The Department of Buildings recently reported that construction-related injuries in New York City decreased by over 21% since 2018. This statistic is proof that the increased safety measures and technologies on construction sites are working and demonstrates that we are making significant progress towards ensuring that job sites – and workers – are as safe as possible.
We must continue to make safety a stop priority – especially now that summer is in full swing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Survey of Occupational Injuries and illnesses, more work-related injuries occur during the summer months than at other times of the year, and August is the most dangerous month of all.
Here are a few remainders about how to keep yourself and those around you safe on the job; some of them might seem very basic, but these are the very things about which we are at risk of growing too complacent:
Personal Protective Equipment
Wearing the right clothes and using the appropriate equipment is vital to staying safe on a construction site. What you wear will, of course, depend on your role. Also, remember that these items must be used correctly to be fully effective. That means wearing your gloves, goggles, and a hard hat securely when operating dangerous tools. Also, choose stable and comfortable footwear when working on difficult surfaces. Secure a breathing mask if your workplace has poor ventilation or if you will be exposed to toxins and/or debris. If you know you will carry heavy objects, consider wearing a back brace. Also, invest in quality gear and tools and then be sure to store it all in a safe, dry place so they last.
Be sure to check for the stability of any machinery, ladders and stairs to the best of your ability before embarking on their use. If you spot damaged or weak spots, let your employer know immediately. Although it is your employer’s responsibility to ensure all equipment is safe and functional, it is best to be proactive when it comes to protecting yourself and those around you.
Preparation and Planning
Come prepared and you have the best chance of staying safe on the job. Before you arrive to start your day, think through the ways you can mitigate potential harm and complete necessary tasks effectively AND safely. This way, you’ll have a game plan to deploy should something go wrong. Keeping your head and staying calm in the face of crisis is critical and maximizes your chances of minimizing injury.
Building Skills NY is encouraged to see that safety training, technology, and precautions are helping keep workers safe on the job. We hope this trend continues and will do our part to ensure the industry maintains its focus on protecting and supporting workers.