Construction Site Safety Topics
Construction Site Safety Topics
If you have done any work on a construction site, you have probably had to sit in on a safety meeting, or toolbox talk, more than once in your career. These are important forums that get clear information and instructions to the workers on a site and can help to avoid workplace accidents. If planning the safety meetings is your undertaking, you have a responsibility to ensure that all of the information that you are covering is accurate and easy to understand.
If you are stumped on what to discuss, look no further than the list of safety topics that follow!
Big Four Construction Hazards
There are 4 main categories for construction hazards, and most job site hazards will fall within the parameters of these categories. Being aware of these can make reporting easier for you and your team, and can also make communication about potential risks or hazards clear and easy to understand. If your workers are unaware of these, this is a great topic to start with in your safety meetings. Below, we explain each category in greater detail.
A fall hazard is classified as anything that could make a worker lose balance and result in a fall. Falls can be very dangerous and can cause injury and sometimes even death, so it is important to be as conscientious as possible and strive to avoid these hazards. They are one of the leading causes of death or injury on construction sites. Some fall hazards can include roof and floor openings, unsafe ladders, improper scaffolding construction, and even being sloppy or not cleaning up properly when on the job.
Electrocution is another construction hazard category. This category is classified as when a worker is exposed to an amount of electrical energy. Sometimes, this may only cause injury, but in other cases, electrocution can be lethal. An electric shock can occur when a body-part comes in contact with an electrical source, which then causes a flow of electrical current through the skin, muscles, or hair. Some electrical hazards that could cause electrocution on the job include exposure to power lines, improper use of extension cords, or water coming into contact with cords, power tools, or other equipment.
A caught-in hazard is classified as when a worker is caught and then squeezed, pinched, crushed, or otherwise compressed between either part of one object or between two or more objects. This could lead to the employee having to lose an appendage– for instance, if their finger was caught and crushed in machinery– or can even be a fatal hazard in certain cases. Some examples of caught-in hazards that you may see on the job are unguarded moving machinery or unprotected excavation and trenches.
A struck-by hazard is similar to a caught-in hazard. However, this type of hazard is defined as when a person can be injured by a moving or flying object, or by a piece of equipment. They are hit by the object, rather than being caught and crushed by it, and a struck-by hazard is when the injury occurs specifically from the impact of the object. Some examples of this type of hazard are tools falling from scaffolding or another elevated work station, vehicular traffic, and inadequate rigging which may cause a load to fall.
Construction Site Safety Topics
Safety meetings may seem tedious, but they are very important. They are key in preventing workplace injuries or accidents, and they are the best way for you to communicate with your team about any potential hazards and best practices on how to avoid them. If your employees are well informed, you can greatly reduce the risk that any hazards pose, as well as the occurrence of any accidents. Take a look at some of the suggestions below for construction site safety topics.
General Safety Mistakes
General safety mistakes are the basics of construction site safety, so this is a great topic for one of your first safety meetings. It will give your workers foundational information and help you to avoid little mistakes on the job that could end up causing injuries. For this particular topic, you can go over how to properly use the equipment on the site, as well as how to use protective equipment like face shields, hard hats, and protective lenses. This also allows you to make clear what you will expect workers to wear, in the form of protective equipment, while on the job.
Drugs on the Job
If your employees are using drugs at work, they are more likely to get injured because their senses are dulled, and they might overlook potential hazards. This is another topic that you can discuss at a safety meeting, regardless of whether or not you know your workers are using drugs at work. Do not try to call anyone out or put them on the spot– rather, keep this discussion informational and professional. Other harmful implications of drugs on the job can include job turnover and lower productivity.
Ergonomic stress can have lasting long-term effects on a person’s health. It can be a cause of acute injuries and therefore is a great topic to discuss so that your workers know how to avoid excess ergonomic stress when possible. They should be made aware of ergonomics risk factors in the workplace so that they can identify and avoid them. Some of the things that will cause ergonomic stress are overexertion, repetitive tasks, and sustained awkward positions. The injuries that occur from ergonomic stress can also affect a person’s ability to work in the long term.
Fire and Electrical Safety
Fire and electrical safety are important topics, as these can pose a serious risk to workers. Employees should know what to do in the incident of a fire, as well as how to prevent fire and electrical hazards to avoid burns or electrocution. Some of the things you can go over in this meeting are the locations of fire hydrants and how to determine if something is a fire or electrical hazard while you are working. Evacuation routes if there is a fire are also important information that every employee on the job should be aware of.
Silica Dust and Protection
You can also discuss the hazards that silica dust can pose, and how to properly protect yourself from it. Prolonged exposure to this dust can cause serious issues that include interstitial lung disease and even cancer. Some of these issues can be fatal. It is for this reason that this safety topic is very important! Your workers can protect themselves from exposure to silica dust by wearing the proper PPE. You can also utilize protective measures such as exposure monitoring training and dust control and suppression.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are safety issues in construction today?
Construction sites can be very dangerous workplace environments for a myriad of reasons. Some common safety issues include ladder and stairway incidents, which could be caused by using the wrong ladder for a particular task, using a ladder that will not support your weight, or using a damaged or broken ladder. Examples of other common issues are tripping or fall hazards from cords or spilled liquids.
What is a good safety topic for today?
As there are many different safety hazards in the construction industry, there are many safety topics that would be good to go over in a safety meeting with your team of workers. It makes sense to focus on one of the most common safety issues if you have not yet discussed it– this topic is the topic of ladder and stairway incidents. Discussing proper ladder use and potential stairway hazards can be a way to reduce on-the-job incidents.
What are the 4 categories for problems on the construction job site?
When it comes to construction site safety concerns, there are 4 main categories that safety hazards fall under. These 4 categories are as follows: falls, electrocution, caught in, and struck by. Caught in and struck by might not be as easy to understand as falls or electrocution, but they typically involve machinery. For instance, if a worker’s arm is caught and squeezed by a piece of machinery, this is classified as a caught-in hazard. If a worker is injured in contact with a vehicle or flying equipment, for example, this would be considered a struck-by hazard.
What are some examples of topics to cover in safety meetings?
If you are scheduling a safety meeting, you should talk about the hazards that you have assessed on the job or expect to see once work is underway. You can also go over topics such as heat exhaustion, general safety mistakes, fire and electrical safety, and other hazards. Be sure to go over how to safely perform tasks so that these hazards can be avoided in your day-to-day life on the job site. This will help to cut down on injuries and workplace accidents.