Why Use Safety Equipment?
Safety equipment can be the difference between waking up the next morning or finding yourself in a coffin.
If you neglect the proper safety precautions as well as safety equipment, you put more than just your own life at risk, but others who surround you.
Working in the construction industry, risk of injury and fatality increases exponentially due to the dangerous line of work. Life-altering injuries can happen within the blink of an eye.
Studies show that construction is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.
All it takes is a slip, fall, or misplaced equipment to cause serious injury.
Don’t take this advice for granted, YOUR SAFETY is YOUR OWN responsibility.
Construction Worker Injuries
According to the Bureau Labor of Statistics there are over 150,000 construction related injuries every year. Studies show that of workplace injuries, 99% are preventable if the proper safety equipment and safety precautions were taken.
Here are the most common types of injuries suffered by construction workers:
Types of Safety Equipment and Injury Prevention
“It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.”
Depending on your line of work, you may need more or less safety equipment. A construction worker is going to need more safety tools than a landscaper.
That being said, you can never have too much safety equipment. Here’s a list of safety equipment you should consider purchasing if you haven’t already.
Protect your eyes. Never being able to see your family or kids again is a nightmare. Equipment and machinery can launch debris or scrap at high speeds and you’ll never see it coming.
The sad thing is, 100% of eye injuries can be prevented with the proper use of protective eye gear.
Safety glasses are usually made of high-quality and durable plastic material that will stop high speed debris from making contact with your eyes. Safety glasses come in different sizes and colors. Many brands also work as sunglasses.
Not using a safety harness when working on elevated surfaces can cause crippling injuries or even death.
Elevated falls are the biggest cause of head, spinal, neck, and paralysis injuries. These injuries may prevent you from walking or functioning properly for the rest of your life.
Even if you’re a careful person, objects, spills, and environmental factors can cause you to trip and fall. The difference between surviving that fall is a safety harness.
Falls as high as 5-6 feet above the ground can cause permanent bodily harm.
Similar to how a seat belt saves lives, a safety harness will strap you in and prevent high speed impact with the ground.
There are many types of work or safety gloves out there. Gloves also help you better grip tools and equipment. They’ll also help prevent lacerations, burns, and contact with hazardous materials.
But wearing the wrong gloves for the job is also just as bad as not wearing any. You need to wear specific gloves for specific jobs.
About 20% of job injuries is due to handling equipment. Ensuring that you wear the proper safety gloves for the job is essential so you don’t become another number.
Hard hats or construction helmets have been a staple of the construction injury for decades.
Hard hats are designed to prevent head and brain injuries which come from falling debris or contact with overhead beams and equipment. They also help prevent penetration of sharp objects.
OSHA requires individuals use hard hats when working in areas with the potential for falling objects.
Another study by the Bureau Labor of Statistics found that most head injuries came from those individuals who were not wearing hard hats. Coincidence?
If you or a coworker has ever asked “should I wear a hard hat?” Chances are that you most definitely need one.
Sometimes the most dangerous part of the job is the thing you can’t see… noise pollution.
Hearing protection is often used by construction and landscaping workers who find themselves operating machinery that emits extreme noise.
This comes with good reason. Long exposure to sounds over 85 decibels can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss.
Most lawnmowers produce around 90 decibels of noise. Jackhammers are around 100 decibels. Anything that pushes 110 decibels starts to become painful.
All this pain and hearing loss can easily be prevented with the simple use of ear muffs. Many earmuffs provide up to 35 decibels of protection.
The ingestion of chemicals, dust, or particles can cause respiratory problems and lead to long term illnesses such as cancer.
If you work with potent materials such as chemicals and/or gas, it’s a good idea to carry an air respirator.
Air respirators work by either filtering, purifying, or supplying a clean air source.
Many air respirators will only be valid for protection against certain contaminants. Example, particulate respirators are the cheapest versions of air respirators but only protect against dust particles and dirt.
Chemical air respirators will carry a much higher price tag but offer much more protection.
Neon Safety Vests
Dark conditions can lead to accidents and injuries. Visibility is always a huge plus, and making yourself visible will save your life.
That’s where a safety vest comes in. Safety vests come in many different styles and classes, but almost all safety vests contain some sort of reflective material.
A commonplace for safety vests is roadside construction. Safety vests do more than just make you visible. They help distinguish workers from pedestrians and civilians.
Similar to safety vests, safety tape is made to be visible.
It also helps provide a perimeter to section off unsafe areas. Safety tape gives instructional cues and warnings for civilians to avoid potentially hazardous environments.
If the nature of your job causes individuals to come in contact with potential dangers, it’s a good idea to place some caution tape and help reduce the risk of injury.
Traffic cones have a variety of uses that can help provide overall safety on a construction site.
Cones can be used to mark or section off an area. Traffic cones are light, colorful, can be easily moved to direct traffic or block off a pothole.
Traffic cones are cone shaped for a reason. The wide base helps them stay study and prevent toppling over. They’re also stack-able and can hold up signs.
Mesh Safety Fencing
As with any fencing, mesh fencing is great at providing a perimeter. But it’s also great at preventing equipment or debris from leaving the site area.
If a tire or object rolls away, the fencing can help stop it before it reaches the street.
It also tells by-passers that the area is restricted and off-limits for the public.
Mesh fencing is used on ski mountains to stop individuals who go out of control and risk veering off the trail. In case they run off, mesh fencing will help stop or slow the individual down to a comfortable stop.
This type of fencing is often visible to provide increased levels of safety.