Construction equipment can be very treacherous to work around, however with the proper safety precautions; workers can prevent fatal accidents and minor to devastating injuries. Some of the safety measures that laborers can take are wearing safety glasses, earplugs and work gloves around dangerous construction equipment.
Safety glasses are not just seeing glasses or sunglasses. Safety glasses are for use around construction equipment to protect the eyes. They are made with plates of plastic or resin sandwiched between two sheets of glass. Three layers of protection reduce the possibility of flying debris entering the eyes, and are used around construction equipment producing a lot of small particles that fly around like shrapnel, like wood, dust, paint and rocks. Safety glasses are used by laborers who must protect their eyes, and in many cases, by OSHA standards. If you are required to wear safety glasses, wear a pair that fits snuggly around the head, and when not in use, you should keep them in a place where they won’t get scratched. Scratched lenses decrease visibility.
Appropriate for labors that use noisy construction equipment, such as saws, chain saws, jackhammers, bulldozers and machine lifts just to name a few, earplugs are placed in the ear to protect against noise, water, dust and more. When the noise level of a job is too loud to bear, ear plugs are what you should wear! Select a pair that fits snuggly into each ear so they do not fall out. Many come in bright colors so if they are lost, they will be easy to find. Earplugs may be carried in a separate case that will protect them from construction equipment dirt and dust.
Heavy duty work gloves are found on construction sites that use dangerous chemicals like roofing tar, greasy materials, and materials that may produce splinters like wood. Work gloves are appropriate for those who use caustic cleaning materials, carry lumber, siding and pipes, and are used when hands may be exposed to materials that could easily tear the skin, or to chemicals that could harm the skin. Gloves protect the hands from unnecessary wear and tear resulting from day to day use of construction equipment too. Select a pair that fits snuggly onto each hand.
For construction labor that’s in a muddy or rocky area, steel-toed boots are ideal for protecting feet from heavy falling objects, nails on the ground, and splinters in wood. Construction equipment, such as those that produce dangerous chemicals, cements or paint, requires workers to wear these boots as well. Their grated bottoms prevent falls from slippery surfaces, but because these boots have a metal plate inserted under the tips of the front, their main purpose is to protect toes. These boots should fit the feet snuggly. Boots that are too small will cramp the feet and disable a worker from fully performing a job. Boots that are too large will rub the feet and cause uncomfortable abrasions. In addition, loose fitting boots run the risk of catching falling debris from construction equipment and will further irritate the feet. Construction Worker Tip: Wear a couple pairs of socks with these boots to create a comfortable and snug atmosphere inside each one.
Other types of protection for the safe use of construction equipment include hard hats and back braces. Safe and appropriate use of construction equipment cannot be stressed enough, and can lead to a long successful career for individual employees in our industry.