Safety is the responsibility of each and every employee. Not only do you have to be concerned with your own work practices, you have to be aware of all workers performing around you. As a construction worker, you deal with hazardous equipment, tools and materials and consistently face difficult circumstances that affect safety and health. As you work through your daily tasks, be guided by the following minimum principles:
- Learn the safe way to do your job, before you start. Participate in general and job specific training. Read all company-provided safety and health information, as well as that supplied by equipment manufacturers and regulatory agencies. Contact your supervisor with questions or concerns. Don’t start a job without the skill and knowledge to perform the work safely.
- Think and act safely at all times on the job — and at home. Incorporate safe practices into your everyday routine. Be proactive and consistently check the environment for hazards. Keep work areas clean, tidy, orderly and clear of debris. Bring a level of awareness to the worksite each day that is appropriate to the potential hazard posed. Be conscious of the environment to avoid injury.
- Obey safety rules and regulations. Comply with OSHA standards, other regulatory/municipal requirements, as well as your company-specific safety and health rules and policies. All have been developed for your protection.
- Wear appropriate/rated personal protective equipment. Make sure all personal protection equipment is designed for the specific task you are performing, whether this includes eye, face, foot, hand and head protection, or job-specific clothing. Prior to use, make sure all personal protection equipment is in good working condition and fits comfortably. Repair or replace equipment as needed.
- Conduct yourself properly at all times. Take your job seriously. Your actions affect all employees and contribute to the overall safety and health of your job site. Don’t engage in horseplay and don’t take shortcuts.
- Operate only the equipment you are authorized to use. Ensure you are properly trained and adhere to manufacturer recommendations for safe operation and maintenance of equipment. Do not operate a piece of equipment if you have not been trained on its proper use.
- Inspect tools and equipment prior to use. Visually inspect all tools and equipment for defects before each shift. Utilize tools and equipment only as intended by the manufacturer and do not operate if damaged. Only authorized, qualified persons should repair or replace deficiencies. Tag defective tools, “DO NOT USE” until repairs can be made or remove them from the work area.
- Advise your supervisor of unsafe conditions or practices. If you identify a potentially unsafe condition or practice, promptly identify, analyze and report the hazard to your supervisor. When in doubt, report your concern immediately.
- Report injuries or property damage immediately. It’s up to you to keep your job site safe for yourself and others. Be sure to report every injury or damage to property, no matter how slight. Investigation into a minor incident may prevent a larger incident from occurring.
- Support your safety program by making suggestions. Get involved. Take an active role in on-the-job safety activities, discussions, committees and training. Share your own ideas and experiences with others.
All content from the National Safety Council