According to recent statistics, every 7 seconds, a worker is injured on the job. The top 3 work-related injury events resulting in days away from work include overexertion, contact with equipment and falls. What’s more, one of the top 5 occupations with the largest number of work-related injuries is construction.
With that being said, before proceeding with any construction projects, health and safety are two factors that must be taken into consideration. If the construction site does not have the proper health and safety procedures set in place, business owners will be held legally accountable. As a business owner, you deal with injured contractors and/or the possibility of injuries occurring on a daily basis. You can get fined, sued or even barred from running further operations depending on the level of risk. Business owners also face the issue of compensation. If a worker is severely injured while on the job, they could file workers compensation claims.
The safety of the general public is another important issue because many jobs on construction sites take place in public areas. Street construction workers work near pedestrians, cyclists, and others depend on safety conditions. If workers do not adhere to safety protocols, they put their lives and the lives of innocent bystanders at risk.
On top of avoiding injury, your company can gain long-term benefits if you create safe work zones. These benefits typically include employee satisfaction and retention. With the right training, knowledge and tools, you can also boost morale on the construction site. In turn, your team’s productivity levels increase.
Beating The Heat
In the construction business, hazardous conditions are part of the day-to-day working environment. In fact, construction workers are among those at highest risk of heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Thus, you need to take precautionary measures. Establish fire safety management strategies as well as other safety tactics.
Some of the warning signs indicating that a worker may be suffering from a heat-related illness include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dry skin
- Rapid heart rate
- Profound sweating
- Excessive thirst
Supervisors are required under the Work Health and Safety Act (the WHS Act) to “protect the health, safety and welfare of all workers at work”. Just the same, workers should know how to recognize the possible warning signs in themselves and their colleagues. Train your workers to recognize these signs. Then, they can take appropriate preventive measures. Here are 5 ways in which workers can stay cool while working on a construction site.
There are numerous ways that workers stay cool while working on construction sites. The number one way to stay cool while on the job is staying hydrated. Workers should drink water or electrolyte drinks every 15-20 minutes in order to avoid dehydration and heat illness.
Consuming a heavy lunch or junk food will take longer to digest and drain energy. Seeing as how workers require energy to function and they need to be alert at all hours (especially in the afternoons, when temperatures are higher), eating smart at work is of utmost importance. The best approach is to eat a bigger breakfast earlier in the morning (when temperatures are also cooler) for the purpose of consuming a lighter lunch.
Take Regular Breaks
Working in the heat for a prolonged period of time is extremely dangerous. This is why taking regular breaks in shaded and cool areas is crucial for avoiding overheating and exhaustion. When business owners provide employees with inspirational career quotes, they want to return from their breaks faster. Create a balance between motivating employees to return and encouraging them to take needed breaks at construction sites.
Wearing light layers of loose-fitting clothing made from natural fibers helps the body to breathe, thereby regulating body temperature. On the contrary, restrictive or heavy clothing can aggravate heat symptoms.
Adjust Your Work Schedule
During the summer months when the days are longer and the temperatures are higher, adjusting the work schedule can be very beneficial. Starting with work earlier in the morning when it is cooler or taking care of the more physically demanding tasks before the peak hours of heat can prevent heat-related illnesses and keep energy levels up.
At construction sites, while it may not be possible to get out of the sun, especially during the summer months, it is possible to minimize exposure by following simple safety precautions such as the ones listed above. Equally important, the seriousness of high temperatures should never be underestimated, which is why education on the dangers of heat illness among workers and supervisors is a must. Speak to your local tool hire company to see how they can help you ensure your workers stay cool and safe on the worksite.
When the temperatures rise, but the job needs to get done, having a plan for staying healthy can make all the difference. It will help to preserve the body – both physically and mentally – as well as to ensure job site safety.
There are many options available that can help keep workers cool during break times, such as air coolers, fans and air conditioning. This is a great way to ensure that your workers get a chance to rest and recharge during their breaks. It also gives workers with early signs of heat illnesses a place to sit down, out of the heat.