Old Shoes And Failing Ear Plugs Spotting The Warning Signs On Worn Out Construction Equipment
Safety is all about the little things.
Without safety clothing full-time workers would be exposed to burns, cuts and scrapes at unprecedented levels. Without safety protocols written into local and national laws more work environments would be outright hazardous. Even stepping behind a car or leaving the house to walk the dog involves a dozen little safety measures to get you from point A to point B. When providing equipment to your employees you need to do more than just choose the right safety clothing. You need to make sure their cotton safety shirts, breathable reflective rain gear and earplugs are all in working order at all times.
If not? You could be putting your hard workers in danger.
Without good shoes workers are put at risk of sore feet, callouses and more extreme conditions like sprained joints. Where the average person walks around 10,000 steps a day, the average construction worker or day laborer will walk closer to 30,000. Industry estimates have shown $70 to be spent per employee on foot protection every year and this number may need to increase. Good shoes shouldn’t just have enough traction, but should also fit snugly without pinching the toes. They should also be thrown out and replaced if they have holes, lose their traction or keep slipping along the heel.
Construction work is loud. It’s so loud, in fact, it regularly exposes workers to potential hearing loss day in and day out. Permanent hearing loss can be caused by sounds louder than 85 decibels and the maximum exposure time to any sound at 85 decibels is eight hours, according to the National Institute For Occupational Safety And Health. A reliable pair of earplugs should fit snugly in the ear and should not have to be adjusted constantly, particularly due to the tenuous nature of handling heavy equipment. Earplugs should be washed with warm water and soap after every use to prevent infection.
Another hazard of the construction site is being hit by a moving vehicle. This risk increases at night and during hazardous weather, such as extreme rain, wind or snow. Safety clothing comes in many different shapes and sizes to accommodate both workers and new projects. They range from custom reflective jackets to hi vis long sleeve shirts and hi vis work shirts for simpler tasks. These clothes should be washed regularly and any loss in visibility, such as a ruined strip or fading color, should be replaced instantly. Recent studies have shown one third of the non-fatal work injuries back in 2013 that required time away were sustained by inexperienced workers.
An iconic part of the average construction job is the hard hat. This is a vital piece of equipment to prevent bodily injury to the head, such as a dropped object or slipping and hitting the ground. Just like a pair of earplugs or a pair of shoes, a good helmet should fit snugly at all times. This means no slipping, no pinching and no sliding. Safety clothing can literally mean the difference between life or death on the clock and tough helmets can prevent serious injury when used correctly. They should also be worn at all times, even if someone isn’t working, to be on the safe side.
Another addition to standard reflective safety clothing is dependable rain gear. While minor to major injuries like concussions, sprains and burns are very real dangers to prepare for, some of the most common issues dealt with on the job are more subtle. Low temperatures and wet working conditions can encourage the spread of the common cold and influenza, on top of reduced productivity, and safety clothing companies work hard to provide good rain gear that can be worn in all kinds of weather. Not only do they keep water at bay, they regulate temperature and keep workers comfortable and productive.
It’s not enough to provide safety clothing. You need to make sure it’s properly maintained and replaced.