POOR ERGONOMICS

Over time, the strain of repetitive motions or working in awkward postures can put workers at risk of back injury and musculoskeletal damage to knees and shoulders, as well as sprains and other stress injuries.

TIP:

Conduct site-specific safety and injury prevention training to make workers aware of each job's specific policies, procedures, hazards, and operations.

1

POOR ERGONOMICS

Over time, the strain of repetitive motions or working in awkward postures can put workers at risk of back injury and musculoskeletal damage to knees and shoulders, as well as sprains and other stress injuries.

TIP:

Conduct site-specific safety and injury prevention training to make workers aware of each job's specific policies, procedures, hazards, and operations.

CLUTTERED WORKSITES

When wood, steel, or drywall cutoffs and other types of debris aren't tidied up regularly, workers are at increased risk of trip-and-fall injuries, rolled or sprained ankles, torn knee cartilage, and even dislocations.

TIP:

Implement a nothing-hits-the-floor policy to ensure all waste is disposed of immediately; make this best practice the responsibility of workers and supervisors. Perform frequent worksite inspections to emphasize the importance of cleanliness.

2

CLUTTERED WORKSITES

When wood, steel, or drywall cutoffs and other types of debris aren't tidied up regularly, workers are at increased risk of trip-and-fall injuries, rolled or sprained ankles, torn knee cartilage, and even dislocations.

TIP:

Implement a nothing-hits-the-floor policy to ensure all waste is disposed of immediately; make this best practice the responsibility of workers and supervisors. Perform frequent worksite inspections to emphasize the importance of cleanliness.

IMPROPER USE OF PROTECTIVE GEAR

The dangers of handling hazardous material can be compounded when protective gear fits improperly or is used incorrectly. For example, facial hair can make a respirator's seal unreliable and put a worker at high risk of inhaling toxic chemicals.

TIP:

Equip workers with personal protective equipment adequate to protect them from routine and unexpected hazards. Perform documented, in-depth training in safety responsibilities, rules, procedures, gear, and skills. Ensure you cover protection for:

  • Eyes and face
  • Feet
  • Hands and head

3

IMPROPER USE OF PROTECTIVE GEAR

The dangers of handling hazardous material can be compounded when protective gear fits improperly or is used incorrectly. For example, facial hair can make a respirator's seal unreliable and put a worker at high risk of inhaling toxic chemicals.

TIP:

Equip workers with personal protective equipment adequate to protect them from routine and unexpected hazards. Perform documented, in-depth training in safety responsibilities, rules, procedures, gear, and skills. Ensure you cover protection for:

  • Eyes and face
  • Feet
  • Hands and head

HEAT-RELATED ILLNESS

Illnesses such as heat rash, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke are most common among newer employees who want to prove themselves and are therefore reluctant to take breaks, even on hot days. Tasks such as applying hot tar or spreading asphalt can create serious heat-related health risks, regardless of the weather.

TIP:

Mandate and monitor breaks. Use new hire orientation to instill the importance of health and safety from the start — and couple it with ongoing mentorship and evaluation.

4

HEAT-RELATED ILLNESS

Illnesses such as heat rash, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke are most common among newer employees who want to prove themselves and are therefore reluctant to take breaks, even on hot days. Tasks such as applying hot tar or spreading asphalt can create serious heat-related health risks, regardless of the weather.

TIP:

Mandate and monitor breaks. Use new hire orientation to instill the importance of health and safety from the start — and couple it with ongoing mentorship and evaluation.

UNCOMFORTABLE PROTECTIVE GEAR

If hard hats or gloves don't fit properly, or if safety glasses fog up easily, workers may be tempted to remove them — putting themselves at risk of injury. Likewise, borrowed, ill-fitting boots or other gear can increase the risk of trip-and-falls and other injuries.

TIP:

Hold regular toolbox talks on the importance of properly fitted, comfortable gear. Perform frequent worksite inspections to check for potential gear issues.

5

UNCOMFORTABLE PROTECTIVE GEAR

If hard hats or gloves don't fit properly, or if safety glasses fog up easily, workers may be tempted to remove them — putting themselves at risk of injury. Likewise, borrowed, ill-fitting boots or other gear can increase the risk of trip-and-falls and other injuries.

TIP:

Hold regular toolbox talks on the importance of properly fitted, comfortable gear. Perform frequent worksite inspections to check for potential gear issues.

WORKSITE LUNCHTIME HABITS

Workers on break may put themselves in danger by removing their protective equipment to relax and eat – while others around them are still working. And if employees are unable to wash their hands before eating, they're at risk of ingesting contaminants.

TIP:

Enforce the use of safety equipment at all times on the worksite. Provide a designated meal area, with handwashing stations.

6

WORKSITE LUNCHTIME HABITS

Workers on break may put themselves in danger by removing their protective equipment to relax and eat – while others around them are still working. And if employees are unable to wash their hands before eating, they're at risk of ingesting contaminants.

TIP:

Enforce the use of safety equipment at all times on the worksite. Provide a designated meal area, with handwashing stations.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Most site managers know that substance abuse is a problem in the construction industry, but many won't mandate testing because they don't want to lose key workers – even if those workers pose a risk to themselves and others.

TIP:

Pair a formal substance abuse policy with drug and alcohol testing (where permitted) and an employee assistance program that offers help workers may need. Make health and wellness a priority; consider offering education on the impact of substance abuse.

7

SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Most site managers know that substance abuse is a problem in the construction industry, but many won't mandate testing because they don't want to lose key workers – even if those workers pose a risk to themselves and others.

TIP:

Pair a formal substance abuse policy with drug and alcohol testing (where permitted) and an employee assistance program that offers help workers may need. Make health and wellness a priority; consider offering education on the impact of substance abuse.

Protect what matters most

We can advise you on how to manage these risks,
identify others that exist on your worksite,
and tailor a plan to help improve health
and safety across your organization.