Warming temperatures don’t just signal the start of spring, they also herald the beginning of the construction season. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the construction industry has a higher than average rate of fatal workplace accidents. The good news though, is that the vast majority of them can be easily avoided if the proper safety steps are in place and followed. There are a few things you can do to decrease your chances of being injured during this year’s high season.
Hydrate, Eat Right and Exercise
By drinking plenty of water throughout the day, you can prevent a number of accidents and injuries. Dehydration can cause fatigue and lack of focus. If you are tired or can’t concentrate on the task at hand, you are more likely not to notice a hazard until it is too late. Avoid high fat, greasy, and heavy foods for you mid-day meal as well, as these take longer for the body to digest, leaving you feeling groggy. By exercising before starting work, particularly with stretches, you also reduce the chances of muscle strain, while at the same time improving your ability to focus.
Maintain Your Site
Construction is a messy business, but that doesn’t mean you should leave your tools, equipment, and materials scattered about. Keeping the construction site clean and organized will prevent a number of unexpected accidents related to tripping, falling, or being hit. Also, make sure all of your tools and equipment are in proper working order and free from hazards, such as broken or missing rungs on a ladder, or rusted scaffolding.
Getting Enough Rest
It may be tempting to stay up an extra hour at night to catch that new show you’ve heard all about, but unless you want to risk a potentially injury at the workplace, you may want to pass. Not getting enough sleep, typically eight hours, does more than leave you tired the next day, it affects your ability to concentrate, recognize problems, and act quickly to avoid them. Don’t assume that you will be able to make it up over the weekend, by then it may be too late.
Wear Your Personal Protective Equipment
Hard hats, steel-toe boots, safety glasses, and reflective vests all play a huge role in preventing construction accidents. Despite how you may feel, they are not forced upon you to make you look funny – OSHA requires them, to keep you safe in the event of user error or equipment malfunction. The reflective vests do more than make a bold fashion statement as well; they let others know where you are, including those outside the site, such as passing drivers. The higher your visibility, the lower your chances of getting hurt.
Most construction site deaths and injuries could be prevented by following some basic safety guidelines. If you’ve been injured at a construction site, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Talk to an experienced personal injury attorney to learn your options.