Construction can be a dangerous business, and unlike some jobs today, it had that distinction before COVID-19 became the planet-wide uninvited “guest” that it is. It’s a good idea to refresh ourselves from time to time on what items we need, in order to ensure that a job site is safe for both the workers and any civilians that may be around the job site.
It’s also necessary to make sure everyone is on the same page regarding any new required gear workers need while working during the pandemic. Below is a general checklist of PPE and other items that’ll help make the workplace a safer place to be.
Anyone working any given job is (hopefully) an expert in that field or at least has enough competence at it to do it well and safely. Sometimes though, accidents still happen. This is just one reason why protective eye gear is a must. Goggles can help shield eyes from rogue objects like nails and debris, as well as chemical splashes, be they from you or a nearby co-worker.
Speaking of shielding, face shields offer protection to the entire face when on a job site. Cutting, grinding, and chipping results in flying debris and it’s best to have the full coverage of both a face shield and goggles to prevent any injury to anyone on site.
Respirators are a key piece of protection on a job as they block harmful chemicals and material from entering the lungs. They also serve a dual purpose now, as they can help drastically lower the chances of one transmitting COVID-19 to others (and can even offer a bit of protection for the wearer). In order for a typical respirator to properly do its job, though, they have to form a tight seal around the nose and mouth which can’t occur if a worker has a full beard. If shaving is an absolute no-go, then positive pressure, full-face, powered air-purifying respirators are the better option.
Security fences act as a barrier to keep unauthorized personnel off the worksite and serve as a way to control access to visitors. Security fences can also be used as a way to keep equipment safe when workers are not on site. These fences are often temporary and can be installed or taken down by companies that provide them.
To make sure that everyone knows what’s located where and whether or not they’re allowed to be in a particular area, highly visible signs should be posted where everyone can see them. If there’s a specific spot where visitors are allowed entry, there should be a sign there that says so. Areas that are restricted or off-limits should have their own designated signs, as well.
These should be included on every contractor’s safety list, be they an independent agent or otherwise. First-aid kits should be easily accessible by everyone on the job and contain items suited for the work being done.
Construction sites can be rife with holes, pits, and dangerous heights, and accidents can always happen. There are now temporary (mobile) and permanent solutions like guardrails, personal fall-arrest systems, safety nets, and covers that can ensure that workers are kept safe from injury and harm.
When working construction, sometimes, keeping a few people safe means keeping everyone safe. Most of the items on this list serve to simultaneously protect both the individual and the collective. The comments section is always a party, and if you want an invite, all you have to do is join in the conversation. If you’ve got anything else to add to the safety checklist, tell us. And remember, keep yourselves safe on the worksite and off!