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Being a construction worker is one of the most dangerous and potentially fatal jobs. In 2020 alone, over 1,000 construction workers died, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and over 21,000 sustained non-fatal injuries. Despite gear and protocols implemented for basic safety, construction workers are still more prone to accidents that could cause serious injuries or even casualties. Here are a few simple reminders of how to keep your teams safe on the job.

Basic Safety Gear

Suiting up is one of the most important steps before beginning a job—whether a suit and tie for the office or a safety suit for the jobsite, uniforms are in place for a reason. When on the jobsite, safety gloves, hard hats, safety goggles, ear plugs and other necessary safety accessories should always be worn. For construction workers, taking the few extra minutes to ensure they have on appropriate injury-preventing gear can keep them not only safe but also legally compliant with workplace safety regulations.

The clothes workers wear are oftentimes mandatory. Durable, thick clothing, especially long sleeves and pants, can protect the entire body from potential hazards like burns, cuts, chemicals, equipment malfunction and maybe even worse. A safety helmet, safety goggles, gloves and steel-toed boots or other jobsite-appropriate footwear can also protect your extremities from these potential hazards. Reflective vests ensure visibility if you’re working at night or on the side of the road. Remember that while even if it feels uncomfortable, basic safety gear is required for a reason.

Basic Equipment Care

Tools are used daily by construction workers, and, after continuous use, they’re likely to need replacing or updating. Recognizing which tools are worn and which aren’t working as they should be and replacing them in a timely, regular manner not only will make the job go more smoothly but also can decrease the risk to you and others of potential injury from that piece of equipment. Take the time at the beginning or end of the day to assess the condition of your tools, and update them when necessary. Even scheduling monthly or quarterly tool checks can mitigate minor to major injuries.

Slow and Steady

While the end goal of any project is completion, rushing to complete the project can not only mean cutting corners and redoing some of the work later on but also put you, your workers and future property users at risk, exposing them to hazards—including electrical or structural—and potential injury. When using a ladder, always use it correctly; when working at greater heights, always employee a safety harness. When working with electrical, always wear proper safety gear and install everything according to code—and double check code compliance upon completion. Sticking to the fundamentals and taking a few extra minutes to be sure the job is done right and safely at the beginning will ensure worker safety and building integrity in the end.

Recognize Health Hazards

When working in places with no controlled temperature for hours, it’s important to recognize when you need to take a step back from the job. Even a minute or two away from the job to cool yourself down (or warm yourself up) can provide a buffer of physical safety between workers and environmental hazards. Staying hydrated and fueled up throughout the day can ensure you’re in the best physical condition to handle a job. You know yourself best, and if you begin to feel light-headed, overheated or tired, remove yourself from a potentially dangerous situation until you feel better.

Wearable technology can also help mitigate environmental or health hazards. If you do find yourself on a jobsite on a particularly hot and sunny day, wearable AI monitors can help track internal and external temperature, heart rate, heat exposure and more.

Sleep (or lack thereof) fatigue is also a crucial factor when it comes to worksite and worker safety. Wearable AI can also monitor this, tracking sleep cycles to inform workers how that will affect their daytime performance—or how their daytime performance is affecting their sleep.

Assess and Address

Not all jobs are the same, so evaluating the project and particular safety protocols before beginning can save you trouble in the long run. During the design process, incorporate safety measures into each stage of development, knowing which stage will require which safety measure, when those stages will take place and when the safety measures will be required.

After entering the physical development process, take a few minutes every day to assess the work area for potential hazards such as slippery surfaces, exposure to dangerous chemicals or wires, temperature changes, etc., both before the work begins and after the work ends for the day. Inspect equipment, as well, for any defects that may lead to future hazards. By taking a look at what the job requires—both before, during and after the entire project—you can be proactive and determine which gear you’ll need upfront to ensure it is implemented later on to ensure prolonged safety of the workers and the project itself.

Get Covered

Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance is important to protect your family financially if something happens to you. If you’re the sole person working or providing an income in your household, this coverage is especially important to ensure your family would still be able to pay bills and cover medical costs and other expenses should anything happen to your ability to work. When you search for the right AD&D coverage, take a close look at the types of incidents covered, because not all policies cover everything. Whether your accident is fatal, you’ve been immobilized indefinitely or your recovery process is arduous, the right AD&D insurance can give you and your family peace of mind.

With experience and wisdom often come ways to save time while still achieving quality work; however, when it comes to safety, shortcuts are always dangerous and the simplest measures are the most effective. 


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