There is no denying that construction is a great sign for a community. It signals growth, innovation and investment. You don’t have to go far anywhere in Calgary to see signs of such development. But when an accident happens on a construction site, it can be traumatic and such unfortunate events continue to dampen the wonderful opportunities active construction can bring to an area.
According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration Department, more than 13 preventable deaths happened every day on Calgary construction sites in 2014. The leading causes of death were:
- Falling objects
- Caught in-between
Known as the ‘fatal four,’ these accidents contributed to more than half the construction-related deaths in 2014. But through careful consideration of construction site safety, the opportunities for such injuries to occur can be eliminated, saving over 500 lives a year.
At Matrix Labour Leasing, our biggest commitment is to worker safety and to eliminating injuries on our project sites. In an effort to encourage other companies to do the same, today’s blog is designed to outline some spring construction site safety tips that you should implement immediately to minimize any workplace fatalities.
Spring Construction Safety Tip # 1 - Prepare for spring rain
One of the biggest spring-related hazards on Calgary construction sites, rain reduces visibility significantly and often turns the ground to mud. Not only will the mud be a nuisance to the construction workers and motorists, but it can also cause serious road accidents. Therefore, cleaning systems should be put into place so that vehicles leaving the construction site will not deposit debris onto the street. Additionally, thunderstorms increase the chance of lightning strikes so under such circumstances, workers must be kept away from cranes, exposed steel frameworks and any other equipment that can act as a lightening rod.
Spring Construction Safety Tip # 2 - Keep your construction site clean
Keeping a building site clean can:
- Keep your site environmentally friendly
- Save you time and money
- But most importantly, it's essential to keeping your workers safe.
Protruding nails, debris in work areas and toxic chemicals are just a few examples of the kinds of hazards that have the potential to cause tremendous harm. Remember that a clean job site has an impact on everyone’s safety - from your workers to passersby. So prior to building, it’s essential to implement a well-planned and coordinated housekeeping program that involves everyone on the construction site.
Spring Construction Safety Tip # 3 - Wear protective gear
On a construction site, it is always better to be proactive than reactive which is why wearing protective gear is a must for construction workers all year round. By encouraging your employees to wear personal protective equipment, you will ensure that the risk of them experiencing common mishaps on work sites greatly reduces. In the spring, such protective gear includes:
- Hard hats
- Rain coats
- Safety Goggles
- Waterproof Footwear
Spring Construction Safety Tip # 4 - Know the limits of your equipment
In Ontario, between January 1st and August 31st, 2015, 9 workers were killed in construction-related incidents. 7 of those fatalities involved heavy equipment. If hazards exist while workers are operating, maintaining or working around heavy equipment, they are at risk of serious injury and even death. In spring, the combination of rain and high winds can make it much more difficult to operate certain types of machinery, especially those with higher profiles such as cranes, so it’s important to:
- Ensure that the equipment is used as per the manufacturer’s operating manuals
- Have competent workers operate the machinery, guided by trained signallers
- Ensure that the equipment is regularly serviced and kept up to all applicable regulatory requirements
As an employer, you are responsible for protecting your employees from any hazards that may arise on your Calgary construction site. Whether you are working on small home projects or larger sites, make sure you keep these spring construction safety tips in mind as you begin building. For more information on keeping your workers safe and protected, contact Matrix Labour Leasing at 403.201.9520 or visit matrixlabourleasing.com.