When managing a successful building project, you have the essential goal of getting your steel building constructed on time and in scope. However, as a general contractor, you have another, even more, important mission: keeping workers safe on your construction site.
This may seem straightforward, but it’s also a needed response to a current construction safety crisis. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in 2019 alone, 5,333 workers died on the job. 20% of these victims worked in construction.
With a small handful of protective steps, you can safeguard your site to reduce the risk to your construction workers. Let’s discuss how you can keep your Georgia construction site safe and running like clockwork.
Consider Implementing These Safety Strategies on Your Steel Building Site
While some of these tips may seem like common sense, they can go a long way to address the most common types of worksite accidents.
Require personal protective gear.
While any person is on your job site – even if they’re not a construction worker, even if they’re just passing through – they should be wearing a helmet, safety glasses, and any other gear that might be necessary for your site. A helmet or hard hat can transform a potentially fatal blow into a minor accident. Eyewear can help prevent severe vision loss. Required or recommended gear may include gloves and durable shoes, mainly if your team works with electricity. Fall-prevention equipment, such as rails, safety nets, and harnesses, are also vital for your team.
Prioritize well-built, high-quality scaffolding.
It’s an extra step in the building plan, but it will support safe, efficient building activities for the duration of your project. OSHA suggests that scaffolding must be stable under its own weight, and it must also be able to support up to four times the expected weight. Outfit your scaffolding with rails to protect your workers as they move around your steel structure.
Make sure your excavation sites and trenches have the proper support.
You can forestall the nightmare of a cave-in or collapse by following good engineering standards when building these structures (e.g., digging or building them at a safe slope or angle). In addition, double-check all supports and shields, and ensure that each trench or excavation site has at least one easily accessible exit.
Complete regular inspections of all equipment and tools.
The tools your workers use control not only the quality of work they can perform but also, often, their working environment. If a tool breaks, dulls, or weakens, the most routine of building tasks can become insidiously dangerous. Work with your team to establish a regular maintenance routine that includes frequent inspections of their tools (and opportunities for effective repair).
Educate your team about chemical hazards (and recognition of exposure symptoms).
On a steel construction job site, your workers might experience exposure to many different toxic substances. Sometimes, it’s obvious when a person has received too much exposure to a harmful chemical. Other times, it’s less clear. Every worker on your team, even those who don’t work in scenarios that pose a threat of environmental toxins, should understand which chemicals can burn, which can cause breathing problems, and which can cause long-term adverse health effects. Your team should also have clean-up kits placed at strategic, easily accessible locations on your site. If one occurs, a procedure for managing and containing a spill or leak should also be onsite.
The good news? OSHA reports that following these tips may help: They’re seeing worker deaths trending downward, from approximately 38 deaths a day in 1970 to 2019, 15 a day. Your Georgia-certified contractors will do their best to keep those numbers going in the right direction.
Rely on Peak Steel Contractors for a Safe, Effective Steel Building Project
At Peak Steel Contractors, we’re proud to assist with everything your construction project needs, from the initial design to the completion of your steel building. This includes keeping workers safe on the job site. Check out our past projects to see what we can do, and contact us for more information.