Construction jobsites always impose general risks to the health and well-being of workers. Taking all safety precautions seriously, and proactively implementing measures to mitigate them is extremely important. With autumn upon us and winter right behind, there are few additional construction safety concerns to consider in keeping workers safe.
Autumn is the start of flu season, and doctors recommended all adults get vaccinated against the flu. Health experts warn that the addition of another respiratory illness, such as the flu, on top of catching the ongoing COVID-19 virus could land people in the hospital much faster. Avoid the possibility by getting your flu shot now.
Autumn weather can leave the ground wet and muddy, making it harder to place ladders securely. Gusty winds may even knock over some ladders. In addition, messy boots can also cause slipping as workers ascend. Remember these tips for ladder safety:
- Clean any excess mud or water off boots before climbing on a ladder
- Use the right ladder for the job and inspect it before using
- Never do these:
- place the ladder on unstable ground
- climb higher than the third rung from the top
- try to move a ladder while you are on it
Respirators and Facial Hair
With November, also known as Movember, just around the corner, men will grow mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health issues. Workers need to be aware that facial hair could compromise a respirator’s seal. As long as the facial hair does not protrude under the respirator seal or interfere with the device’s valve function, there should be no issue. Short mustaches, sideburns and small goatees usually do not present a hazard, but always ensure that masks fit properly and snug before beginning work.
Review Standard Procedures
Now is a great time to remind employees about standard procedures that may not regularly be discussed on jobsites. Below are some important examples to cover during fall safety meetings.
- Evacuation: Remind employees of the designated meeting area and the importance of them going there in an emergency.
- Fall Arrest Systems: Provide a refresher on how to inspect fall arrest systems and ensure that they are fitted, rigged and anchored properly.
- Hearing Protection: Remind workers that while loud machines can cause hearing loss very quickly, lower decibel levels can also cause irreparable damage over time.
- Hand Protection: Remind employees to use the right gloves for each task and to keep them on until they are finished to avoid hand injuries.
Safety should always be the top priority on a construction site. Following these autumn safety tips can help ensure knowledgeable and safe workers. For more safety tips, check out the OSHA pocket guide.