When you’re on any construction site, including building steel buildings, safety should be of paramount concern. It’s important to have everyone properly equipped and understanding the rules and processes to ensure safe working conditions. Here are some safety items to have on hand before starting your building project. Be sure to do your own research too as individual sites may have different requirements.
1. Steel-Toed BootsAs with any construction site you should ensure that your entire team is wearing certified steel-toed boots. The weight of Steel beams and panels can be significant. If they end up falling on someone’s foot without this protective gear you can easily end up with broken toes or worse. If you’re working at Heights and ensure your boots have a non-slip sole to avoid falls.
2. Reflective VestsVisibility is key in both night and daytime. Fluorescent orange vests may not be in style, but they help ensure everyone is aware of their co-workers. Many accidents can be avoided by simply knowing where everyone is and acting accordingly. This is particularly important during nighttime when it’s easy to miss someone so we highly recommend everyone wear vests and you keep some extra on-hand.
3. Hard HatsWhen constructing a building easy to have bolts or even larger metal pieces fall from above. While we may not always be kind to it it’s important to remember that our head is one of the most important parts of our body and also the most susceptible to Serious injury. Ensure that everyone on your job site is wearing an OSHA approved hard hat. By ensuring they’re wearing it all the time and not only when they feel it risk you can help ensure that any unplanned disaster is unlikely to occur.
4. LocksThis is something that not everyone will think of but locks can be an important part of your safety equipment for sites with multiple laborers. When constructing a steel building you will often find there are times when someone is working on something that requires equipment not to be moved. It’s easy to underestimate the strength of equipment and laborers can be crushed inadvertently with little effort. If anyone is working around equipment that must remain stationary then a good practice is to lockout that equipment prior to starting your work. By putting a lock over the ignition or access panel along with a tag saying who locked it out, you can ensure that that equipment will not move an inadvertently cause harm.
5. GogglesEnsure that anyone cutting, chipping or drilling is wearing OSHA approved protective goggles. This will help avoid any risk of shards of metal getting into your eyes.
6. GlovesGloves are a very important safety item when working with materials, especially steel buildings. The edges of cut metal panels can be surprisingly Sharp. You can also end up with little shards of metal that can easily find their way under your skin. For many types of work, gloves will go a long way towards protecting your crew and ensuring everyone goes home without a scratch.
7. Fall Arrest HarnessesIf anyone is working at heights on a metal building or otherwise, it’s very important to ensure that they are properly secured to avoid falling. The best way to ensure no-one Falls is to use a certified fall-arrest harness. These harnesses should be attached to a tether that is secured to an anchor point that can handle your weight. Often the tether will have shock reducing bands within it. These bands limit the jarring stress put on your body if you fall. Something to keep in mind however is that even if a fall-arrest is your fall, it can cut off circulation to your legs at times so it’s important to quickly pull up or lower anyone who has fallen and not leave them dangling for too long.
8. First Aid-KitNo matter what the size of your future building site is, it’s important to keep a well-stocked first-aid kit on hand. We’d recommend including things required by the USHA guidelines here. Along with it, be sure to include phone numbers for primary medical care providers. An accident can happen at any time. Being able to treat injuries correctly is crucial, even if it’s only a small cut.
9. Fire ExtinguishersWith heavy equipment, fuel, and other flammable materials around, construction sites can be a fire hot-spot. Make sure you have fire extinguishers on hand for all types of fires that might arise. Keep in mind that different types of fires require different types of extinguishers. Ensure you’re equipped for all possible scenarios. The main types of extinguishers are:
- Class A extinguishers – Basic fires of combustibles (i.e. wood or paper)
- Class B extinguishers – Flammable liquid fires (i.e. oil or grease)
- Class C extinguishers – Electrical Fires
- Class D extinguishers – Flammable Metals