Safety on the Construction Site
Construction sites are some of the most dangerous working environments. Construction workers are exposed to a myriad of safety risks on a daily basis, with many construction site accidents resulting in serious injury.
Whether working on new constructions, home remodeling and additions or restoring historic houses and buildings, construction workers face many dangers, including:
- Falls from heights, including roofs and scaffolding
- Falls off ladders/tripping on stairways
- Injury from (falling) equipment or other large objects
- Injury during while excavating and trenching
- Mishandling of equipment or materials
- Burns or shock from fire or electricity
While it may be impossible to prevent all construction site accidents, identifying the potential dangers of each job can significantly reduce the risk of injury or death.
Contractors Should Protect Workers
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the prime contractor on a jobsite is responsible for complying with the standards in this industry. This means that they need to ensure the health and safety of everyone working on the site.
In addition to following federal and state laws and regulations regarding construction site safety themselves, contractors should ensure that construction workers undergo safety training which includes preventive actions and adequate solutions for the most common onsite safety hazards.
Failing to comply with industry requirements, that is, endangering the safety of construction workers, can result in citations and fines for the contractor.
OSHA Checklist for Safety Errors
OSHA provides a comprehensive checklist for minimizing accidents on construction sites that includes regulations for:
- Personal protective equipment (eye, face, and head protection, foot protection, and hand protection)
- Scaffolding safety
- Electrical safety
- Floor and wall openings
- Elevated surfaces safety
- Crane safety
- Forklift safety
- Hazard communication
Some of the protective measures within each category are mandatory standards whereas others are preventive actions contractors may consider taking to keep both construction workers and the site safe. More importantly, OSHA developed a myriad of construction regulations with the aim of increasing safety at construction sites for the home building industry.
Homeowners Need to Look Out for Safety Issues
As a homeowner, it may not always be easy to spot safety issues on a construction site. You may not know what regulations apply in your state or even what constitutes a safety error on the site. However, if you notice anything that doesn’t seem quite right, whether it is about the equipment, scaffold safety measures or protective gear, do not hesitate to inform the contractor.
For Peace of Mind, Contact Först Consulting Group
You also have the option of contacting an independent OSHA-certified safety inspection company like Först Consulting Group. In some cases, a construction safety inspection may be the most effective – and often only – way of knowing whether the site is actually safe.
Först can give you peace of mind that your home in Northern Virginia or Washington, D.C. is being built or remodeled without putting the workers or your family at risk. We will check the site for potential OSHA violations and other safety errors and risk exposures, proposing how to solve current and prevent future problems. We can even communicate with the contractor on your behalf, as your construction advocate.
Don’t risk a dangerous situation on your construction site, or heaven forbid, an accident. Contact Först Consulting Group today.