Personal protection equipment is considered the final line of defence in the construction sector regarding shielding workers from workplace accidents and mishaps. Employers and contractors must implement appropriate controls, checks and other safety measures to defend against such casualties and minimise danger. Protection kits and gears are available to prevent injuries when risks develop if other external factors and precautions fail.
Besides, all safety equipment must be purchased and provided by employers, who are also in charge of mandating its usage as necessary. They are also responsible for ensuring that the safety gear is in good working order and on the worker when needed. Explored below are the three must-have pieces of protective equipment that must not be compromised at construction sites:
Feet Protection: When most employers or contractors consider foot protection on construction sites, steel or composite-toed boots come to mind. These shield employees’ feet from equipment, materials, or tools that tumble or fall on them. Steel-toed boots have a modest advantage over composite-toed boots in terms of protection. Composite-toe boots are better when working outside in heat or cold because they are lightweight and don’t transfer heat. Additionally, they don’t conduct electricity, which is advantageous if you work with live wires or perform electrical work. It would help if you also chose footwear with slip-resistant soles to prevent falls and puncture-resistant soles from guarding against sharp items like stray nails when choosing foot protection.
Face Protection: Employers must not underestimate the importance of face masks, safety goggles and safety glasses. However, it shouldn’t restrict a worker’s movement and cause discomfort or irritation. Protective eyewear needs to be robust, hygienic, and easy to clean. Besides, contractors must also ensure workers are given the appropriate filter lens shade number for welding operations. Safety eyewear with the proper optical density based on the laser wavelength should be used when working with lasers.
Eyes & Ears Protection: When workers are exposed to dangers from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids, and caustic liquids, as well as chemical fumes, vapours, and light radiation, they must wear eye and ear protection. For workers who wear corrective lenses, eye protection should be made-to-fit over prescription lenses or consider prescriptions while designing it. If the volume or duration of the noise exceeds acceptable levels hearing protection must be available and worn at construction sites. Earmuffs and earplugs that fit within the ear are acceptable forms of hearing protection. However, workers must receive adequate training to fit the earplugs precisely. Contractors must not swap a piece of plain cotton or fabric for an on-site hearing aid!
Appropriate Safety Gears ensures worker security on construction sites. When admin and engineering controls are ineffective or impractical to deploy, personal protective equipment is essential for preventing worker injuries. The gears must fit properly and be comfortable for workers to safely carry out their job obligations. Safety managers and supervisors should frequently inspect the workplace to ensure that employees don the designated protective gear and determine whether any extra equipment is required.
Before each usage, workers should be able to thoroughly evaluate pieces of equipment to see whether they have to be fixed or replaced due to damage. Additionally, the timely maintenance of gears must be carried out for long-lasting durability.