What keeps workers safe in the volatile and unpredictable construction industry? Is it close adherence to local and nationwide safety laws? Maybe it’s a constant awareness of one’s surroundings that staves off the potential for harm. As it turns out, it’s a combination of all of the above alongside reliable equipment. Without good shoes to stand strong against constant walking and a hi vis jacket to increase visibility in the dark, even the most conscientious employee runs the risk of severe injury or worse.
While this is by no means a comprehensive list, the basics will be covered below to make sure the average construction employee has everything they need to work without fear.
This is something all construction workers can readily agree on as a highly important element, regardless of their particular title or function. While the average person is estimated to walk 10,000 steps per day, a construction or day laborer can walk three times that much. It’s estimated that nearly $70 is spent per employee on foot protection, to boot, and one of the most reliable ways of slipping or obtaining a foot injury is having a pair of faulty shoes to wear.
To be a construction worker is to be regularly exposed to loud noises. Even worse, these noises can reach pitches that are highly unsafe. Permanent hearing loss is able to be caused by sounds louder than 85 decibels. The maximum exposure to any sound at 85 decibels is also eight hours as defined by the National Institute For Occupational Safety And Health. Good-fitting earplugs should be snug at all times. These can reduce noise by 15 to 30 decibels.
No worker should be on-the-clock without a good high visibility jacket. These do the combined work of keeping a worker warm during cold weather, staving off sunburn during blistering weather and bolstering visibility at night. A hi vis jacket is paramount for construction workers that need to complete projects on highways or freeways while it’s dark, reducing their risk of being hit by an unsuspecting driver. A hi vis jacket can also come in the form of a hi vis hoodie, hi vis pants, hi vis waistcoats or hi vis rain gear, depending on the need.
Without gloves many construction workers would run the risk of burns, serious cuts or even missing fingers. When operating heavy machinery there is always the risk of a slip-up or a malfunction, meaning thick gloves can go the extra mile in staving off a major injury that could see weeks off of work. Gloves also help maintain a more agreeable temperature during the winter months and keep the joints from freezing. This can contribute to arthritis if not checked. New workers have a higher risk of obtaining an injury on the job than older workers according to the Institute For Work And Health in Canada.
The iconic image of a construction worker is a laborer with a hi vis jacket and yellow or orange helmet. With the head being one of the most fragile parts of the body, a helmet can literally mean the difference between life or death. The year 2015 saw nearly 5,000 people killed on the job. Many of these accidents could have been easily avoided with the proper equipment and regular analysis of local and nationwide safety laws. When you give your employees the best possible equipment, you also give them the best possible chance at a comfortable and long-lasting career in construction.