Why All the Fuss about Accident Prevention?

You’ve heard lots of talk, read lots of words, about working safely on our projects. Sure it’s “old stuff” – and important stuff.

There’s a lot at stake for YOU in working without injury or damage. You have much to gain by keeping fit and unhurt. One reason has a big dollar-sign in front of it. But there are other important reasons: other people who count on you for happiness, and perhaps for financial support; they also have a big stake in your safety as a construction worker.

Think of all the things you’re able to do now that give you earning power; then think of trying to do these same things if you were minus a hand…or arm…or leg…or your eyesight. It’s much harder – if not impossible – for a disabled worker to reach all his major personal goals.So don’t think about safe work practices and rules as “hemming you in” or “cutting down on your individual freedom”; think about them as positive things, designed to help you keep your freedom and your abilities, so that you have a better chance of getting what you want most out of life.A risky habit or dangerous condition on the job is a threat to your freedom and your future. Working efficiently and without injury is the safest avenue leading from where you are to where you want to be in life.

That’s why accident prevention is worth fussing about!

Identifying Construction Hazards

The following examples are intended to remind workers of the typical construction hazards we see regularly with hopes that everyone will put safety first and correct hazards as they find them.

Housekeeping – Not enough can be said about maintaining a clean work area! Keeping your area swept and free from debris not only prevents tripping hazards, but it makes it easier to perform your work. Make sure stored materials are stacked neatly and away from work areas.

Extension Cords – Make sure cord sets have a grounding plug in place before using. If insulation on cords is damaged, take the cords out of service. Elevate extension cords to prevent tripping hazards.

Electrical Panels – All panels and boxes must have a cover in place to prevent electrical shock. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) should be required on all circuits that will be used for portable power tools.

Scaffolding – Elevated working surfaces must be fully planked with toe boards, hand rails and mid rails installed. Scaffolds must be erected with vertical members resting on a solid base with the scaffold level. Never climb the outside of a scaffold; ladders are required. Never climb a ladder while carrying tools or materials. Instead, use a hoist line.

Ladders – Step ladders are a major source for construction accidents. Make sure they are used properly and maintained in good repair. Remove broken or damaged ladders from service immediately. Never lean step ladders against a wall or work surface, never separate extension ladders and always make sure extension ladders are tied off.

Slippery Surfaces – Make sure sand or some other slip resistant material is applied to icy walking surfaces. Clean up oil and water spills immediately. Another serious cause of slips are “rolly pollys.” These are small round objects that can cause a slip when stepped on. Typical ones include: Welding rod ends, stubs from conduit and small diameter pipe.

Lighting – Most construction areas require a minimum of 5 foot candles. If you are having a hard time seeing your work, then you need to let someone know and get something done about it. Stairways are a common problem area and require good lighting.

Eye Protection – It is too common to see workers who need eye protection, not wearing it. The typical reason is because they did not have glasses with them. Wearing safety glasses all the time prevents this situation. Safety glasses alone are not adequate for tasks that create flying particulate matter such as grinding or cutting. Wear a face shield as well.

Look Before You Leap

All too often accidents on construction jobs are caused by workers who fail to “look.” One of the most important and basic principles of accident prevention on a construction job is to look where you walk, stand, sit or climb. You may have heard of the bricklayer who stepped back to admire his work, only
to fall off the scaffolding! It is very important to look before stepping in any direction. You might step into a pile of scrap lumber, into an open trench, in the path of a moving piece of equipment or under a swinging load.

On most construction jobs, conditions in work areas change continuously; materials and equipment are constantly handled and moved about. Look up, look down, and look all around and make certain the way is clear and you are avoiding all hazards.

Working in the field of construction does not permit us to sit around much. When you can sit down, look where you sit. How often have you heard the injured worker say, “I didn’t notice it.” This excuse just doesn’t cut it. We all have to be aware of our surroundings or risk being severely hurt or killed.

If you are involved in cleaning or housekeeping duties on the job, sometimes scrap is thrown into a pile or from an elevated location. Material should not be thrown at anytime. It should be lowered carefully or removed with material handling equipment. Workers should look before they walk in areas where clean-up work is under way. Most importantly, never walk under suspended loads. Be alert and look up. Falling material will cause serious injuries.

Some of you may have heard of people being injured because they failed to watch where they were stepping. Test a platform before you step onto it; be sure your ladder is secure before climbing it. If work areas are poorly lighted, be especially cautious.

Stay alert, look about you constantly and don’t rush or take chances, because those few minutes you
save may cost you your lifestyle–or your life!

Remember, someone who rushes in headlong, often comes out feet first!

Near Miss

How many times have you shrugged off a near miss? Never gave it a second thought? Next time, think twice. The difference between a near miss and an accident often is a fraction of a second or an inch. And when it happens again, that difference may not be there.

WE NEVER KNOW WHEN THE SERIOUS INJURY IS NEXT

One study shows that for every 330 incidents of the same type, 300 produce no injuries, 29 produce minor injuries and one produces a major injury. (Of course, these statistics vary with the job being done.) The problem is we never know which time the major injury will occur. Near misses are warnings. If we heed these warnings and look for causes, we may be able to prevent injury or damage.

Here’s an Example

You’re going up a walkway into a building. Your foot slips. Being agile and empty handed, you regain your balance with no harm done. Another person comes along. He slips, but his reactions are a little slower than yours. To keep from falling, he jumps off the board. Again no harm done. Then comes a third person carrying a load. He has the same experience, but falls off the board with the load on top of him. He breaks his ankle. Two warnings were ignored. Finally, someone was hurt. Now the loose cleat, sand, or mud on the board is discovered and the condition corrected. We’ve locked the barn after the horse has been stolen. Two of us saw the thief lurking around, but failed to take action.

Whenever You See a Near Miss, Ask “Why?”

Suppose you’re walking toward a suspended mason’s scaffold. You see a brick fall, but hear no warning shout. Ask yourself: “Why did it fall? Was it kicked loose? Is a toe board missing?” Then correct this condition if possible. If not, report it to someone who can.

KEEP THE RIGHT ATTITUDE

Never take the attitude that a miss is as good as a mile.
The next time, it may be the last mile for you or a fellow worker.

Safety on a New Jobsite

It’s important for you to remember that most accidents are caused by carelessness or
thoughtlessness– yours, or someone else on the job. When an accident occurs, it is because someone has failed to foresee that it could happen. If you think ahead of the possible hazards likely to confront you, you can plan how to avoid them. When starting work at a new job site, size up the situation and think of ways to prevent accidents and keep the job safe.

Take time to evaluate your share of the work as soon as you arrive on the site. Ask your supervisor to explain any phase of the job that you do not understand. If you are working with a new employee, be sure to explain the work to be done and be sure that he/she is qualified to do the work. This will allow you to work safely with this person and prevent accidents.

Always check that you have the necessary tools and equipment required to do the job. Use tools only for the purpose they were designed for. Repair and replace immediately any defective tools such as chisels with mushroomed heads, wrenches with sprung or spread jaws, hammers with split handles, etc. Inspect the wiring of all electrical hand tools to be sure they are equipped with a three-prong grounded plug. Power tools with frayed or broken insulation on wires should be taken out of service until repaired. When using ladders, make sure that they are in good shape with no broken or missing rungs. Never use aluminum ladders when working around electricity. Wear hard hats and other personal protective equipment when called for on the site. When using scaffolding, make sure that it is properly set up with scaffold grade planks and good, stable footing. Do not work on scaffolding that is shaky or missing components.

Remember, a job is only as safe as each person makes it. If each employee will take nothing for granted, check all tools and equipment for safe operation, keep the job neat and follow company rules, they will be contributing to the safety of themselves and their fellow workers.

Size Up The Situation – Plan Ahead – Work Safely !!!

Lifting

Do you realize you may be risking serious injury many times a day and not even know it? Well, it’s true if you don’t lift correctly. Improper lifting may cause back injuries that can take months and even years to heal. Sometimes they are permanent and disabling. A little know how, however, can enable you to lift correctly.

PREPARING TO LIFT

Give the load the once-over. If it looks too heavy, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be sure you’re wearing safety shoes. There is always the chance of dropping something on your toes. If the object has rough or sharp edges, wear a good, tough pair of work gloves. They’ll give you a good grip and protect your hands.

MAKING THE LIFT

Crouch down with the load between your legs and get a good grip on the object. As you rise, lift with your legs, keeping your back vertical and the load as close to you body as possible. If you have to place the load to your left or to your right, don’t twist your body. Move your feet instead. When you have to lower a load, simply reverse the knees bent, back vertical procedure.

LET’S REVIEW

Let’s quickly review what we said about lifting:

1. Don’t lift more than you can handle. Ask for help with heavy loads.
2. Wear safety shoes.
3. If the object is rough or sharp, wear gloves.
4. Lift with your legs and not your back.
5. Keep the load close to your body.
6. Don’t twist your body when placing a load to one side or the other. Move your feet instead.

When it comes to lifting, don’t break your back. Instead, lift right and give your back a break.

Construction Toolbox Talks

Back to the Basics

You stand a far better chance of remaining fit and pain-free if you’ll stick with the basics in lifting and handling materials.

Many painful injuries happen to construction workers because they forget several basic manual material handling suggestions. Here are a few pointers about lifting and handling:

¥ First, think of your tender toes, in case something heavy drops. Always keep those toes of yours under protective steel cover; wear safety shoes.

¥ Think of your hands. Wear good tough gloves when you handle anything rough, sharp or splintery.

¥ Before you heave-ho, be sure you’ve got a secure grip and solid footing.

¥ Keep the load close to your body, to minimize the strain. Lift smoothlyÑdon’t jerk
as you lift.

¥ See that fingers and toes stay in the clear when lifting and handling.

¥ Don’t twist your body when carrying a load; pivot with your feet instead of your spine.

¥ When a load is too heavy or awkward to handle alone, be quick to ask for help.

¥ Plan your path of execution and make sure it is free of debris and obstacles.

¥ Push rather than pull.

¥ Use equipment (dollies, carts, two-wheelers, hydraulic/electrical hoists or lifts)
to move loads whenever possible.

¥ Make sure work levels are at waist height when standing and elbow height when sitting whenever possible.

¥ If you have to work in one position for a long period of time, take stretching breaks.

Play it safe and smart.
Stick with the basics in all of your lifting and handling of materials and equipment.with the basics in all of your lifting and handling of materials andequipment.

And there are other things — like what you want most out of life. Maybe it’s a top-favorite hobby like fishing, hunting, a boat, a new set of wheels, a trip to far-off places, entering or finishing up school, early retirement, or a healthy bank account to fall back on. Keeping uninjured and steadily on the payroll has a lot to do with winning your important goals in life.

Think of all the things you’re able to do now that give you earning power; then think of trying to do these same things if you were minus a hand…or arm…or leg…or your eyesight. It’s much harder — if not impossible — for a disabled worker to reach all his major personal goals.

So don’t think about safe work practices and rules as “hemming you in” or “cutting down on your individual freedom”; think about them as positive things, designed to help you keep your freedom and your abilities, so that you have a better chance of getting what you want most out of life.

A risky habit or dangerous condition on the job is a threat to your freedom and your future. Working efficiently and without injury is the safest avenue leading from where you are to where you want to be in life.

That’s why accident prevention is worth fussing about!


Identifying Construction Hazards

The following examples are intended to remind workers of the typical construction hazards we see regularly with hopes that everyone will put safety first and correct hazards as they find them.

Housekeeping – Not enough can be said about maintaining a clean work area! Keeping your area swept and free from debris not only prevents tripping hazards, but it makes it easier to perform your work. Make sure stored materials are stacked neatly and away from work areas.

Extension Cords – Make sure cord sets have a grounding plug in place before using. If insulation on cords is damaged, take the cords out of service. Elevate extension cords to prevent tripping hazards.

Electrical Panels – All panels and boxes must have a cover in place to prevent electrical shock. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) should be required on all circuits that will be used for portable power tools.

Scaffolding – Elevated working surfaces must be fully planked with toe boards, hand rails and mid rails installed. Scaffolds must be erected with vertical members resting on a solid base with the scaffold level. Never climb the outside of a scaffold; ladders are required. Never climb a ladder while carrying tools or materials. Instead, use a hoist line.

Ladders – Step ladders are a major source for construction accidents. Make sure they are used properly and maintained in good repair. Remove broken or damaged ladders from service immediately. Never lean step ladders against a wall or work surface, never separate extension ladders and always make sure extension ladders are tied off.

Slippery Surfaces – Make sure sand or some other slip resistant material is applied to icy walking surfaces. Clean up oil and water spills immediately. Another serious cause of slips are “rolly pollys.” These are small round objects that can cause a slip when stepped on. Typical ones include: Welding rod ends, stubs from conduit and small diameter pipe.

Lighting – Most construction areas require a minimum of 5 foot candles. If you are having a hard time seeing your work, then you need to let someone know and get something done about it. Stairways are a common problem area and require good lighting.

Eye Protection – It is too common to see workers who need eye protection, not wearing it. The typical reason is because they did not have glasses with them. Wearing safety glasses all the time prevents this situation. Safety glasses alone are not adequate for tasks that create flying particulate matter such as grinding or cutting. Wear a face shield as well.


Look Before You Leap

All too often accidents on construction jobs are caused by workers who fail to “look.” One of the most important and basic principles of accident prevention on a construction job is to look where you walk, stand, sit or climb. You may have heard of the bricklayer who stepped back to admire his work, only to fall off the scaffolding! It is very important to look before stepping in any direction. You might step into a pile of scrap lumber, into an open trench, in the path of a moving piece of equipment or under a swinging load.

On most construction jobs, conditions in work areas change continuously; materials and equipment are constantly handled and moved about. Look up, look down, and look all around and make certain the way is clear and you are avoiding all hazards.

Working in the field of construction does not permit us to sit around much. When you can sit down, look where you sit. How often have you heard the injured worker say, “I didn’t notice it.” This excuse just doesn’t cut it. We all have to be aware of our surroundings or risk being severely hurt or killed.

If you are involved in cleaning or housekeeping duties on the job, sometimes scrap is thrown into a pile or from an elevated location. Material should not be thrown at anytime. It should be lowered carefully or removed with material handling equipment. Workers should look before they walk in areas where clean-up work is under way. Most importantly, never walk under suspended loads. Be alert and look up. Falling material will cause serious injuries.

Some of you may have heard of people being injured because they failed to watch where they were stepping. Test a platform before you step onto it; be sure your ladder is secure before climbing it. If work areas are poorly lighted, be especially cautious.

Stay alert, look about you constantly and don’t rush or take chances, because those few minutes you save may cost you your lifestyle–or your life!

 

Remember, someone who rushes in headlong, often comes out feet first!

 


Near Miss

How many times have you shrugged off a near miss? Never gave it a second thought? Next time, think twice. The difference between a near miss and an accident often is a fraction of a second or an inch. And when it happens again, that difference may not be there.

WE NEVER KNOW WHEN THE SERIOUS INJURY IS NEXT

One study shows that for every 330 incidents of the same type, 300 produce no injuries, 29 produce minor injuries and one produces a major injury. (Of course, these statistics vary with the job being done.) The problem is we never know which time the major injury will occur. Near misses are warnings. If we heed these warnings and look for causes, we may be able to prevent injury or damage.

Here’s an Example

You’re going up a walkway into a building. Your foot slips. Being agile and empty handed, you regain your balance with no harm done. Another person comes along. He slips, but his reactions are a little slower than yours. To keep from falling, he jumps off the board. Again no harm done. Then comes a third person carrying a load. He has the same experience, but falls off the board with the load on top of him. He breaks his ankle. Two warnings were ignored. Finally, someone was hurt. Now the loose cleat, sand, or mud on the board is discovered and the condition corrected. We’ve locked the barn after the horse has been stolen. Two of us saw the thief lurking around, but failed to take action.

Whenever You See a Near Miss, Ask “Why?”

Suppose you’re walking toward a suspended mason’s scaffold. You see a brick fall, but hear no warning shout. Ask yourself: “Why did it fall? Was it kicked loose? Is a toe board missing?” Then correct this condition if possible. If not, report it to someone who can.

KEEP THE RIGHT ATTITUDE

Never take the attitude that a miss is as good as a mile. The next time, it may be the last mile for you or a fellow worker.

 


Safety on a New Jobsite

It’s important for you to remember that most accidents are caused by carelessness or thoughtlessness– yours, or someone else on the job. When an accident occurs, it is because someone has failed to foresee that it could happen. If you think ahead of the possible hazards likely to confront you, you can plan how to avoid them. When starting work at a new job site, size up the situation and think of ways to prevent accidents and keep the job safe.

Take time to evaluate your share of the work as soon as you arrive on the site. Ask your supervisor to explain any phase of the job that you do not understand. If you are working with a new employee, be sure to explain the work to be done and be sure that he/she is qualified to do the work. This will allow you to work safely with this person and prevent accidents.

Always check that you have the necessary tools and equipment required to do the job. Use tools only for the purpose they were designed for. Repair and replace immediately any defective tools such as chisels with mushroomed heads, wrenches with sprung or spread jaws, hammers with split handles, etc. Inspect the wiring of all electrical hand tools to be sure they are equipped with a three-prong grounded plug. Power tools with frayed or broken insulation on wires should be taken out of service until repaired. When using ladders, make sure that they are in good shape with no broken or missing rungs. Never use aluminum ladders when working around electricity. Wear hard hats and other personal protective equipment when called for on the site. When using scaffolding, make sure that it is properly set up with scaffold grade planks and good, stable footing. Do not work on scaffolding that is shaky or missing components.

Remember, a job is only as safe as each person makes it. If each employee will take nothing for granted, check all tools and equipment for safe operation, keep the job neat and follow company rules, they will be contributing to the safety of themselves and their fellow workers.

 

Size Up The Situation – Plan Ahead – Work Safely !!!

 


Lifting

Do you realize you may be risking serious injury many times a day and not even know it? Well, it’s true if you don’t lift correctly. Improper lifting may cause back injuries that can take months and even years to heal. Sometimes they are permanent and disabling. A little know how, however, can enable you to lift correctly.

PREPARING TO LIFT

Give the load the once-over. If it looks too heavy, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be sure you’re wearing safety shoes. There is always the chance of dropping something on your toes. If the object has rough or sharp edges, wear a good, tough pair of work gloves. They’ll give you a good grip and protect your hands.

 

MAKING THE LIFT

Crouch down with the load between your legs and get a good grip on the object. As you rise, lift with your legs, keeping your back vertical and the load as close to you body as possible. If you have to place the load to your left or to your right, don’t twist your body. Move your feet instead. When you have to lower a load, simply reverse the knees bent, back vertical procedure.

LET’S REVIEW

Let’s quickly review what we said about lifting:

  1. Don’t lift more than you can handle. Ask for help with heavy loads.
  2. Wear safety shoes.
  3. If the object is rough or sharp, wear gloves.
  4. Lift with your legs and not your back.
  5. Keep the load close to your body.

When it comes to lifting, don’t break your back. Instead, lift right and give your back a break.

 


Back to the Basics

You stand a far better chance of remaining fit and pain-free if you’ll stick with the basics in lifting and handling materials.

Many painful injuries happen to construction workers because they forget several basic manual material handling suggestions. Here are a few pointers about lifting and handling:

  •  First, think of your tender toes, in case something heavy drops. Always keep those toes of yours under protective steel cover; wear safety shoes.
  •  Think of your hands. Wear good tough gloves when you handle anything rough, sharp or splintery.
  • Before you heave-ho, be sure you’ve got a secure grip and solid footing.
  • Keep the load close to your body, to minimize the strain. Lift smoothly—don’t jerk as you lift.
  • See that fingers and toes stay in the clear when lifting and handling.
  • Don’t twist your body when carrying a load; pivot with your feet instead of your spine.
  • When a load is too heavy or awkward to handle alone, be quick to ask for help.
  • Plan your path of execution and make sure it is free of debris and obstacles.
  • Push rather than pull.
  • Use equipment (dollies, carts, two-wheelers,
    hydraulic/electrical hoists or lifts) to move loads whenever possible.
  • Make sure work levels are at waist height when standing and elbow height when sitting whenever possible.
  • If you have to work in one position for a long period of time, take stretching breaks.

Play it safe and smart.

Stick with the basics in all of your lifting and handling of materials and equipment.