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Civil TestingEngineering DesignIn The FieldNDENews

Safety Precautions to Take While Visiting a Construction Site

By February 1, 2019No Comments4 min read

Encorus Group staff often visits the job sites where concepts are brought to reality. These visits are part of the materials testing and inspection services that Encorus offers. Our Civil Testing and NDE groups are also constantly visiting construction sites to perform testing and inspections.  Members of our design group sometimes visit jobsites as well, to obtain measurements, observe construction, or answer questions.  While visiting a construction site, it is important to remember to take safety precautions to avoid injury and prevent any work disruptions. Here are some things to keep in mind if you ever find yourself on an active construction site:

1.    Wear a hardhat

On an active construction site, workers could be transporting materials above your head, with a crane, for example, or materials may not be secured.  Hardhats will protect your head from any potential injury.  Hardhats do have a shelf life!  The date of manufacture should be printed on the inside of the hardhat, and it should be used for no more than 4-5 years from that date.  OSHA, ANSI, and the hardhat manufacturer can offer specific guidance.  In addition, factors such as excessive temperatures (ie, keeping your hardhat in your vehicle) can cause it to degrade more quickly, and be less effective in the event of an impact.

2.    Wear a high visibility vest

It is important to make sure that can be easily seen on a construction site, so high visibility vests are required. If someone wears clothes that blend in with the materials on the construction site, they can be easily overlooked and subject to injury.  High visibility outerwear makes you more noticeable, and reflective strips are essential to being seen in low light situations.

3.    Wear appropriate footwear

Appropriate footwear includes boots or shoes with hard soles and preferably steel toes. Shoes with open toes, high heels, and soft soles are strongly discouraged as there are sharp objects that can be stepped on or heavy materials that can be dropped on feet.  Construction sites are often unlevel, and appropriate footwear will decrease the chance of slipping or tripping.

4.    Wear safety glasses

Any active construction site is a hazard for your eyes.  Dirt, dust, rocks, and construction materials are constantly moving around, including through the air.  Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying objects.

5.    Wear long pants to cover your legs

Sharp object may be sticking up, and your legs may be subject to scratches and cuts. Skirts, shorts, and dresses are discouraged on the construction site. Wearing long pants will protect your legs from any harm

6.    If you have a guide, be sure to stay close to them as you move around the site

It is easy to get lost on construction sites, so if you do not know where you are going, it is best to stick with your guide on the visit.  They are probably more familiar with the site than you are as a visitor, and will be able to guide you on a safe route and avoid hazards

7.    Be aware of your surroundings

It is common sense to have a general awareness of the construction site you are visiting. If there is a place where the materials appear to be unstable or if workers are vigorously working, do not approach that area.  Make eye contact with machinery operators when crossing the machine’s path.  Safety is the first priority, and if you approach an area where people are working, they make have to stop and disrupt progress until you leave

8.    Do not touch anything

It is advised not to touch any materials on the construction site, especially any loose wires. Those wires may be live, and the materials could be sharp or recently painted.

In general, follow all instructions that your guide or the site supervisor may give you. They will know the best way for you to safely navigate the site.  You not only want to be safe, you want to be welcomed back in the future!  Remember that your safety on a jobsite affects the safety of others as well – if you get hurt, others may get hurt as well trying to help you.  Stay safe!