According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), four types of accidents account for over half of the deaths that occur on construction sites each year. Falls, being struck by a moving object, electrocutions, and being crushed or compressed caused 63.7% of deaths among construction workers in 2016. Michigan builders can decrease the likelihood of fatal accidents by aligning daily operations with current OSHA regulations.
Re-Assess Your Fall Protection Plans
OSHA regulation 1926 sets the standard for fall protection systems on construction sites. The code requires employers to assess the stability and structural integrity of a work surface before allowing employees on the site. It also defines when guardrails, safety nets, or personal arrest systems should be used.
Take a close look at your fall protection plans. Do you have enough safety gear for the busy season? Is your equipment in good condition? Repair or replace any questionable equipment. It's also important to make sure employees know how to use safety equipment properly. Organize a short training or a refresher course during team meetings to ensure everyone is up-to-speed on the latest requirements.
Inspect Your Ladders
Standards for portable ladders are discussed in OSHA regulation 1926.1053. Under this code, most ladders must be able to support at least 4 times the intended maximum weight load. Load tests are performed when the ladder is in the ready-to-use position. Extra-heavy-duty metal or plastic ladders should be able to bear at least 3.3 times the intended weight load. The positioning of cleats, rungs, and steps are also defined.
Make sure your employees know the weight limits of their ladders. Encourage them to avoid cutting corners by loading their ladders with extra weight. This practice may reduce the number of times they have to go up and down, but it also significantly increases the chance of falling.
Review First Aid Protocols
OSHA 1926.50 requires Michigan builders to provide prompt and appropriate medical attention for injured employees. If there are no professional medical facilities within a reasonable distance of your job site, you must have first aid certified staff in place during work hours. The regulation also mandates that each job site have a fully-stocked first aid kit housed in a waterproof container. Contents of this kit should be checked and replenished weekly.
It may be a good idea to have a few of your key employees certified in CPR and first aid, regardless of the location of your work site. When first aid is administered quickly, accident victims have a better chance of survival.
Workplace accidents cost lives and endanger businesses. Make sure your building crew is ready for the busy season by reviewing your compliance with established safety standards.