Every year, construction sites report the highest number of fatalities and injuries. Despite all the risk assessments and plans, construction workers are still subject to various risks and hazards. That is why construction workers must be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) that they should always wear when working at construction sites.
It is also vital that the industry finances the procurement of protective equipment for their workers on-sites with known and unknown physical risks.
Otherwise, in case of injuries or fatalities, the company employing the workers will have to pay heavy sums in insurance and healthcare coverage, and other expenses in the form of compensations.
Let us now look at some of these personal protective equipment and their benefits:
- Protective Head Gear
Protecting your head should be a priority on construction sites. Construction work needs to be arranged in a way that minimizes physical risks on-site. However, potential risks cannot be fully eliminated in on-site work, but wearing helmets can help avoid head injuries and minimize any sort of traumatic impact should it occur nonetheless.
The safety helmet keeps the workers safe from any objects falling from the sky while they are at the construction site. A head injury can be avoided if the on-site workers are wearing helmets.
Your headgear must fit you well, be not damaged, and procured from trustworthy suppliers.
- Eye and Face Protective Gear
Safety glasses are necessary to wear on-site to prevent foreign objects or materials from getting in your eyes from machinery such as a surface grinding machine. The eyes are extremely sensitive and any foreign object flying into them could cause permanent eye damage or even blindness.
For those who have prescription glasses, they cannot see as clearly without them. There are prescription safety glasses that allow you to work on-site while staying safe and see properly.
Face shields are also a part of the protective gear worn at construction sites. They are important especially when welding, mixing chemicals, and avoiding chinks that disperse from heated metal with hammering.
- Ear Protection
Being subjected to loud and shrill noises at construction sites results in irreversible ear damage. Hence, ear protection on-site is non-negotiable.
Earplugs and earmuffs are common noise protection equipment used by construction workers on-site. The earplugs are used to avoid any low-frequency noises, such as dump trucks and cement mixers.
Whereas the earmuffs are for high-frequency noises, such as jackhammers and tamping machines.
- Feet And Legs Protection
Construction workers must wear special shoes/boots with puncture-resistant and slip-resistant soles. These shoes help construction workers avoid slipping over when handling chemicals or walking over water spills.
These shoes also minimize the impact of anything heavy falling on the workers’ feet or a stray nail puncturing the sole causing serious injuries.
Rigger boots are common footwear on construction sites. They come up to your calves and keep you safe from splashes, provide you with a grip, and have think soles that cannot be penetrated by foreign objects.
As for leg protection, the construction workers are required to wear long nylon pants so that chemical splashes do not fall directly on your skin. These pants are also effective when you have a minor leg injury to cope with and cannot risk to expose the wound.
- Lung Protection
Respiratory protection is especially important on construction sites to protect workers from inhaling hazardous gasses, vapors, and dust particles. When choosing proper respiratory protection gear, it is vital to ensure that the gear fits you well.
Respiratory protection gears include: filtering face pipes, respirators, fresh air hoses, breathing apparatus, and power-assisted respirators.
Make sure that the workers are using special respirators designed for specific hazards as not every filter is suited for all sorts of fumes and chemical vapors.
- Safety Gloves
Gloves are an often-overlooked piece of protective gear that can help you avoid a lot of hazards, injuries, and risks using gloves.
There are so many diverse types of gloves available on the market, like those from Unigloves, which are each designed for a specific purpose. Getting workers some thick-lined nylon gloves will help them avoid splinters, blisters, and burns from handling the hot-pour crack filler.
- Body Protection
When working on a construction site, workers must wear body gear, such as protective vests, coveralls, aprons, splash suits, lab coats, jackets, and full-body suits.
General body PPE protects on-site construction workers from airborne chemical droplets or hot-metal sparks, and sharp-object penetration.
- COVID-19 protection
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, construction workers must wear protective gear for COVID-19 protection as well. Wearing properly fitted masks will keep you and those around you safe from the spread of the virus.
It is also important that the workers keep their hands sanitized to kill the germs. Wearing protective gloves that will help them stay safe from the virus as well as other hazards would also help avoid any incidents.
In case, an incident does occur, the whole team can get the virus. The construction site would have to be shut down till properly sanitized and the workers given time to fully recover.
Improved Employee Confidence and Satisfaction
The use of PPE not only keeps the workers safe, but also serves to enhance worker morale and overall productivity. When the workers feel safe and secure at the construction site, their productivity will increase, they will come to work with a positive attitude, there will be fewer absences and sick days, and the labor turnover rate will be low.
To Sum It Up
Personal protective equipment is essential for on-site construction workers to avoid all sorts of health hazards. Workers should follow proper PPE-wearing protocols to ensure their own safety. In case of any incidents, the employer will have to face the heat for not providing PPEs. The company stands to lose a lot of money in such cases, when workers sue the employer for not taking due diligence in making provisions for the workers’ safety. The construction workers must be provided with proper and good quality, personal protective equipment, such as headgears, gloves, foot and legwear, body protection, respiratory protection, and COVID-19 protection equipment.
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