Why Construction Workers Need Personal Protective Equipment for Site Safety

When it comes to a list of the world’s riskiest industries, construction is somewhere near the top. Sadly despite most construction accidents being avoidable, often the proper precautions aren’t taken to ensure that workers are provided with a safe working environment and safe system of work.

Unfortunately most accidents on building sites are as a result of negligence or ignorance due to a lack of training.

Once employers identify the risks associated with construction work, assess these risks and implement control measures if these risks cannot be eliminated, they must then ensure that workers are trained and knowledgeable about the measures and how to stay safe on site.

Sometimes even once the proper control measures are implemented, an accident can still occur, due to momentary lapses in judgement, fatigue, lack of supervision, lack of training or some other reason but in this situation personal protective equipment (PPE) can be invaluable.

Although PPE will not prevent an accident from occurring, it will reduce the severity of the impact on the worker, sometimes saving the worker from death.  Remember on site to utilise the following most common PPE, however this list is not exhaustive and the PPE utilised will depend on the risks presented,

  • Protect the head with a hard hat

Hardhats protect every person on the site from head injuries which may occur from falling objects, when a person slips, trips and falls and bumps their head or when another worker or machinery hits in the worker etc. Hard hats of excellent and dependable quality will ensure protection of our construction workers’ heads and often prevent serious head injuries which can be fatal at times.

  • Protect the face and the eyes with safety protectors

In the job site, it is expected that the workers will have to deal with various particles that may put their face and eyes at risk. There are safety gears designed for the face and eyes to help construction workers avoid exposing them to dangerous elements, including dust, hazardous chemicals, and airborne flecks that could cause harm.

  • Protect the hands with gloves

Specific tasks that present a risk to workers hands require gloves to be utilised. There are many different types of gloves such as rubber gloves, welding gloves, insulated gloves, and others which are available for each job. The gloves will protect them from lesions, chemical burns, and other forms of injuries due to handling of different construction materials. The gloves should comfortably fit the workers to ensure that they could perform their duties well and avoid further risks.

  • Protect the feet with safety footwear

Construction workers should wear safety shoes or boots. Ideally, those with soles that are slip and puncture resistant are best for construction workers to prevent injury from machinery, equipment, tools, materials etc.

When choosing the right PPE for the job, employers the selection processes must include consultation with workers and also include an evaluation of the risk and performance requirements for the PPE.

Once the right PPE for the job is determined, workers need to receive training on how to utilise PPE, store, maintain and handle PPE.

Training about PPE is covered extensively in this White Card course



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