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Top 10 Construction Safety Tips: Keeping Workers Safe

Ensuring the safety of workers on construction sites is paramount to the success of any project. Construction sites are hazardous environments with many risks at play. Implementing effective safety measures is crucial to prevent accidents and injuries. 

 

LaRosa Building Group has a long history of commitment to job site safety. By maintaining a high standard of job site communication and proactive safety and health-hazard identification, LaRosa has an extremely low percentage of accident occurrences. LaRosa holds the safety of its employees, subcontractors, and clients in the highest regard and makes every effort necessary to maintain that standard.

 

This article discusses top construction safety tips every construction manager, supervisor, and worker should be aware of to create a safer working environment. By prioritizing safety and following these guidelines, we can significantly reduce the likelihood of accidents and ensure the well-being of all individuals involved in construction projects.

 

“Safety being a core value of LaRosa, we hold ourselves to high standards when it comes to keeping workers safe on the job,” said James LaRosa, CEO of LaRosa Groups.

 

1. Wear Proper Foot Protection

With an average of 18,000 daily steps, construction job sites pose injury risks while walking on uneven ground or slipping on oil, grease, snow, etc. Concrete, cement, powder, or other chemicals entering shoes can damage the skin around ankles and feet. Invest in safety shoes to minimize accidents. Overshoes keep feet dry, warm, and protected from chemical contact. Arrive at sites prepared with proper work footwear! 

 

2. Avoid Falls

In the U.S., falls are the second leading accident killers, ranking behind traffic accidents. Every hour, 19 people are injured by falls. Falls occur when traction is lost, unexpected obstacles are placed in our path, or when we overextend the limits of our balance. Most falls at work are caused by obvious hazards like water, oil, and small objects on the floor. Always be aware of potential fall hazards by spot-checking walkways in unfamiliar surroundings. 


construction site safety

3. Remember Fire Safety Protocols

Fire safety rules are so common that we may become indifferent toward them or undermine their value. The lack of personal interest is responsible for many work fire accidents. The leading cause of workplace fires is electrical failures or misuse of electrical equipment.


Watch for frayed electrical cords and overloaded circuits. Combustible materials can easily be ignited by a torch, electrical equipment, or a lit cigarette. Employees can combat these hazards by complying with ‘no smoking’ signs. Be sure to dispose of cigarettes and matches in proper receptacles.

 

4. Use Extension Cords as Intended

We use extension cords almost every day at work and home. While these are useful devices, they can present a fire or shock hazard when worn out or used improperly. Construction sites require extension cords specified by the National Electrical Code for hard usage. Approved cords may be identified by the word ‘outdoor’ or the letters ‘WA’ on the jacket.

 

Here’s a quick guide to using extension cords safely:

  • Two-wire extension cords: Used to operate 1-2 small appliances.

  • Three-wire extension cords: Used for outdoor appliances and electrical power tools.

 

The third wire on this cord is ground; this cord should never be plugged into any ungrounded electrical outlet. Only grounded extension cords are to be used with power tools unless the tool is double insulated.

 

Extension cords should never be pulled to disconnect them from an electrical source’ remove it with the plug. They also shouldn’t be placed under rugs or furniture or be strung through doorways, windows, walls, ceilings, or floors.

 

5. Monitor Air Quality

High concentrations of indoor and outdoor airborne contaminants can cause health effects. Poorly controlled dust and odors can irritate the eyes and airways, affecting workers and neighboring businesses and residential areas.


These are some ways to maintain or improve indoor air quality:

  • Ensure adequate ventilation.

  • Change filters regularly.

  • Get ventilation serviced to maintain correct airflow.

  • Vacuum dust using a HEPA filter vacuum.

  • Keep the workplace clean and tidy.

 

6. Don’t Take Chances

In the construction industry, ‘chance takers’ are present on every job, creating dangerous environments for themselves and others. Consider these examples:

  • Have you ever used a ladder that was broken, defective, too short, or not tied off?

  • Have you ever been guilty of overloading a crane, hoist, or chain fall?

  • Have you used chockers, chains, or ropes that were worn or damaged?

  • Do you gamble losing your eyesight by cutting, grinding, or chipping without wearing safety glasses?

  • Are you damaging your hearing by not using ear protection?

 

These are just a few examples of the many chances construction workers take. The most important step is to be aware of these risks so your team can avoid them in the future. Every time a chance is taken, someone either wins or loses. When safety is involved, there is very little to win and a whole lot to lose. 

 

7. Eliminate Excavation Hazards

Trench and excavation cave-ins account for several fatalities and severe injuries within the construction industry. The major causes of cave-ins are inadequate shoring, improper slops on banks, poor analysis of soil conditions, defective shoring materials, nearby leads, vibrations, and weather conditions. Many serious considerations must be made while trenching or excavating.


The first step to help eliminate excavation hazards is to check for and locate underground utilities or other buried items. Then, the soil conditions must be carefully evaluated to determine the protective system needed.

 

Here are some tips to maintain safety at excavation sites:

  • Workers should always wear hard hats and rugged boots.  

  • Keep heavy equipment and materials well away from the excavation site.

  • Maintain a minimum of two feet between any materials and the edge of the trench.


safety tips for construction workers

8. Be Cautious When Entering and Leaving the Work Area

When entering or leaving the work area, stop and wait until the traffic is clear and it’s safe to enter the roadway. Be patient and allow the vehicles to clear. Don’t risk getting hit if the vehicle fails to perform as anticipated. Inside lane closures, construction vehicles are often allowed to drive against traffic. Do this in the safest manner possible.

 

9. Wear Eye Protection

Those who have had close calls regarding their eyesight on the job are usually very conscious of wearing eye protection. However, many workers take the hazards to their eyes far too lightly. It would benefit us all to reflect on the actions we can and should take to safeguard our eyesight.

 

Follow these eye safety tips:

  • Wear goggles or a face shield when doing any work that presents an eye injury hazard.

  • Don’t wear dirty, greasy, or scratched safety goggles.

  • Be cautious of splashes or spills when opening containers of acids, caustics, or other harmful liquids.

  • Don’t wear contact lenses in production plants.

  • When working with grinders or power tools, keep your face a safe distance from the tool.

  • If you get a particle in your eye, don’t rub the eye to dislodge it.

 

10. Don't Use Broken Tools

These are several precautions against accidental grounding that we should all observe when using portable electric tools. Check tools for these conditions:

  • Defective or broken insulation.

  • Improper or poorly made connections to terminals.

  • Broken or defective plugs.

  • Loose or broken switches.

  • Sparking brushes.

 

If any of these conditions exist, have the tool repaired before using it, or report it to supervisors. Don’t use the defective tool or attempt to repair or adjust portable electric tools while they’re plugged in. Don’t use portable electric tools in the presence of flammable vapors or gases unless they’re specifically designed for such use.

 

Prioritizing construction safety is a moral obligation to protect the lives and well-being of workers. By following these safety tips, construction professionals can significantly mitigate risks and create a safer working environment. Let us commit to implementing these safety measures diligently, ensuring every worker returns home safely at the end of each day. Together, we can build a culture of safety that fosters productivity and efficiency and, most importantly, saves lives.

 

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