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Eight safety tips to give your employees to ensure their safety at your construction site, and your OHS compliance...

by , 18 May 2015
Studies show 52.5% of construction sites are non-compliant with health and safety laws.

Of which 82.3% of non-compliance on construction sites is because employees don't know how to work safely.

You have to make sure your employees work safely, which will reduce injuries, and ensure your OHS compliance.

Here are eight construction site safety tips you must give your employees to ensure their safety and your OHS compliance and avoid becoming a statistic...

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Eight construction site safety tips you must give your employees

1. Getting on and off equipment safely
Getting on and off the machine is a major cause of injury to equipment operators, forklift drivers and truck drivers. Employees need to:
•    Check their gloves and boots. They must clean the mud off before climbing, and use "high grip" gloves for a secure hold;
•    Securely grip the equipment with their entire hand and foot;
•    Use a step ladder for access;
•    Avoid carrying objects while climbing on/off the equipment; and
•    Avoid the need to stretch. When getting off the machine, they must lower themselves in a controlled manner - never jump!

2. Be extra careful when loading/unloading equipment
Even on level ground, there's a risk of the machine rolling over during loading or unloading.

Employees need to:
•    Centre the equipment on the ramps and stay straight. They should allow enough room to move the trailer and machine.
•    Use a spotter for guidance to ensure the machine clears the ramps before turning. They need to make sure people stay away from the sides of the machine during loading/unloading.

3. Stop people crowding the work area
People on the ground must stay away from the machine operating area. Make sure you bring this up in toolbox talks. And remember the Foremen need to enforce this, not the operator. When ready to start work, employees must use the horn to warn people to stay back; stop the machine if they need to; and always check back before backing up the machine.

4. Be careful when operating the equipment on slopes
Employees must be careful when operating on slopes. It's easier making it up the slope with a load, but coming down is another story!

Read on for more construction site safety tips…

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Four more construction site safety tips to reduce employee injury

5. Be aware of overhead obstructions
Your employees must be aware of overhead obstructions such as electrical lines.
They must always use signs, barrier tapes, etc., to show obstructions. Remind them to never take chances.

6. Be alert when reversing the machine
Reverse motion on anything in construction is dangerous. And backup alarms on the machines aren't very helpful. Your employees/operators must make sure no-one is in the way, and the only way to do this is by getting out and looking. They must check all around the machine before moving it. When vision isn't good, they must ask someone to help.

7. Always wear a seatbelt
If the machine gets knocked, your employee's seat belt becomes their lifeline. Remind them to always wear a seat belt.
Your employees must also learn how to control the machine on all types of surfaces and in all conditions. It would be a great idea to get an instructional video made as part of your safety training!

 8. Be careful of losing the load
Moving dirt or bulky materials is quite dangerous. It's your employee's responsibility to use:
•    Positive locking attachments;
•    Safety latches on all hooks;
•    Cut protection on sharp edges;
•    Beams to provide correct lifting; and
•    Keep all people clear of where they're lifting the load. Operators must never lift a load above people.

Tell your operators and employees who work on the surface about the hazards they face. It's your job to motivate them and keep them aware. And don't forget to recognize their accident-free achievements.

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