Safety is a daily affair. When you work in a hazardous environment? Even more so. Without the benefit of thick gloves and fluorescent vests more workers would succumb to injury or illness on the job, both of which you need to keep in mind every single time you clock on. Slips, trips, falls, minor illness and major injuries all contribute to lost time and, as a result, lost money. Although each and every position has its own particular details to be addressed, there are a few basics that apply to anyone who works in the field of construction and day labor.
Our hands are flexible, yet delicate parts of our body. We use them for nearly everything we do and, as a result, they are some of the most likely areas to succumb to injury on the job. Gloves keep your hands safe from the elements, reduce the risk of cuts and all but eliminate the potential for burns (chemical or flammable). An important aspect to note is also maintaining your hand’s temperature. Trying to operate machinery or lift boxes with stiff, cold hands increases your chance of developing arthritis down the road.
Gloves should provide sturdy grip, fit snugly and keep your joints from growing stiff.
Unlike gloves, vests are often used for more visual purposes. This doesn’t make them less important, however, and no construction worker should be caught without a custom reflective vest. A recent survey by the NHTSA found the majority of participants saying they prefer road construction to be done during ‘off-hours’. This means when it’s dark, rainy or otherwise less ideal for drivers. High visibility clothing stands out at the faintest hint of light and helps both driver and worker navigate roads without fear of collision.
Custom reflective jackets are warm, comfortable and keep you safe no matter the time of day.
Every kind of worker, even those that primarily drive, can appreciate a solid pair of shoes. These will support your weight through thick and thin, creating a solid foundation that helps you focus on work and only work. Shoes that don’t have thick, cushioned soles or heavy traction can leave you aching by the time you clock off again. At the very worst? You could increase your risk of sprained ankles, broken toes or callouses that make walking a chore. Steel toed boots are highly recommended for laborers that regularly lift heavy objects.
The average person walks 10,000 steps per day. A construction worker? Almost 30,000.
We are regularly exposed to loud noises, whether we’re listening to our favorite album or just walking downtown around a lot of traffic. The average day laborer is exposed to far higher decibels than is recommended. Permanent hearing loss can occur when a person is exposed to sounds louder than 85 decibels. A well-fitting pair of earplugs, however, can reduce noise by up to 30 decibels. These need to be worn at all times to protect your hearing and should be washed with soap and mild water after every use.
Headaches and dizziness around loud noises is not normal. If you suspect the worst, earplugs are easy to find and even easier to use.
Interesting in their varied uses, masks are a vital form of safety equipment and are widely considered an essential piece of safety equipment. Some workers wear a mask to keep themselves from getting sick. Others wear masks to reduce their exposure to harmful chemicals or prevent themselves from getting burned. A recent study found a third of all nonfatal work injuries requiring time away from work came from employees with less than a year of service.
A mask can cover the nose and mouth or the entire face, depending on the purpose.
Safety equipment can be underappreciated by newer workers, so take this as a reminder to never let your guard down. Keep yourself healthy with standardized safety equipment and work without fear.