Basic Construction Equipment Safety Standards & Major Construction Hazards
According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), some of the major hazards associated with construction equipments/sites are:
- Falls: This is the major hazard faced by construction workers; falling down from the scaffoldings, equipments, and other such higher altitude places are common and very hazardous. Safety has to be provided by all construction sites for such kind of falls.
- Ladders & Stairways: This danger is very much related to the ‘fall’ grouping; however, there are separate safety standards for this category.
- Scaffolding: This is also one of the main reasons for falls which can lead to injuries or death. Standstill equipment is also as dangerous as moving equipment if not used in the proper way.
- Electrical: Electrical hazards are mainly related to things powered by electricity. Explosions, fires, electrocution and heavy equipments causing shocks are the commonly seen electrical hazards in most construction sites; appropriate safety measures have to be undertaken. Electrical hazards are very dangerous as they can start off a chain of negative events.
- Excavation & Trenching: The most dangerous hazards in construction are related to this category. Asphyxiation, cave-ins, collapsing walls, explosions, electrocutions, etc- all these play a major role in the death rate of workers.
- Heavy construction equipment: Motor vehicle safety related to highway works is also a major issue; this is often related to heavy moving equipment. Similar to electrical hazards, mistakes made with heavy moving equipments can trigger a series of negative events both to the worker as well as the site.
Necessary Safety Standards
Several safety guidelines have to be followed when working with construction equipments or sites. A few of the important ones are covered in this section.
- Ensure that all big construction equipment is in good working condition before starting the day’s work or before operation; make sure that all the parts are in perfect working condition. You have to be an expert in the operating procedures of the equipment. Do not do anything on a trial and error basis. Use the emergency brake if you sense any dangers.
- Accept the help of your co-workers while working on blind-spots to guide you while steering; it is safe to have a reverse alarm system incorporated in the vehicle. Wear seat belts when operating these equipment.
- Do not exceed the weight that the equipment is designed to hold; this is usually specified in the manual and placarding.
- All workers should wear protective clothing and caution signs should be placed at the work site.
- Set parking brakes when the vehicle is parked.
- Block the bulldozer and scraper blades or end loader buckets when it is not in use; retain the controls in a neutral position.
Following OSHA Regulations
For all construction equipment safety standards, ensure that OSHA regulations from the Department of Labor are followed. It is always safe to train the workers to identify the dangers and follow safety measures. The official website of OSHA includes all the guidelines required for particular work environments, so visit the site to check out further details.
These handy links will assist you to identify and neutralize the potential hazards:
OSHA Construction E-tool: Struck by Vehicles