How many trip hazards can you spot on this construction site?
Construction sites can present many hazards to workers, from the mobile equipment used on site to trenches and excavations. But something as seemingly benign as a piece of lumber left on the ground can also be hazardous because workers can easily trip on it and get seriously injured. That’s why good housekeeping practices at construction sites—and in other workplaces—are important because they can eliminate many slip, trip and fall hazards.
This picture from elcosh depicts a construction site that’s full of tripping hazards. Pieces of lumber and plywood, rebar and even buckets are strewn all over this part of the site, forcing workers to pick their way through the debris to safely pass through this area.
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING PRACTICES
The good news is that slip, trip and fall hazards are some of the easiest safety hazards to eliminate or otherwise address in a workplace. For example, basic good housekeeping practices can go a long way towards eliminating these hazards.
Here are some housekeeping tips for workers that apply to constructions sites and other types of workplaces:
- If you see a mess, take care of it. Don’t wait for someone else to clean it up. Pick up anything you see lying around, especially if it could trip someone or fall on them.
- If you find someone’s tools or equipment laying around, move them out of the way and put them somewhere safe, but visible.
- Immediately clear scrap and debris from walkways, passageways, stairs, scaffolds and around floor openings. For example, stack pieces of lumber out of the way.
- Keep storage areas and walkways free of holes, ruts and obstructions.
- Clean up spills of grease, oil or other liquids at once. If that’s not possible, cover the spills with sand or some other absorbent material until they can be cleaned up. And use warning signs to alert workers and others to the danger.
- Coil up extension cords, lines, welding leads, hoses, etc. when not in use.
- Make sure there’s adequate lighting. If a light is out, replace it immediately if you can or else report it.
- Wear suitable footwear. Take into account the type of job, floor surface, typical floor conditions and the slip-resistant properties of the soles. (Learn more about the safety footwear requirements under the OHS laws.)