Tag Archives: employee safety

Protect workers engaged in excavation and trenching works

The Occupational Safety and health Administration and laid down some stringent laws that protects the rights of the laborers engaged in perilous job activities. Now it becomes the onus of the construction companies to follow those laws or else the license to continue business will get scrapped. Just one complaint from anybody and if the authorities find that the laws were not followed it can pose a lot of problem to the construction company. This is why it is a must to all the construction companies that they take uttermost care in ensuring that the workers working in perilous conditions are provided with enough protection so that if there happens to be an untoward incident the number of casualty is limited. Dangers are immense for construction workers that are engaged in excavation and trenching works. Though both excavation and trenching are different from each other but they both carry enough risk that may cause huge casualty and therefore enough care needs to be taken to protect the life of the workers.

Before any excavation or trenching work begins, the construction company should do a thorough study of the soil. It will help them understand the kind of risk one has to undergo and also the kind of precautionary steps the company needs to take to ensure the lives of all the workers are protected. No soil from two different places is similar to each other and therefore when the excavation process begins the soil may act differently. Trenching work is more difficult than excavation work and time and again it has been observed how important it is to understand the soil composition first and then start with the trenching work. Pre-planning of excavation or trenching work is also equally important. There are many things that one needs to take into consideration and plan everything in advance to the initiation of the project. Companies who are experienced in excavation works do not take pre-planning lightly and understand its importance towards the success of the project.

For companies that are new into excavation work, they need to be little careful with what they do. First and foremost they need to prepare a checklist of the things that they require and the things that they need to check prior to starting the work. Things such as the weather of the place, the traffic around the place, soil classification, the surface and the ground water, overhead and underground utilities etc. needs to be checked. These things should be known to the company before it places bids on the project. Once that is done it also needs to check the number of ladders it may require, the fall protection needs, safety equipment needs etc. They can gather much of this information from the local authority officials and other utility companies. This will help him to figure out an approximate cost to the project and also the cost of the safety equipment he need to garner to ensure the project is completed safely and without any harm to any of its employees.

Risks of not following safety instructions

Till date, there have been a number of incidents where a sudden unexpected explosion or a fire takes place in a chemical factory, and leads to numerous deaths and heavy financial loss. Also on daily basis the machine operators meet with either minor or major accidents (where the worker loses his hand or even his life). This reason why such unfortunate incidents occur is due to failure to follow safety instructions at the work place. There are dangers associated while performing certain tasks. If appropriate care is not taken while performing these tasks, they turn out to be risky for life. Hence, care needs to be taken by following safety instructions. Safety instructions make a user/worker aware of risks in their work and guide them how to avoid injury while performing those tasks. Failure to follow the necessary instructions can cause serious injuries or even lead to death.

Manufacturing, construction, mining, production and warehousing represent a few examples of industries where a number of daily tasks are full of risks. For example, welding work generates fire of high temperature, drilling requires use of heavy equipments, use of heavy machinery to lift, load and unload and destruct things on construction site, working at heights and so forth. There is risk associated with most of the tasks, hence the worker needs to follow the safety instructions and use safeguards such as the use of safety glasses along with a protective shield, footwear, protective suit while entering the boiler cabin and hearing protection. Chemical industries use different types of chemicals. Some chemicals are marked with ‘X’ on them, indicating that they are poisonous and hazardous and safety instructions are written below them. The user is required to follow them while using these chemicals. Some chemicals are to be opened only in a chemical hood. Similarly every chemical has a specific storage condition. Failure to follow the safety instructions leads to permanent damage both to the user and others too.

Therefore, it is necessary that safety instructions should be documented at work place for risky procedures and implement training for hazardous tasks. While making these safety instructions they need to be reviewed by experienced workers. Proper implementation of safe procedures involves training and supervision. The workers should not just read it but also follow it. To ensure the same supervisors or managers will need to constantly instruct and monitor the workers. If the worker does not follow the safety instructions then he needs to be counselled and trained again. If the risk associated with a procedure can be minimized then it should be implemented. For example, if instead of manual drilling work, if mechanical lifting device can perform the same with safety, then it should be used. Similarly if less hazardous solvent serves the same purpose as the hazardous, then it should be purchased. Further the work procedures need to be reviewed periodically and modified.

Thus, safety instructions when followed, allow to perform the risky work with care and minimize accidents and lead to a safe work environment.

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Mistakes a construction company should avoid doing

Humans are bound to do mistakes in their lives and so do they also learn from it. Mistakes can happen in any industry and in any profession but there are some mistakes that can be avoided and one will never want them to happen. Mistakes are certainly not pardonable in professions where you just can’t afford to make mistakes. Doctors for that matter are bound to make no mistakes. Similarly, we expect the same from a pilot. But there are others industries where a mistake made, may not be life threatening but can definitely lead to severe loses and one can only try to avoid them. Construction industry is one such industry where you commit a major error and you got to be ready to pay a big price for it. There are few grave mistakes that one should avoid making especially when he is part of the construction segment.

Safety of employees should never be compromised:-

You can’t take human lives for granted come what may. People who are working for you are your men and it becomes your moral responsibility to safeguard their interests and their lives. Therefore, you should provide them with all the equipment and trainings that will keep them safe and sound. By no means should the safety of the employees be compromised. This can pose a big threat to the future prospects of the company and if reported to the concerned authority, you may even have to pay the price by leaving the project or by paying a hefty penalty. Also when you know that a job needs the attention of expert workers, you should know deploy men who are not trained for that job. They may end up injuring themselves.

Title should be clean:-

When you take a new project, you should ensure that the title on the property is clean and it does not have any disputes. These things should be done before you take up the work. In case you are a contractor then knowing about the title will help you to determine where you are heading. You should always keep your hands off from any disputed projects as that will lead you to complications. Check with the title company if there is any dispute on the property and if the title owners are the ones you have been informed holds the property. Projects are held up for years due to non-clearance of title and have become a matter of huge concern.

Never miss out on your finances­:-

The financial part of the company plays an important role in determining where the company is heading. Construction companies are known for not able to keep a tab on their finances. Money is needed to buy raw materials, heavy equipment, paying salaries to employees and taking care of other operating expenses but it all should be recorded or else you will not have any clue where your money went and what you can do to prevent unwanted expenses. Keeping a log of all your transactions is the need of the hour for every construction company and it may turn out to be a big mistake if not managed at the right time.

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Safety awareness is instrumental across all levels of employees

Construction laborers are not only engaged in one of the most arduous tasks but also one of the most risky works and their safety should be at top priority to the construction company. They can’t play around with their lives thinking to save some money by not providing them with the safety accessories. Construction companies in US are kept a keen watch by the body who is concerned about the safety of the workers. If these companies flout the law they will be penalized heavily and legal process will also be followed against the company. Companies ideally would not want to go through all this and therefore ensure that they provide their employees with all the necessary safety stuffs and minimize any untoward incidents at the workplace. Now other than providing basic safety infrastructure there is one more thing that is perhaps more important. It is to let the employees know the importance of the safety infrastructure and why they have to wear them all the time they are inside the jobsite.

All employees should understand the importance of safety:-

Before explaining the employees about the safety infrastructure you have for them, it is imperative that you explain them the need to use those accessories. They might be accustomed to a particular way of working and if you introduce something new to them, it may take time for them to acquaint with it. Some may not even want to use it as they may take that as a hindrance to their job. For instance, if you ask your operator to wear some special boots which is a bit heavy but will keep his feet safe he may initially not like to do so unless he is informed how the boots will protect his feet. This awareness needs to be imparted to different section of employees. They need to be informed why they have to wear the safety gears and gadgets. Some may already know about it but there may be few who may not. A collective training in this regard will be very helpful not only from the point of view of the employee but also from the perspective of the construction company.

Wearing of safety gears should be made mandatory:-

Nobody wants things to be shoved down their throat but there are few things which should be mandatory for the betterment of the employees. Wearing safety gears is one of them. The company should appoint few men who are working in supervisory roles to monitor if people doing perilous tasks are following all the safety parameters. If not they can instruct them to wear the gears first and then perform the task. Employees may feel a bit of inconvenience first but it is essential for his safety.

Safety training should be conducted once in three months:-

Safety trainings should be conducted once in three months and all the employees of the construction company right across all the levels should be part of this training. It helps in learning something new every time you attend one and also gets updated of new safety measures that the company is taking for its employees.