The construction industry is accident-prone, and the safety of the labourers is a matter of grave concern. Accidents happen each year due to the absence of appropriate safety gear. The purpose of such safety gear is to safeguard employees from hazards when administrative and engineering controls are not effective in reducing risks to an acceptable level. The development of construction safety gear has been done to eliminate various imperfect mechanisms within a construction project and increase overall productivity. Let’s explore some of the most critical safety gears and the advantages derived from the same:
Safety glasses and face shields are designed to prevent foreign items from getting into the eyes. These are to be used mainly during nailing, cutting, grinding, welding, or using harmful chemicals. It also offers protection against electrical hazards while working on electrical systems.
There is a risk of objects falling from heights on construction sites causing severe and even fatal head injuries. The hard hat is a vital construction safety gear that protects visitors and workers from any harmful substance falling above, colliding with dangerously exposed materials, or any electrical hazards. Hard hats also protect from direct sun rays, heavy rains, and electric shock. Some hard hats also comprise accessories like earmuffs and face shields, providing better and enhanced protection. Hats that are too small or large are not advisable to use as they may compromise safety and expose various health risks.
The presence of toxic substances on construction sites calls for respiratory protection. Respiratory protective equipment can be categorized into respirators and breathing apparatuses. Respirators have been designed in a way that would protect from pesticides, paint sprays, fumes, dust, and various dangerous substances that may otherwise impair internal organs permanently. Respiratory protection is relied upon in areas with inadequate ventilation and ineffective engineering controls. Breathing apparatuses are used for entering oxygen-deficit areas in construction sites that are dangerous to health and life.
Skin and hand protection
The use of hands is dominant in the construction industry. The exposure of skin to harmful substances results in various diseases like skin cancers, contact dermatitis, and other infections and injuries. Gloves are the most important safety gear that provides hand and skin protection against chemicals, slippery objects, hot materials, sheet metal, and glass. The commonly used safety gear for hands is rubber, chainsaw, heat-resistant, and cut-resistant gloves.
Construction sites produce harmful noise levels, causing a hearing loss for workers. The most crucial hearing protection tools are earmuffs and earplugs. Earmuffs effectively reduce high-frequency noise, and earplugs help reduce the harmful effects of low-frequency noise.
Falling, tripping and slipping accidents are the most common health hazards on a construction site. Scaffolds and unsafe ladders are the reasons for such accidents. The use of hazardous footwear also increases the chances of such accidents. Puncture-resistant or slip-proof shoes are essential in minimizing the risks of such accidents and safeguarding workers’ health.
Construction workers are required to wear bright colored upper-body clothing with high visibility. Reflective garments help determine their presence from a distance which enables working at night or when visibility is less.
The use of the afore-mentioned protective gears is indispensable in a construction site to protect the workers from severe health hazards. Construction sites need to be inspected regularly to assess the gear required and maintain high safety standards.