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Protecting Workers, Bystanders, and the Environment On Active Construction Sites

There are numerous areas that can be considered as safety concerns on everyday construction sites. These safety concerns typically are considered to be a risk to the workers themselves. While most work site injuries or fatalities occurring on construction sites tend to be workers themselves, there are also risks to bystanders and to town at large.

Falls

Falls from heights are often one of the first dangers thought of in a construction zone. While most falls can be prevented using proper safety harnesses, there must also be barricades or other barriers to prevent falls whenever feasible. These injuries are predominately to the workers.

Falling objects

Objects or debris falling from above – whether it be from the hands of another worker or from equipment. Protective head wear should be worn constantly on an active construction zone. These injuries can affect both workers or bystanders.

Electrical accidents

Even changing an easy light bulb on a site can prove deadly, and did in 1988 when a man was changing a bulb and came into contact with a live wire, instantly delivering a fatal electrocuting shock. Electrical accidents also often affect workers more than bystanders.

Equipment failure

When a bit of heavy equipment fails, there might be serious consequences to the workers on the site, bystanders, the structure, vehicles, etc . Proper maintenance of all equipment and proper safety training is important to reduce the chances of accidents occurring due to equipment failure or mishandling. Accidents of this nature are equally likely to affect the site, workers or bystanders.

Environmental concerns

While most of these causes of injury can be serious and fatal, there is an additional concern for safety on a construction site. Here is the environmental impact of your website and ways that the construction can impact the neighborhood. This can be by adding noise, chemicals, exposure to harmful substances (like asbestos or lead in building renovation or upgrades), or by debris entering the waterways surrounding the construction site.

Top Safety Concerns on Construction Sites

Every single day, there are thousands of active construction sites in the United States and thousands and thousands of workers working on these sites. Construction has long been considered the most dangerous industry by which to work statistically. One in ten career construction professionals have been injured inside their daily work. This is far higher than the injury rates for some professions which are perceived by the general public as extremely dangerous, such as fire fighting, police work and military work.

In spite of the risk, the construction industry keeps growing in 26 states according to a recent estimate. There are numerous dangers on a construction site, most of which can be prevented, while others are simply unfortunate accidents. The most common injury-causing risks on a construction site include: falls, hazardous materials, burns off, electrical accidents, heavy machinery malfunction and improper employee training or poor communication.

Care should be taken with prevention of accidents. Scaffolding is one of the highest risks in terms of falling accidents. When scaffolding falls, not only are the workers working on the scaffolding in danger, so are the surrounding property and people who may be on the ground nearby the scaffolding. In spite of the best efforts to control scaffolding accidents, by prevention and following all guidelines, there is always the chance for a flue accident with gusts of winds or other acts of God that can cause injuries or fatalities.

It goes without saying that proper equipment should be used by all workers and that heavy machinery should be regularly inspected and maintained to prevent accidents from occurring. These walkthroughs can be life saving. The added cost of these inspections may be negligible considering the annual costs of workman’s comp claims from accidents, fines for improper safety practices, or lawsuits from workers or others injured on web sites. However , many construction businesses have multiple violations of those safety issues regularly.

Perhaps one of the most surprising statistics involves probably the greatest risk for construction site safety that the industry faces currently. There exists a larger risk for illegal immigrants to be injured on a worksite. This really is thought to be because of the pressure felt by immigrants to create a living, the lack of proper training on the site, improper equipment or safety gear being worn and a lack of communication between workers and their supervisors. Complicating matters is the fears that undocumented workers feel when working and the very fact that they are far less likely to report safety concerns.

Safety Essentials for Active Construction Sites

Within an ever-changing construction site, there are numerous variables to consider in terms of safety management issues go. There are many risks inherent to the industry of construction, and these are difficult to handle, since the work itself is really fluid. The construction industry is considered one of the most dangerous by which to work. In the last several decades, several regulations are becoming standard for these sites, making them safer than in the past. The generalized risk isn’t only to the workers, but to passersby as well as people within the general area of the site (in the case of environmental pollution).

Machinery

Heavy equipment is the lifeblood on most active construction sites. Nevertheless , these machines can and do malfunction, which can cause injuries or fatalities. The first line of defense against injuries caused by equipment is obviously maintenance and training. These two in conjunction can go a considerable ways to prevent heavy equipment failure.

Signage

Believe it or not, one of this biggest reminders of safety comes in the form of a warning sign. While there are people who will ignore signs posted around construction sites (these are the same people who need the “Coffee is hot” printed on cups), for the vast number of individuals, signage is followed.

Proper safety clothing and accessories

Wearing the proper clothing, as well as head, foot, eye, lung and ear protection has increased and is mandatory of all construction sites to meet regulations set forth by OSHA. Actually regulations require that employers pay for all PPE (personal protection equipment) when needed on any construction job.

Barriers

The proper fencing keeps the public out of dangerous sites. Many construction accidents involving the public occur when untrained people are on a website and cause an event or chain of events that cascades into a disaster. Fences are also used in the case of a drainage ditch or silt collection pit to prevent accidental drowning in deeper water.

Three Steps to Improve Construction Site Safety

You will find three major issues that every construction site faces whenever using water safety. These are regulated by most communities plus the Environmental Protection Agency. To guard the water supply surrounding a construction site, measure must be taken to control contaminated wastewater runoff, sediment control, and erosion control. Each one of these can be harmful to the environment.

Contaminated runoff control

There are many substances that can enter the waste water runoff coming from an energetic construction site. These can sometimes include: motor oil (from heavy machinery that may leak), gasoline, paint, paint thinners, or other noxious chemicals. These spill should be cleaned up and the contaminated soil properly disposed of immediately with a trained construction worker following already established HAZ-MAT directions. If these chemicals enter the water that runs off of the site, the result may be contamination of the water supply for the community in particular and/or kill plants or animals living in or around the streams, rivers, lakes, and so forth

Sediment control

When grading of a site occurs, the underlying and newly exposed layers of soil are specifically prone to be carried away with any water that passes over the surface. In wet months or rainy climates, this is of a greater concern. Sediment can change the dynamics of the neighboring streams, rivers and lakes and will harm the flow of water over time. These artificial sedimentary dams can be quite damaging to the environment as a whole and care should be taken to protect newly graded land from being washed away, especially during rainy seasons when extortionate water runoff can wreck havoc on the drainage. Street flooding around construction sites can be caused by improper preventative measures being taken or an inlet filter system that is not being properly maintained.

Erosion control

Along with the dilemma of water carrying excess sediment, causing damming or changing the face of the water system, the opposite can occur. Construction grading activities and a rainstorm can cause the newly graded soil to erode. This could potentially cause a requirement for added fill dirt or re-grading the soil.

All these activities are inter-related inside their eventual effects on the environmental surroundings and each can be addressed using a very effective tool, an inlet filter, that will filter sediment, can control and contain contaminant chemicals and collect debris from runoff that naturally happens at a construction site. These filters are economical solutions to a significant problem for active construction sites.