A construction site can already be hazardous. Factor in a pandemic, and you can be sure that you have to take extra steps to keep yourself and everybody around you safe and healthy. Whether you’re a construction company owner or an employee, you can do your part in making your workplace a hazard-free and safe environment for everyone. Here are some key tips and pointers to remember to keep everyone—yourself and your co-workers—from injury or illness.
Wear the necessary protective gear
The protective equipment or gear is required for a reason: They keep your heads protected from injuries both minor and long-term, and they help prevent death as well since our heads and necks are incredibly vulnerable to injuries that can be fatal. Whatever personal protective equipment (PPE) is required to keep you safe, make sure that you wear them at all times no matter how convenient they are, and remind your team and co-workers to wear theirs as well. Here are some examples of PPE you might need, depending on the type of work you’re assigned:
- High-visibility safety jackets
- Ear protection
- Knee pads
- Safety goggles
If any of these items start to lose their proper fit at any point, or if they become damaged or worn out to the point of not being able to do their job of protecting you, make sure to respectfully inform your direct supervisor that you need new ones so that you can continue to be shielded from injury. Remember that the company owners are required by law to provide a safe and hazard-free environment at work, and part of that is providing employees with the safety gear needed. Know your workplace rights, and don’t hesitate to exercise them.
Know your rights
Speaking of knowing your workplace rights, you must understand what privileges and benefits are afforded to you as a construction company employee. Especially since the nature of your work is that you are always exposed to potentially dangerous environments when you work in sites, you need to know who will shoulder your medical bills or lost work time should anything happen to you. Consider consulting with a personal injury attorney to know which instances you can file a personal injury claim and if your work contract is fair to you as a worker or employee.
Attend health and safety training
One of the keys to staying safe in a construction environment is awareness. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to human safety involving the physics of construction, materials, and others. You should be fully equipped and aware of the many risks associated with your line of work and what actions and machinery might expose you to certain hazards and dangers.
Some examples include working at tall heights or operating heavy machinery. Consider asking your boss if you can a training like this can be conducted for your company. If they cannot provide for it, consider looking for training that you can attend on your own.
You might be surprised to know that there are apps that can help you stay safe at work. One example is are lone worker safety devices that can allow you to communicate with employers or emergency services should you be involved in an accident while at work.
Some features include a panic button and a check-in, which you can do through a simple tap—perfect for when we don’t have the wherewithal to type long messages or make calls. You can consider employing these technologies at work to help you and others remain as safe as possible or get immediate help in case of an emergency.
Get vaccinated and follow expert advice on mask-wearing and social distancing
And lastly, getting the COVID-19 vaccine is your best bet for staying healthy while working a construction job. We cannot eliminate instances when we need to be with others since construction jobs are always a team effort. But we can protect ourselves against severe symptoms should we contract the virus—and the vaccine is the way to do that. Follow the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control’s guidelines on mask-wearing and social distancing as well, since they can change as the virus evolves as well.
Taking these steps might seem like a bother, but if our health and safety are on the line, then they are steps always worth taking. We are taking these precautions for other people as well. Keep yourself and others safe and healthy so your construction company can do its job without hurting others.