12-09-2013

Protecting Yourself When Working On Sites

You need to protect yourself while working on a site, such as in construction or other building work. While there should always be official guidance and policies in place which workers can follow, it is also personal responsibility to ensure individuals are protected from the risks they may face.

These risks and hazards may include:

  • Falls
  • Trips and slips
  • Working with power tools (including the risk of Hand Arm Vibration)
  • Working with substances (such as cement)
  • Lifting equipment
  • Poor visibility and lighting
  • Loud noises
  • Airborne fibres
  • Asbestos

How Can Workers Protect Themselves from Hazards On-Site?

Wear PPE

A huge step, and perhaps the most important, is ensuring the correct PPE for the job is worn. This includes:

  • Hats and head protection
  • Eye protection (safety goggles)
  • Hearing protection
  • Protective clothing (such as reflective clothing, disposable clothing or winter clothing)
  • Gloves (whether thick, waterproof or high grip)
  • Safety boots
  • Breathing protection (such as masks)

Fall protection equipment will have to be in place for anyone working from height. This should be organised by site managers and Health and Safety organisers.

Safely Use Equipment

All power tools and other similar equipment, such as cement mixers, should be checked for any issues before use. The good news is that if you hire any tools from Speedy Services, all hires are checked before they are hired out again.

All tools also come with a user guide and safety manual which MUST be followed. In terms of those working on-site, they should be trained in using the tools, and have the necessary qualifications if applicable. Training is also available for anyone who will be specialising in certain tools, such as power saws or abrasive machines.

The area needs to be clear when they are being used, so to not injure anybody else or put them at risk of flying debris. And, as mentioned, PPE must always be worn when using any tools.

Training for Working At Height

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that, in 2020/21, around a quarter of worker fatalities were from a fall from height. Working from height is therefore the most common way for workers to become injured when on site.

Training is available for anyone undertaking these jobs, and is vital whether the worker is on a ladder or on a multi-level platform. All of the suitable safety equipment must also be in place and regularly checked.

Minimise Working Alone

Accidents can happen when working alone, but more importantly, it prolongs the time taken to act. From first aid beginning to calling for help, this delay can cost lives. While some work needs to be carried out independently, workers should always have sufficient communication devices on their selves. This includes anybody in vehicles, where other equipment such as first aid kits and snow/cold weather protection are also vital.

Be Aware of Moving Vehicles

Talking of vehicles, if there are cars or other vehicles on site, you need to be aware of them. They should stick to designated paths; use traffic barriers to clearly separate walking and driving roads.

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