very serious and you may get blurred vision after a while, eye irritation and burns, long term blurred vision and at worst you may get blind in the long run. To avoid a trip to the ER, safety glasses must be worn at all times while at the site.
In other cases where the construction workplace handles liquids and other substances, the implications may not be seen immediately but rather after some time. Your workers will have a slow and steady increase in the damage to their eyes if you fail to provide safety glasses. In these cases, safety glasses that cover the entire face are recommended. Avoid being sued as a company by several employees by providing the right safety goggles to all your workers on your construction site.
Earmuff for workers hearing protection
First off, what is an earmuff? It is a simple material designed to decrease sound level surrounding a person to prevent it from being transmitted through the ear canal. As the world advanced, there was an improvement in the different types of earmuffs that offer hearing protection. Depending on the construction workplace you are working in, it is recommended to get the right earmuffs that will protect you from the type of noise around you.
When you work in a place with high noise levels, you will end up injuring your ears permanently if earmuffs are not used. High noise levels can also cause other complications such as stress, increase in workers’ heart rates as well as hypertension. Additionally, workers will miscommunicate when competing with the noise which can be too loud.
There several earmuffs out there and to get the right one for any construction workplace, it is important to assess the amount of noise first. Also, make sure you urge the workers to always wear their earmuffs at all times. Try to reduce the amount of noise if possible to reduce the risk of hearing problems even when wearing the proper earmuffs.
Safety harness for workers fall protection
Safety harness is an attachment between the worker construction gear and a stationary object. The harness can be inform of a rope, locking hardware and even a cable. In most cases especially construction workplaces, safety harnesses are usually utilized together with shock absorbers. These tend to regulate deceleration once a worker construction gear reaches the end of the rope or locking hardware.
While falling from high places is common in construction, it can be avoided by equipping employees with high quality fall protection restraints. Whatever job a worker undertakes in a construction site, it is highly important to have a fall restraint with them. A worker with a safety harness will not only be protected from falls, but will be capable of using both hands to do something productive other than trying to prevent a fall with one hand.
Safety Cone for constriction traffic protection
There are many uses of a safety cones in different sectors aside from the construction sites. Safety cones are used to provide to increase overall safety in different ways in a construction site. They are designed in a way that makes them eye catching and they are made from durable materials. Their main role is to keep different hazards at bay. Below are some of their uses in a construction site.
- To control the flow of traffic. When there is a road construction taking place, these cones will warn drivers of the obstructions ahead and if possible they change route or drive at a certain limit.
- Block damaged areas. Safety cones are also important as they can be used to form a barricade along a damaged area that is under construction. This tells drivers that they can’t go through there and have to use an alternative.
- Warn of dangers ahead. These will warn anyone going through a certain route of a danger that can cause a hazard ahead. For example, if there is a fallen tree, unstable electrical wire among others.
Safety equipment at a construction site is very important. It will protect your employees from accidents that can lead to traumatic experiences. Some injuries can be permanent which can cause the worker to never be able to use certain parts of their body. Regardless of the work done at any construction site, endeavor to provide all the necessary PPE to all the employees regardless of their position there. Good luck and stay safe.