How To Protect Employees On Worksites
Securing your employees' safety is your legal, financial and moral obligation as an employer.
Securing your employees' safety is your legal, financial and moral obligation as an employer, but worksites are dangerous places where hazards can continue to be present. It's your responsibility to equip your workers with the knowledge and tools they need to avoid harming themselves or others while on the job. Pay attention to these six areas of concern to help minimise the risks and ensure that the employees of your business can stay as safe as possible.
1. Protective Procedures
Having comprehensive safety procedures in place is the best thing you can do to prepare your workers for the dangers on your worksite. Every worker should be given instruction on how to perform their job safely and where to find emergency items like fire blankets if they are needed.
There should also be additional resources like manuals and diagrams available for workers to consult when needed. You should have documented proof that the appropriate training was carried out and that each worker was able to pass tests verifying their comprehension. Anyone who cannot demonstrate that they absorbed the safety information presented should not be allowed on the worksite until that has changed.
2. Breathing Equipment
The air at most active worksites may be contaminated by particles of metal shavings, mould, smoke, dangerous gases and multitudes of other toxic substances. If your employees breathe in this material, they may develop a distracting cough or even suffer permanent damage to the lungs, nose or throat.
To combat this, purchase and distribute air filters, masks and full breathing apparatuses among your employees as needed. Follow the guidelines set out by the equipment manufacturer to choose the appropriate device if you aren't sure which type is right for the work you do.
3. Ear Protection
Employees who spend many hours each day being exposed to the extremely loud sounds of worksite equipment can easily develop hearing loss or other auditory problems like tinnitus. Having your workers wear earplugs and other hearing protection devices helps to muffle the destructive sounds and reduce the chance of harm. Not all devices offer the same amount of protection, however; be sure to provide protective equipment that is appropriate for the level of noise (measured in decibels) at your specific sites, or you can't guarantee that it will be effective.
4. Safety Footwear
Construction and installation work involves a lot of heavy lifting; a single stumble is all it takes for someone to end up with crushed toes. That's why everyone on a worksite (including visitors) should be wearing steel caps on their boots at all times. Your employees' footwear should have thick slip-resistant soles that will be difficult to pierce if they step on anything sharp lying around the site. In case of an emergency and especially on sites where a fire is a common hazard like when welding is involved, your employees' footwear should also provide protection from flames.
5. Eye Wear
The dust and small bits of debris that get stirred up into the air during work (not to mention any toxic chemicals you might be using) pose a serious risk to workers' eyes. Even a minuscule shard of glass or droplet of acid that makes contact with the eye can cause permanent vision loss. To avoid any accidents like this, have your employees wear full-coverage protective eye gear any time they are facing these types of conditions. Many masks and face shields that you might use to protect against respiratory threats also have proper eye coverage built into them, so you can cover both of these bases with careful shopping.
6. Comprehensive Storage
All worksites use equipment and materials that could prove dangerous if mishandled. Storing these assets properly is essential to maintaining a safe environment. Any equipment must be put away as soon as possible when it is not in use. All hazardous materials must be stored in secured, well-labelled containers such as those from StoreMasta away from food or high-traffic areas like walkways. If you are working with any explosive materials, you will need to store them in special reinforced containers that will insulate them from the impact of accidental bumping or jostling.
Overall, your workers' safety should never be left up to chance. Taking precautions before anything catastrophic happens will help you keep your risks minimal and ensure that no one at your company will be harmed when doing their job.