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4 Ways to Ensure the Safety of Construction Workers

Michael Rosario, Construction Tech Review | Monday, December 28, 2020

Create safer construction sites as they are prone to hazards and can be dangerous at times for workers.

FREMONT, CA: An increased number of construction workers were killed in highway construction zones as per the report from the Federal Highway Administration. This disastrous outcome demands to ensure safety in a highway work zone through extensive preplanning, recognizing the dangers of traffic, and expecting the unexpected. Most of the small mistakes due to lack of training lead to more massive accidents. Nowadays, technology is profoundly influencing the safety of these job sites. Before employing technology in safety issues of the bridge, resurfacing, and other highway jobs, it is essential to get feedback from project managers, superintendents, and forepersons. App developers have created a cloud-based app letting contractors create their own activity hazard analysis, accident prevention, and other plans. This enables construction workers to understand better and manage risks.

Here are some productive ways to protect the workers at the construction site.

Frame a Traffic Control Plan

During highway construction, carefully plan the measures that crews should adopt in their surface transportation construction projects. This planning can protect the traveling public and workers. After establishing the plan, crews should stick to it. Daily inspections are a must to prevent accidents from cones and barrels pushed into the roadway along with signage operations.

Utilize traditional protective measures

Provide high-visibility clothes to all workers. During night work, install lighting such that it should not blind the drivers who are riding. Also, crews must use barriers, cones, and barrels. Properly construct and maintain scaffolding and those employees working on the scaffolding should be given hard hats, safety vests, and more. Prevent the employee from using mobile phones on their highway construction sites except in the safe areas to support their full engagement.

Plan and store materials

Stacks or piles of materials are hazardous as they can potentially block a truck and equipment drivers' view of construction activity carried out by workers. Reduce the use of trucks by using conveyor belts to move materials, thereby cutting the cost for these processes.

Properly train crews to use equipment

Workers should undergo training on how to safely approach running pieces of equipment and vehicles so that they can stay out of the path of anything that can injure them. It is better to stay away from operating machinery without knowledge on how to handle them. Besides, operators and drivers should learn to use their mirrors and onboard cameras while not exceeding the speed limits of the job site and be cautious about the workers on foot.

Telematics can help monitor vehicles for heavy equipment on the construction sites using the vehicles, thereby providing insights into the operator behavior. And it is vital to control the speed and location of heavy equipment or vehicles with fast-moving traffic and limited work zones. Also, monitoring the driver for speeding or exhibiting strange driving behaviors that can lead to severe consequences in real-time using GPS and notify managers to stop the drivers' behavior is important. Employing geofencing draws a digital boundary which is invisible around a specific area using signals from devices to keep construction equipment or vehicles safe.

Many individuals have been working in the construction site for long periods and will be immune to danger. On the other hand, there are equal numbers of new joins without exposure like the experienced workers. Therefore, as first-line protection, daily meetings, huddles, or toolbox talks at the beginning of each day and at times where there is a change in the task can help create a safe workplace.

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