Awareness During Construction Material and Goods Deliveries

One of the aspects of construction site safety that sometimes goes unnoticed and unattended to is traffic management of deliveries.

On a larger site there can be more than one or even a few trucks delivering goods, materials, equipment etc. to a site at any given time and it is important that these deliveries are managed in order to avoid accidents involving trucks, pedestrians, other construction vehicles and moving equipment.

The most common form of injury for truck drivers doing deliveries surprisingly doesn’t occur when they are in the truck but actually when they get out of the vehicle, especially because a lot of the time these truck drivers aren’t construction workers, aren’t trained on construction site safety and so don’t know what to look out for.

Also an alarmingly high number of accidents involving truck drivers occur when they are offloading their vehicles. Whether delivering to construction sites or not, drivers are at risk, read what happened to one truck driver in Perth, according to a post on SafetyCulture.com.au

A truck driver, delivering groceries, had his legs crushed when a car pinned him to the rear of his truck in a collision.

At the time of the incident the 31-year-old driver was standing at the back of his truck when he was hit at about 7.15 pm yesterday. He received serious injuries to his legs and was transported to the Royal Perth Hospital.

The driver of the car, a 51-year-old woman was unharmed in the accident.

Source: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/08/truck-driver-injured-while-delivering-groceries/

The actions that are most risky when it comes to trucks making deliveries on construction sites is reversing, loading, unloading and pedestrian movement around the truck’s loading/ off-loading area.

It is vital that employers plan traffic and pedestrian movement on construction sites and keep pedestrians and trucks separated as much as possible.

By law this is another hazard presented by construction work which employers are required to first identify and then assess the risks associated. Employers must then control these risks by:

  • Eliminating them – for example if a hazard is identified such as reversing trucks, try to eliminate the need for trucks to reverse at all, perhaps by redesigning the route.
  • Substituting it with something less hazardous – for example if a larger truck is deemed to be a risk, substitute it with something smaller which would pose less risk.
  • Isolating the hazard – for examples keeping vehicles away from pedestrians or vice versa
  • Minimising risks – using engineering controls to erect pedestrian barriers to separate trucks and people, lowering trucks speed limiters, having separate entrances for trucks and people.
  • Applying administrative controls – for example educating workers and driver, providing training, supervision, restricted pedestrian access to certain areas, banning reversing during certain times etc.

For  more about Construction safety, click here.

 

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Addressing the Risks Associated with Falling Objects on Construction Sites

One of the most uncontrollable and unpredictable risks on a construction site is presented by falling objects. There are many instances where objects can fall or fly off a construction site and injure a worker or passer-by. An accident which took place in The United States recently in Kentucky is an example of how serious these types of incidents can be.

A construction worker was hit by a piece of wood which resulted in him being rushed to hospital for treatment. Reports say the man received “critical” injuries.

The man was hit by a piece of plywood which fell about 5 stories. Having taken place on a busy university campus, this incident could have resulted in more injuries. The following excerpt from a post on Kentucky.com explains:

1kJfF9.AuSt.79A man was rushed Wednesday to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital with critical injuries after he was struck by plywood that fell off the roof of a building under construction on campus, UK police chief Joe Monroe said.

The construction worker was helping to load plywood while standing on the ground when he was hit by a piece of the wood that flew off the Haggin Hall roof, Monroe said. The man, whose name was not available, is 24, university spokesman Carl Nathe said.

It’s unclear what the worker was loading plywood onto while standing in the courtyard of the building, Nathe said. The accident occurred about 11:50 a.m.

The plywood fell about five stories from a dormitory that has been under construction for about a year, Nathe said. The building is near William T. Young Library.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2014/02/19/3097333/worker-critically-injured.html#storylink=cpy

A common source of injury and death by falling objects is when loads that are being lifted are not properly secured and they slip or break loose, plummeting to the ground, normally at a speed, injuring, crushing or killing a worker/workers beneath.

To prevent objects from falling freely from one level to another when they are being stored a secure physical barrier must be installed. The hazard of falling objects can be managed and controlled so that workers are not debilitated or even killed by an injury by taking care at each stage of construction that hazards are being managed.

Hazards such as falling objects are just one of the many possible risks that construction work presents. In order to educate workers about all the others, employers must ensure that workers are properly trained beginning with general construction induction training.

Potential employees in the construction industry can complete the White Card course which is mandatory general construction induction training, online with minimal interruption to their regular schedules, from the comfort of their own home or office. As long as you have a computer, an internet connection and a printer, you can register for the online White Card course.

In addition to satisfying a mandatory federal requirement, it will also ensure that workers are more knowledgeable about the risks and controls associated with construction hazards.

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Traffic Safety on Road Construction Zones

Road construction zones can be dangerous especially for the construction workers working on them. In fact in some countries like The United States of America transport incidents and workers struck by vehicles or mobile equipment account for the greatest number of fatal work injuries (according to Bureau of Labor Statistics USA) and Oz is much different.

Workers on these road construction sites are most likely at risk of being struck by moving vehicles, either those apart of the construction work or passing by the site.

One of the most important points to consider is that there is an appropriate traffic control plan for the movement of vehicles in areas where there are workers conducting various tasks. Traffic control is one of the most important, if not the most crucial aspect of construction zone safety.

Drivers, workers as well as other pedestrians should be able to clearly read signs relating to the road construction zone and the public should be notified beforehand in order to adjust their driving and be prepared for any delays.

Traffic controllers must be appropriately trained to direct traffic. Knowing where to stand, how to stop traffic, how to coordinate traffic so that construction vehicles are accommodated are all part of a traffic controllers responsibilities. On either side of the road where traffic is being stopped or coordinated traffic controllers should be present. And where visual contact between controllers is not possible, two way radios will facilitate communication between the two in order for them to coordinate the traffic in a manner that does not cause confusion and worsen congestion.  Controllers should be provided with temporary traffic signals to control traffic where the site is suitable and where such signals are available.

Another important precaution workers should take is wearing appropriately visible PPE. Glow in dark type vests and other PPE that will make you visible to drivers, especially at night is also crucial because much of road construction is done at night. While specific training is important to enable workers to do their specific jobs, there is another type of training that is equally important for every construction worker – general construction safety training.

There are certain things the workers involved in any type of construction need to be familiar with, for example the hazards that construction work presents, the risk to workers and how to work safely on a construction site. That is why the state government has mandated that every person involved with construction work, on traditional building sites or road construction zones, must undergo general construction safety training.

This training takes the form of the White Card Course, a comprehensive and convenient course which can be completed online in one sitting or over a period of time. But the best part about the online White Card course is that it is nationally recognised and teaches workers about the most commonly occurring hazards in the construction sector, so that workers are forewarned and forearmed to face the challenges that construction work presents.

Here’s a good place to buy construction safety stuff

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Protecting your skin and hands when engaging in Construction Work

During construction work your hands and skin are exposed and susceptible to physical, chemical and radiation hazards.

Personal hand/skin protection are often the only means of protecting hands from injury caused by physical hazards (caused by sharp or jagged edges on materials or tools), heat, vibration, corrosive or toxic chemical, ultraviolent radiation particularly if workers spend most of their time outdoors.

Some of the physical hazards affecting hands include sharp edges, splinters and heat. The best form of PPE for these is leather gloves because cotton gloves will not be sufficient to protect against harm.

Training on the appropriate and safe use of tools and machinery that can present a hazard to workers hands should be conducted to ensure workers are using tools and machinery correctly. Incorrect use of some tools and machinery can result in serious injury to the hands and arms, in fact in some instances workers have lost fingers due to injuries caused by incorrect use tools.

Another hazard that can affect hands is the vibration transferred from tools and equipment can affect hands and arms. A common condition that can result is hand/arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). This condition can cause circulation problems, sensory problems and musculoskeletal issues.

Preventing HAVS means employers must provide workers with power tools with built-in vibration reducing components and allow sufficient breaks when working with vibrating tools.

Workers should wear appropriate clothing in cooler weather to maintain core body temperature and wear gloves whenever possible.

To protect against chemical hazards the material safety data sheet (MSDS) for the product being used should identify whether gloves are needed and what they should be made of. MSDSs must be available on site for all workers to access whenever the controlled chemical is being used.

Ultraviolet radiation is another hazard to worker’s skin and hands especially in recent years when countless numbers of people have gotten skin cancer from unprotected excessive exposure to the sun. Construction workers are particularly susceptible because they spend so much time outdoors in the direct sunlight.

Workers should apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater to all exposed skin areas. Also ensure that the ears and back of the neck is covered. The sunscreen should be applied 20 to 30 minutes before going out in the sun and should be reapplied every two hours.

Also don’t forget to protect the lips. Use an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen lip balm and reapply every two hours just as you would sunscreen. Remember skin cancers can develop on lips as well.

Workers should not neglect the back of their necks and wear protection for this area. Neck protectors are available that clip onto your hard hat.

Workers should also wear UV-absorbent safety glasses and clothing that covers as much of the skin as possible. Tightly woven material will offer greater protection as a physical block to UV rays and should be loose rather than fitted especially in hotter weather.

Workers should be provided with adequate shaded areas for breaks and lunch out of the sun.

Most importantly ensure that all workers are educated on the hazards of UV radiation as well as all the hazards to their hands and skin and the safety measures which can be implemented to control them before they even begin working on the site.

For more info on PPE on construction sites refer to the White Card course at www.whitecardonline.com.au

 

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