The use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has proven to help minimize occupational hazards. Nonetheless, the utilization of a safety checklist will help construction employers take steps to avoid hazards that cause injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. Let’s discuss further on Safety Checklist.
“What to wear” checklist:
- Wear Safety Glasses or Face Shields, whichever suits better, to protect your eyes from harmful exposures like dust, chemicals, flying particles, smokes, and what not – especially if your job involves welding, cutting, grinding, nailing, concreting and chemical-related works.
- Use proper work boots – insulated, water, and skid-proof – whatever protects you best. The right footwear protects you from skidding, crushing your feet, and being electrocuted.
- Gloves are essential to safely deal with sharp objects and toxic substances. Put on those that are fit and right – welding gloves for welding, heavy-duty rubber gloves for concrete work, and insulated gloves and sleeves should work exposes you to electrical hazards.
- Injury to the head is one of the most dangerous fatalities and one must wear a proper hard hat to avoid it. Do a regular check for dents or deterioration and replace it as soon as you find any.
- Scaffold must not be erected, moved, dismantled, or altered except under the supervision of a competent person.
- Ensure the scaffolds are at least 10 feet from electric power lines at all times.
- Do a daily check on scaffolding to ensure it is steady and solid with the high weight capacity. Report to seniors and get it corrected if it’s damaged or weakened in any way.
- Ensure a “competent person” is available to inspect the scaffolding and, at designated intervals, reinspect it.
- Never use uneven surface and unsteady objects – loose bricks, barrels, or concrete boxes – as a base for scaffolding.
- Employees are not permitted to work on scaffolds when covered with snow, ice, or other slippery materials.
- Avoid using scaffolding in bad weather: be it rain, snow, or hailstorm.
- Ensure the synthetic and natural rope used in suspension scaffolding are protected from heat-producing sources.
- Ensure the scaffold is equipped with guardrails, midrails, and toeboards.
Electric safety checklist:
- Check all electrical tools and equipment regularly for defects and wear and tear. Replace the ones that are faulty in any way.
- Only qualified and designated operators must have access to electrical equipment.
- Keep construction materials, workers and equipment at least 10-feet away from electrical power lines.
- Use double insulated electrical equipment. Ground them if they are not. Refrain from using Multiple plug adapters; it’s dangerous!
- Do not bypass any protective system or device designed to protect employees from contact with electrical energy.
- Ensure an effective Lockout/Tagout system is in place.
Hazard communication Checklist:
- A list of hazardous substances used in the workplace is maintained and readily available at the worksite.
- There is an effective employee training program for hazardous substances.
- Maintain a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for each chemical in the facility.
- Workers must be notified about dangerous areas by marking them as such – put up posters, signage, and barricades whatever is required. Heavy electric equipment, suspended loads, toxic chemicals, wet and slippery patches, etc. are few such hazards that must be marked.
- Make the information on MSDS accessible to employees at all times in a language or format that is clearly understood by all affected personnel.
- Employees must be properly trained to read and use the MSDS, clean up spills, protect themselves, and properly dispose of used materials.
- Train employees about the risks of each hazardous chemical being used.
- Have a written spill control plan and provide spill clean-up kits in areas where chemicals are stored.
- Provide proper personal protective equipment and enforce its use.
- Store chemicals safely and securely.
Crane, hoist, and rigging equipment safety checklist:
- Broken, worn, or damaged wire rope is removed from service.
- Guardrails, handholds, and steps are provided for safe and easy access to and from all areas of the crane.
- Barricade/swing areas within the crane’s swing radius.
- See to it that load and speed limit is never exceeded.
- Illustrations of hand signals to crane and derrick operators are posted on the job site.
- The signal person must use correct signals for the crane operator to follow.
- Conduct daily safety and maintenance inspection for crane machinery and other rigging equipment before they are put to use.
- Only properly trained and qualified operators should have access to cranes, hoisting, and rigging equipment.
- Keep these machines well away (about 10 feet) from electric equipment and power lines.
- Erect and post signs where and when appropriate, showing the elevated surface load capacity.
- Surfaces that are elevated more than 48 inches above the floor or natural ground must have standard guardrails.
- All elevated surfaces beneath which people or machinery could be exposed to falling objects must have standard 4-inch toeboards.
- Ensure a permanent means of entry and exit with handrails is provided to elevated storage and work surfaces.
- Ensure Material is piled, stacked, or racked in a way that prevents it from tipping, falling, collapsing, rolling, or spreading.
The overarching safety plan is verifying that every entrant to the site – worker or visitor – are dressed in the proper safety outfit and carries a valid CSCS Card (where applicable). This is a great way to cut down on fatalities especially those resulting from lack of knowledge or attention.