While you’re nervously keeping an eye on project budgets and time lines, it’s so important that you never cut corners where safety is concerned. Whether it’s due to budgetary or scheduling concerns, or to under-trained workers or plain old laziness, there are a number of common safety violations found at construction sites everywhere.
To help you catch them and avoid them, here’s a quick look at five regularly occurring, common safety violations at construction sites.
Watch Out for These Job Site Safety Concerns
- Inadequate fall protection – Fall protection is necessary to fall prevention, with falls being one of the big four construction hazards and responsible for around 300 construction worker deaths annually in the US. And this has been the number one OSHA violation for about 10 years running now. Pre-planning, making sure that safety precautions like guardrails are in place, and personal safety gear for fall prevention are essential.
- Poorly erected and maintained scaffolding – This is another one of the most common safety violations at construction sites. Scaffolds must always be overseen by a competent person, and scaffold inspections should never be neglected. They should also be kept clear of items that can be tripping hazards or that can be knocked over the edge. Review these general scaffold safety tips and circulate them among your crew.
- Ladder misuse – Ladders are for one specific purpose, but workers often misuse them or use the wrong type of ladder (e.g., an A-frame ladder when they should be using an extension ladder leaning against the wall). Always ensure that the right ladders are available at the job site, and that they’re being used properly. Here are some helpful ladder safety tips that all workers should be well acquainted with.
- Failure to use respiratory protection – There are times—like when breaking ground or during demolition—when respiratory protection is crucial because toxic pollutants are being released into the air. They can cause discomfort, illness, and even lung damage. Appropriate PPE should always be worn by everyone in the vicinity of potentially dangerous dust, as well as potentially harmful chemicals. Also, when possible, use “wet methods” that significantly reduce the amount of dust released into the atmosphere.
- Missing hazard communication – Hazard communication refers to the proper labeling of chemicals stored and used at the job site. Chemicals shouldn’t only be identified; it should also be clear whether they’re flammable and what other potential harm they can cause (e.g., skin burns, eye irritation, inhalation danger, etc.). Make sure this information is included on labels.