Safety Week means more than reducing the amount of injuries. It’s about joining together in the construction community to watch out for each other and making sure you get home safely.
Being aware and having a voice to be able to help others with safety should be a daily, yearlong event. Whether it be a person on your own team or for a fellow contractor, safety should be the first thing you think about before completing a task, every task. By preparing your daily tasks with Safety at the forefront of your planning, you begin to develop a routine based around safety and become a leader in the project that others will follow. Helping a team member is not about calling them out for not being safe. It is about helping them get safely through the day. Not everyone may have the safety training that you may have, so being able to represent not only your company but for others on the project is pride worthy.
Always take the appropriate steps when planning a task. I have listed some below that go beyond what are considered normal safety concerns that are too often missed.
Make sure you are using the proper gloves for the job, even if glove wearing is not mandated by the project GC. This not only protects your hands but also slipping on grips which protects others.
Hard hats need to be inspected, not just worn. This is something I have only seen less than 5% of people do in the field. Each day, inspect your hard hat to make sure it is not badly weathered and free of cracks.
Foot protection is also key to being safe on the job. Checking the soles of the boots daily inspecting not only the tread but if there are nails, screws, etc. that have penetrated the sole and remove those items as they become slick on wet surfaces.
Reflective clothing is more than just wearing a vest. The bright colors and reflective gear helps shine a bright light on you, so to speak. This makes it easier for someone who is a non-worker to spot a worker and helps you stand out for workers running heavy equipment.
Wearing safety glasses is essential. Also, wearing the correct ones are equally important. If you are working on a white roof in the summer, you should wear darker lenses. Even if the task at hand is other than a cutting task, glasses should be worn always. Eyes are too delicate to take a chance.
Safety to us is more than a great EMR score or a requirement. Our focus is to be able to get everyone on our team home safely. Take this time during Safety week to be more aware of safety for yourself and others around you and make this week about making new safety goals to use throughout the year.