Being a construction worker is commendable work. You must bear heavy loads, use dangerous tools and work from dangerous heights every day. These tasks may make you feel like a superhero, but they are also stressful and hazardous.
You have a significant risk of getting an injury on construction sites. In fact, one in five occupational fatalities were in construction in 2016. So how can you stay safe as a construction worker? Here are some good guidelines to follow.
1. Inspect scaffolding
Never use a scaffold that is weak or damaged in any way. Make sure the scaffold is safe before using it by ensuring it has the following components:
- Tightly-planked platforms
- Protective guardrails
- Tight rigging that undergoes inspection by a supervisor
- Stable supportive structures such as rails, ropes, brackets, trusses and braces
If you notice anything unstable or damaged, inform your supervisor and make sure there is an immediate resolution. Do not attempt to work on an unsteady scaffold.
2. Use tools ergonomically
Construction tools should make your job easier. However, some can do more damage than good. If you use tools that do not have an ergonomic design, you may develop a repetitive stress condition such as tendinitis, trigger finger or carpal tunnel syndrome. Make sure you do not strain yourself too much. You should take necessary breaks to avoid cumulative trauma.
3. Lift carefully
As a construction worker, back pain may be your worst enemy. While carrying heavy loads may be a necessary aspect of your occupation, you do not need to become debilitated from doing your work. Always use your knees instead of your back while lifting. Avoid twisting at all when lifting a heavy object. Ask for assistance lifting or carrying a heavy load when necessary. It is better to get help than to suffer an injury.
Working in the construction industry may be inherently dangerous, but these safety solutions will help you avoid injuries.