Preventative Maintenance for Optimal Construction Project Safety
Worker falls are the most common type of injury in the construction industry. Although the worker fall and injury rates have declined over the past couple of years, there still remains a significant concern around construction laborer safety. Fortunately, there are specific OSHA set safety standards and a variety of equipment created with the goal of increasing safety and reducing construction worker falls.
Safety improved construction equipment
Many pieces of construction equipment are now designed with safety in mind. They contain auto shut offs and stronger barriers to falling. The crane service piece of equipment, for example, requires that construction laborers work from a high point. The crane service has an enclosed cage that prevents falls. This hock rigging method improves overall crane service safety and better protects new operators. Added safety classes specifically geared toward certain machines can also reduce new worker injuries.
Increased safety training
Increased safety training also contributes to lower injury rates. Before a construction worker is permitted to operate a crane service machine, they must be properly trained in OSHA approved courses. There are also safety courses for the usage of other lifting equipment and the proper usage of safety gear. In addition to safety courses, laborers should always pay attention to machine recommendations. Always follow the recommendations of the sling manufacturer when you use metallic core wire rope slings of any grade at temperatures above 400 degrees F or below minus 40 degrees F. This is because temperature can change the sturdiness of equipment.
Regular inspections and maintenance
Each piece of equipment and type of lifting slings has minimum safety inspection recommendations. Fall slings directly prevent falls and should be inspected yearly for normal use, and monthly to quarterly for severe service use. The problem with slings is that many project managers put off maintenance. When safety equipment is not regularly maintained, it does not serve its purpose. Every piece of construction equipment should be regularly inspected and properly maintained for optimal safety.
Keep labels and safety recommendations in tact
A common mistake is removing labels and safety tags from construction equipment. This can make it difficult to keep up with recommended maintenance. It can also go against OSHA requirements. Historically, companies did not require wire rope slings to have permanently affixed identification tags or labels on them, it was not require per OSHA 1910.183. However, this has since changed. Tags and labels are now required. This improves fall safety and provides easy identification when a fall does occur.
Strong supporting items
Fall arrest training and fall devices are extremely important to safety. However, if those safety items are not properly affixed, they also do not serve their purpose. It is necessary to have both strong supporting items, like screws, anchorages, and slings, and to have knowledge of proper installation of these safety precautions. Rushing through the installation of safety nets and fall arrests can be extremely dangerous. Many workers underestimate the risk of fall and injury, thus not putting the proper care into these safety items. Training classes can improve care, knowledge, and usage of OSHA improved safety items.
The construction industry has many safety items available to prevent falls. Some of these items include slings, safety nets, and ladders. However, simply bringing these items to a highly elevated construction job is not enough. It requires careful installation, proper OSHA safety training, and regular maintenance. All project managers should be informed and experienced in these safety measures. All of these steps are important in reducing construction laborer falls and increasing overall safety.