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Posted: 06/20/2016

How to avoid accidents by knowing your construction jobsite

Loader operating safely in confined area

The construction busy season is in full swing, so don’t forget the importance of putting jobsite #SafetyFirst.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than 800 construction-related fatalities were reported in private industry in 2014. The leading causes of death were falls, followed by electrocution, being struck by an object and being caught in between objects. In addition to jobsite deaths, there were thousands of nonfatal jobsite injuries that caused employees to miss work.

Prevent these avoidable injuries by knowing your jobsite like the back of your hand and taking preventive measures.

Operators should get a feel for the work area and look for potential dangers such as the following:

  • Underground utilities, which should be identified and clearly marked before any operators start excavating
  • Overhead utility lines
  • Narrow roadways that might cause a passing vehicle or pedestrian to inadvertently cut too close to your work area
  • Sharp curves, which should be marked with signage to avoid a collision with a passing vehicle or pedestrian unaware of the jobsite
  • Soft ground conditions, which could cause equipment to get stuck
  • Crowded pedestrian areas which should be marked off with barrier tape or gates to keep bystanders out of the work area

In addition to taking into account the work area’s conditions, make sure the operator keeps the following checklist for safe measure. Trained and authorized operators should follow all safety rules, regulations and instructions when working, including the following:

  • Wear personal protective equipment.
  • Inspect the work area.
  • Call 811 to pinpoint the location of underground and overhead utilities.
  • Complete a machine walk-around before use.
  • Use three points of contact when entering or exiting the machine.
  • Practice safe starting procedures.
  • Exhibit proper operating techniques.
  • Maintain attachments and the machine on a routine basis.
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