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 IDENTIFYING CONSTRUCTION HAZARDS

The following examples are intended to remind workers of the typical construction hazards we see regularly with hopes that everyone will put safety first and correct hazards as they find them.

HOUSEKEEPING - Not enough can be said about maintaining a clean work area! Keeping your area swept and free from debris not only prevents tripping hazards, but it makes it easier to perform your work. Make sure stored materials are stacked neatly and away from work areas.

EXTENSION CORDS - Make sure cord sets have a grounding plug in place before using. If insulation on cords is damaged, take the cords out of service. Elevate extension cords to prevent tripping hazards.

ELECTRICAL PANELS - All panels and boxes must have a cover in place to prevent electrical shock. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) should be required on all circuits that will be used for portable power tools.

SCAFFOLDING - Elevated working surfaces must be fully planked with toe boards, hand rails and mid rails installed. Scaffolds must be erected with vertical members resting on a solid base with the scaffold level. Never climb the outside of a scaffold; ladders are required. Never climb a ladder while carrying tools or materials. Instead, use a hoist line.

LADDERS - Step ladders are a major source for construction accidents. Make sure they are used properly and maintained in good repair. Remove broken or damaged ladders from service immediately. Never lean step ladders against a wall or work surface. Never separate extension ladders. Always make sure extension ladders are tied off.

SLIPPERY SURFACES - Make sure sand or some other slip resistant material is applied to icy walking surfaces. Clean up oil and water spills immediately. Another serious cause of slips are "rolly pollys." These are small round objects that can cause a slip when stepped on. Typical ones include: Welding rod ends, stubs from conduit and small diameter pipe.

LIGHTING - Most construction areas require a minimum of 5 foot candles. If you are having a hard time seeing your work, then you need to let someone know and get something done about it. Stairways are a common problem area and require good lighting.

EYE PROTECTION - It is too common to see workers who need eye protection not wearing it. The typical reason is because they did not have glasses with them. Wearing safety glasses all the time prevents this situation. Safety glasses alone are not adequate for tasks that create flying particulate matter such as grinding or cutting. Wear a face shield as well.

 

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