Construction sites are among the most dangerous workspaces in the world. Yet, safety boots, protection gear for the eyes, ears, hands, and even basic safety uniforms are rare in less developed countries.
To put this situation into perspective, the ILO reports that over 2.3 million people die on construction sites yearly. This is very obviously a cause for concern. In addition, almost 6000 people lose their lives daily owing to avoidable mishaps.
But why are safety essentials so important? And what exactly constitutes safety essentials on a construction site? Read on to answer all of these questions.
Why is appropriate clothing required at a construction site?
Construction workers must wear certain things following the safety standards of the working site or state legislation to remain safe at all times. Wearing the proper safety equipment reduces the chance of injury. After all, their job involves moving large goods, working on high buildings, and handling dangerous tools and machinery.
Wearing the proper gear is also comfortable and convenient for employees operating in extreme heat or cold. This allows them to be more secure and productive while on the job, allowing construction workers to execute their responsibilities more successfully and efficiently.
Ear protection gear
Construction sites are often extremely loud and chaotic, which can cause hearing impairment. It is critical to protect the eardrums by using canal caps or prefabricated earplugs. However, the common earplugs’ style is determined by the levels of noise at the work site and the established safety rules.
Some supervisors may approve foam earplugs if the workplace is not excessively noisy. They may suggest a more soundproof and sturdy material for better protection at larger sites.
Eye protection gear
The eye protection one needs to wear is typically determined by the site conditions. Eye protection equipment commonly used includes:
- Face shields
- Safety glasses
- Safety goggle
Protecting the eyes is crucial regardless of what an individual chooses to wear. It is, after all, one of the more sensitive parts of the body.
Leg and foot protection gear
Construction workers are always on their feet. Hence, they must follow stringent rules for on-site foot protection due to the possible risks of slippery surfaces, puncture wounds, and crushing materials.
Again, the specific needs will vary significantly from site to site and job to job. However, three protection conditions must be met. These include:
- Toe Safety
- Metatarsal protection
- Pierce protection
The best way to ensure foot safety is to opt for sturdy safety boots with a steel shank for underfoot protection. Furthermore, ensure that the pair offer adequate toe protection and slip protection.
Hand protection gear
There are numerous different types of construction gloves. Here are some examples of specific gloves used in various construction sites:
- Fabric or cotton gloves that protect the hands from minor injuries.
- Rubber or synthetic gloves for working with chemicals, oils, and solvents.
- Welding gloves are made of leather.
- Thermal protection using Kevlar gloves for industrial operations.
- Chemical or liquid-resistant gloves for handling any form of a hazardous chemical.
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In addition to the equipment listed above, basic uniforms can also help prevent injuries. However, ear, eye, hand protection gear, and safety boots for leg and foot protection are relatively minor investments that can prevent significant accidents and save the lives of those working in such a hazardous environment.
A company can always work its way up to creating complete safety kits for its workers. Nevertheless, this can be a great start!