Near my house there’s a guy building a house. And I mean: He’s renovating it HIMSELF. No large construction companies or teams. He and a few workers toil away every weekend. Each day I pass the premises and over the months I’ve seen progress; it’s slow, but his dream home is slowly becoming a reality.
I have respect for his tenacity but here’s something I have even more respect for: His focus on safety. Thanks to appropriate safety gear and measures there’s very little chance of injuries on site.
The truth is, not everyone is this thorough in their construction planning. People focus on the architect’s plans, the go-ahead from city planners, the building material and even a skip so clean up will be quick. But if you didn’t plan to have a safe working environment we suggest you don’t even start.
Not sure what exactly to focus on? I made you a list.
Hard Hats for Everyone All the Time
We all make assumptions, and before the first accident you may not realize the scope of what you’re taking on. Do you realize the hazards of a construction site? Items can fall, accidentally be thrown up to the sky (and they have to come down again) or someone can trip and fall.
The head deserves as much protection as possible, so hard hats are non-negotiable. They’re not only for factories and extreme sports, they’re a key part of your safety gear in a construction site.
Guard Against Dust and Noise
The other thing you may not realize until it’s too late is how your work can affect your senses: hearing, smell, and taste. Yes, they may be uncomfortable to wear, but dust masks and earplugs or earmuffs should be standard wearables.
No matter how safe your site is, you can’t predict how someone’s nasal passages will react to inevitable dust. And accidents happen so suddenly that a loud bang coming from a compressor could instantly damage an eardrum.
If modern innovations can effectively—and more comfortably than a few years ago—prevent these injuries, why do so few people use them?
Protecting Hands the Right Way
The other body parts you can’t take chances on are your hands. Here’s the problem: Many site managers simply distribute basic gloves and think it’s enough. But welding gloves exist because you need protection against a number of things when you’re on a site. UV and infrared radiation, electrical shock, and high temperatures could hurt your hands if they’re not properly protected. Welding gloves also afford proper grip, which low budget gloves won’t provide.
Once again, realizing the true hazards of renovation is motivation enough to invest in proper gear.
Never Forget the Eyes
I will list this separately to protecting the other senses, because you need to use gear that matches the type of work you’re busy with. Safety glasses are versatile, but once you start welding you need a welding helmet.
Going Up High?
Lastly, don’t let anyone try and be a hero. A rush of adrenaline makes working up high a fun experience, but someone can get hurt simply tripping over their own feet. Imagine the possibilities when you fall from a second story landing.
Stop the heroism and use fall protection equipment for anyone working at a position of 6ft or higher.
In the long run, my neighbor may get tired and regret not getting professional help. But he will never have regrets about how he went about this project. You shouldn’t either: Get the protective gear and get peace of mind.