The construction industry in Canada is one of the most important sectors, thanks to its great contribution to economic development, but it also involves very high risk for occupational accidents.
Safety training is therefore extremely important in this sector in order to avoid:
- significant injuries or death to workers
- short-term and long-term disabilities to employees
- higher overall construction costs (from administrative penalties/fines and litigation costs)
- loss of productivity and big delays
Create a Safe Construction Site With Our Calgary Placement Agency
At Matrix, one of the leading placement agencies in Calgary, safety is our number one priority and we partner with various construction businesses to eliminate unsafe practices that can not only lead to lost profits, but also seriously harm your employees.
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4 Construction Site Safety Tips For Employers and Employees
It’s Occupational Health and Safety Week, so what better time to provide a few construction site safety tips for Calgary construction workers and their employers? Below are some of the most important OSHA standards and how to follow them to create a safe working environment for everyone.
1. Duty to Have Fall Protection
The duty to have fall protection is one of the most cited standards in the construction industry and it’s also one of the leading causes of worker deaths in the sector. That’s why employers must do a better job of assessing sites and implementing fall protection systems to keep their workers safe.
- install guardrails on high surfaces.
- implement safety net systems.
- consider personal fall arrest systems.
- insist that hard hats be worn by all employees when on the construction site.
- install toeboards, screens, or erect canopies to barricade any dangerous areas so as to keep workers out.
- familiarize themselves with all potential fall hazards on a job site
- never work in an area where fall protection systems haven’t been implemented
- inspect all personal fall arrest systems before use to ensure they’re working properly and are free of damage
2. Scaffold General Requirements
Approximately 65% of all construction workers perform work on scaffolds, which means that they’re constantly exposed to falls, electrocutions, and falling object hazards. It’s therefore important to follow safety guidelines when working on or around a scaffold.
- ensure the scaffolding is designed, erected, and disassembled by a competent professional
- ensure that the scaffolding is inspected at the beginning of each day to determine if it’s safe for use.
- erect the scaffolding on solid footing and at least 10 feet away from any power lines.
- make sure the scaffolding is erected with guardrails, midrails, and toeboards to protect employees who are working on, under, and around the scaffolding.
- always wear hard hats when working on or around scaffolding.
- wear sturdy, non-skid boots and use tool lanyards to prevent slips and falls and protect workers below.
- inspect all personal fall arrest systems before use to ensure they’re working properly and are free of damage.
3. Training Requirements
Falls are the leading cause of fatalities in construction, accounting for nearly 40% of all worker deaths. Providing proper and ongoing safety training to employees can therefore go a long way in reducing the number of falls on your construction site.
- hire a competent professional to provide training to all employees who will be exposed to fall hazards.
- maintain certification records of all protection planning for all employees.
- offer to retrain workers when it’s apparent that an employee hasn’t retained enough knowledge from the program to ensure their safety.
- make sure that they are able to recognise the hazards of falling.
- know the procedures to follow to minimise hazards and prevent any accidental falls.
- continue on a path of lifelong learning when it comes to construction site safety training.
4. Wearing Protective and Life Saving Equipment
There are many hazards present when doing tasks on a construction site such as welding, grinding, sanding, and drilling. That’s why it’s crucial that employees wear the right protective gear to prevent any serious and life-threatening injuries.
- provide face and eye protection to employees free of charge.
- ensure that employees receive adequate training on protective gear and life-saving equipment.
- take into consideration an employee’s unique needs (eg. if an individual wears prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses) when providing safety equipment.
- ensure that all employees adhere strictly to the rules and regulations of wearing safety equipment on a job site.
- keep their safety equipment clean and in good condition.
- make sure their safety gear fits well and snugly, but doesn’t interfere with their movements.
- inspect face and eye protection before use to ensure it’s free of cracks, chips, or other damage.
- replace damaged safety equipment immediately.
To find out more about how our placement agency can help make your construction site a safe space for all workers and clients, contact our Calgary office at 1-866-666-9520 or fill in our online contact form.