The owner of a business is both in charge of and responsible for providing and maintaining a safe working environment for his/her employees in any industry, but safety needs special attention where construction is concerned. Hundreds of workers are seriously injured or even killed at construction sites in the UK every year, and most of them are caused by negligence on either the employer’s or employee’s part. Builders in Essex and other parts of the UK need to take this seriously.
Although it would practically be impossible for any business owner or site manager to ensure absolute safety at a construction site, it is quite possible to reduce the frequency of such accidents by implementation of strict safety procedures and the usage of high-quality personal protective equipment (PPE). As we go through the following list of protective gear, it should remind us of everything that we need to protect ourselves and our employees against accidents in most of the probable dangerous situations at a construction site.
Safety footwear is primarily required in construction to keep the workers from slipping and to protect their feet from liquid, physical or chemical damage while working in hazardous ground conditions. Consider the safety boots here on Engelbert Strauss that are anti-slip, energy-absorbent, antistatic, water-resistant and fuel-resistant. If the kind of work that you and your crew are generally involved in doesn’t require some of the extra protection, Engelbert Strauss also has lower-priced options with fewer features to consider. Even if you do want your work footwear to provide maximum protection, buy a few pairs of the higher-end models for the special scenarios, complemented by mid-end models for regular use by your employees at the site. Engelbert Strauss is known for providing high quality and durable products that can withstand tough working conditions, so they are definitely worth checking out.
Hand and Arm Protection
Depending on the particular job the worker is handling, hand and arm protection could include simple finger guards or protective work gloves and complete arm coverings to prevent cuts, puncture wounds, burns, electrocution, abrasions, fractures, complete or partial amputation and topical absorption of chemicals and toxins. The following should serve to provide a general guideline as to what is necessary and when.
- Chemical and liquid-resistant gloves are necessary while working with corrosive and toxic chemicals
- Insulated rubber gloves are mandatory while working with electrical wiring
- Leather or metal mesh provides protection against cuts, punctures, burns and abrasions in any scenario
- Coated fabric gloves are very basic in nature, and should be used only while working with soil to provide light protection against chafing or abrasion
Ear protection for construction employees comes in the form of pre-moulded ear plugs, foam ear plugs, full-cover ear muffs and canal caps. Canal caps are the most basic form of ear protection and are not recommended in construction work, as it often involves handling loud machinery like drills that can damage a worker’s hearing temporarily and permanently. Ear muffs and foam ear plugs (they adjust and conform to the shape of the individual’s ear canals for maximum noise insulation) are the best forms of ear protection available at the moment.
Face and Eye Protection
Depending on the particular job involved, face and eye protection equipment can range from the simple safety goggles with dirt resistance for regular work, to fully fledged welding shields for providing protection while working on potentially dangerous welding jobs. Just make sure that any product you are buying meets the standards set by the BSI. Any shield or goggles you buy should preferably also have fluid/chemical resistance for increased protection, even if it may not always be a potential danger at the regular construction site.
If the job involves working in dusty, dirty environments, or places that have toxic fumes in the air, your employees should all have easy access to high-quality respirators that are designed to keep any foreign material from getting into their airways.
The final entrant on this list includes body harnesses and lifelines that are meant to protect workers if they accidentally fall off a high place while working at a construction site. As falling from a high place is one of the most common accidents at construction sites, it should be regulation for the employees to wear harnesses and attach the lifelines every time they work at a height that is more than four to six feet from the immediate surface.
By providing your employees access to the adequate safety equipment and by training them to safely handle construction machinery, it is possible to reduce, if not completely eliminate the chances of accidents. The initial investment is also an investment towards safeguarding your business’s financial interests, because lawsuits, compensation claims and accident related damages and consequences cost the construction industry more than a billion pounds annually in the UK.
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