Residents of Dauphin, Pennsylvania, would probably agree that construction workers play a very important role in their lives. They help build homes, roads, schools, hospitals, offices, bridges and many other things that residents take for granted.
But unlike many individuals who sit comfortably in an office all day, construction workers often have to labor in challenging conditions that can have various potential safety hazards. These include falls from heights, electric shock, scaffold collapses, trench collapses and repetitive motion injuries.
An estimated 6.5 million workers across the United States, including here in Pennsylvania, work at around 252,000 construction sites every day. According to data, the rate of fatal injuries in the construction industry is higher than the national average for all other industries. For this reason, various safety standards have been established to keep construction workers safe while they are on the job and employers who hire these kinds of workers are required to follow federal, state, and local laws in order to ensure workers’ safety and prevent construction accidents.
However, it is also the responsibility of construction workers to ensure that they observe proper safety precautions themselves while on the job. This includes wearing the proper safety gear for head, eye, face, foot and hand protection.
While welding, cutting, grinding or performing any other work where they are exposed to flying particles, construction workers must always wear safety glasses or face shields and these should be selected while keeping in mind the anticipated hazards. For protecting their feet, they should wear work shoes that are slip-resistant and have puncture-resistant soles.
For protecting their heads, construction workers should wear hard hats and these hats should be inspected routinely to check if there are dents, cracks or any signs of deterioration. For protecting hands, construction workers should wear the right type of gloves that have been specifically designed for a particular type of work and they should also ensure that these gloves fit snugly.
Source: OSHA.gov, “Worker Safety Series,” accessed March 27, 2015