How do your employees stay safe every time they clock on?
It can mean swapping out an old high visibility work vest with a new custom reflective vest. It can mean taking a few days off to battle a flu away from other workers. When it comes to workplace security, it’s better to be too safe than not safe enough. It’s your job as a contractor, supervisor or manager to make sure your employees have all the elements they need to stay safe every single day. This means not just providing them a wide variety of equipment, but replacing old and worn-out items with new models for maximum effect.
While workplace safety can’t be summed up in just a few paragraphs, here are a few safety items no construction worker or day laborer should be without.
High Visibility Work Vest
All working environments have their hazards. Construction workers and day laborers are often exposed to more than the average worker due to being outside in all conditions, lifting heavy objects and operating heavy machinery. A high visibility work vest makes sure that, no matter how rainy or dark, nobody is at risk for a sudden collision when walking or carrying cargo. A high visibility work vest can also come in the form of custom reflective jackets or even cotton safety shirts designed for multiple purposes.
Not only are construction sites highly difficult to navigate without the aid of a high visibility work vest, they are constantly exposing workers to loud noises that can reduce their hearing over time. How much is too much? The National Institute For Occupational Safety And Health has determined the maximum exposure time to any sound at 85 decibels is eight hours. A well fitted pair of earplugs can reduce noise by anywhere from 15 to 30 decibels. The more the better, particularly for those that are regularly operating heavy machinery or working nearby.
Breathable Reflective Rain Gear
A high visibility work vest is only half the equation when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Some construction jobs have to be done late at night, in the middle of rain or when the snow is beginning to fall. The common cold and influenza cause millions of Americans to collectively miss work year after year, most of which can be easily avoided with protective gear designed to regulate temperature. Pair safety rain apparel with gloves, hoodies and rainboots for maximum protection.
Did you know the average person will walk around 10,000 steps per day? A day laborer or construction worker, however, can walk up to three times that much. Around $70 is spent per employee on foot protection every year, though this number can and should go higher depending on the weather. Rainboots are necessary to reduce the rate of illness during the rainy season, while snow boots with good traction are necessary to avoid slips and falls. A recent study found nearly one third of all non-fatal work injuries back in 2013 that required time away were suffered from newer workers.
Last, but not least, no construction site is complete without comfortable helmets. While the incidence of workplace injuries is much higher in younger and newer workers, this is one area that should absolutely not be neglected no matter what. A helmet should be snugly fitted and shouldn’t slip at any time. Any dents or broken straps should be taken seriously and immediately replaced at the nearest convenience. According to a survey provided by the Institute For Work And Health In Canada, a new employee in their first month of work faces three times the risk for a lost-time injury.
Workplace safety is an ongoing act. Make sure your workers are never left wondering how their working environment could be better.