Staying Safe in Hazardous Construction Zones

Venturing into a construction zone in flip flops and no hard hat is not a good choice, everyone knows that. However, there are some tips and nuances concerning the construction industry that many new professionals, unskilled laborers, and bystanders may be unfamiliar with when it comes to staying safe in hazardous construction zones.

 

Watch out for others. Whether its for you as you’re driving a forklift, crane, plow or other construction machinery or the person around these heavy equipment; vigilance is the number one rule. Between 2002 and 2012, 19.5% of all workplace fatalities involved workers in the construction industry. Based on labor statistics, in a 45-year long career, a construction worker has a 1-in-200 chance of sustaining a fatal, on-the-job injury. What leads to these types of injuries and fatalities? Lack of equipment knowledge, mechanical failures, and lapse in attention.

 

Follow the rules. Although this goes without saying, following the rules is a no brainer. Over the long history of construction, many policies and regulations have been crafted to ensure safety. These policies and rules are the results of many, many accidents that lead to loss of limb, injuries to workers, casualties, and damage to property–so the guidances are often well informed. Just as a school teacher may repeatedly echo the same rules, you see many of the same rules repeated often to build up a second nature to following the regulations:

 

  • Hard hats must and should be worn in all construction zones

  • Steel toed boots should be worn

  • Reflective vests must be worn where vehicles are traveling close by

 

Avoid Distractions. As bad as pedestrians are with modern phones and texting while walking/driving, many construction zones have now banded cell phones on the job as workers handling heavy equipment can be easily distracted or jolted by personal cell phones. While the lure to stay “in the know” or be accessible to family and friends may be strong, these types of distractions are a major concern in and out of construction zones. Labelled ‘phone/texting zombies’, these hordes of distracted individuals have become a big issue.

 

Although businesses carry insurance to cover these accidents, no amount of money or compensation can replace a life.