Safety at work is critical to the success of both the employees and the company. It’s important that every person feel confident in his/her own ability and the abilities of coworkers. Workplace injuries are all too common, especially in the field of construction. In 2001, there were over 480,000 non-fatal injuries related to construction jobs. The danger inherent in building and construction sites demands a compensatory increase in pay — as of May 2013, the average hourly wage for a construction worker was $26.09 — but the danger can be mediated by providing proper training and having regular workplace inspections.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a division of the U.S. Department of Labor that aims “to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.” Every worker should be familiar with OSHA requirements in the workplace so they can be on the lookout for compliance with all regulations. Keep reading to learn some of the top ways to ensure dangerous jobs are kept as safe as possible.
- Take a safety training course.
According to OSHA, employers are required to provide information about chemical and equipment hazards, and employees have a right to receive this training. Any job that utilizes dangerous equipment must educate workers until they feel confident in their ability to operate complex machinery. Employees who operate lifting gear, cranes, or forklifts should be skilled enough to do so, for their own safety and that of others nearby.
- Use the proper equipment.
This means using the right equipment for the job, as well as using up-to-date equipment that is in line with current safety regulations. This can become a problem when machines or heavy tools become outdated, and there are safer options on the market. All equipment used at work should follow OSHA guidelines for heavy machinery.
- Comply with OSHA guidelines.
As stated above, OSHA sets rules for employers and outlines the rights of employees. Employers have a duty to create a safe work environment that actively reduces the risk of on-the-job injuries. Employees have a right to access safety training and to use only the safest machinery.
- Make sure everyone is certified.
Anyone who participates in lifting slings should have heavy equipment training; anyone who works with rigging supplies should have rigging safety training; anyone who works with cranes should take crane training courses. If you feel you don’t have enough training, talk to your employer immediately before lifting slings or operating a crane at work.
- Communicate effectively.
No amount of safety training can make up for proper communication between workers, and this is something everyone should remember. Operating construction equipment is a dangerous job, and working together is the best way to ensure everyone stays alert and safe.
Do you work at a dangerous job site and have an opinion on the best way to stay safe in the workplace? What’s the best way to prevent injuries from lifting slings or operating lifting equipment? Does your job require construction safety courses or OSHA fall protection training for employees? Did you enjoy the course? If you have any thoughts on this article or other safety concerns in the workplace, please leave a comment below.