Personal Protective Equipment in the Construction Sites
Construction Sites are among some of the most hazardous places for the workers, for the people present and even in some rare cases, for the passer-by as well. These Safety Risks can be greatly reduced by following the International and national Rules, Acts and Guidelines like Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standards, Bangladesh national Building Code (BNBC) and others. Even then, the hazards cannot be eliminated completely, and some on-site risks still exist.
Personal Protective Equipment of PPE are collective terms for wearable devices, clothing or gears used to protect the wearer from potential hazards. The PPEs are specific according to industries, for example, in industries that deal with toxic chemicals, the workers need to wear gloves and safety goggles. The gloves worn in the chemical industry are different from that worn in the Construction Sites. Therefore, it is crucial for everyone to know about the PPEs of the Construction Sites to remain safe and to raise awareness among others. Let us explore some of the PPEs essential for Construction Site.
- Safety Helmet
- Safety Shoes
- Safety Harness
- Safety Glasses
- Earplugs or Earmuffs
- Welding Mask
We have talked about risks and hazards earlier, so what is the difference between the two terms? A hazard is something that has the potential to cause harm, while a risk is the chance or probability that the harm may occur. For example, A toxic chemical is hazardous, but when stored away properly in sealed container under proper condition, then the risk of causing harm is low. On the other hand, water is not hazardous but spilled water on the floor is risky to walk on. Both are present in the construction site and thus the risks of accidents happening are high. A simple, non-harmful object or matter can have high risks for the people working there. Thus, it is always wise to take precautionary measures and wear proper Protective Gears on site.
Safety Helmets are “A Must” in Construction Site. The Safety Helmets or Hard Hats should be tested for dents, cracks and durability on regular basis. The appropriate color codes must also be followed to distinguish between people with specific designation and/or duties.
Next, for the eyes and face, the gears should be selected based on the situation. For example, Safety glasses should always be worn to provide a secure shield around the entire eye and protect against hazards coming from any direction. Face masks should also be worn to protect the respiratory system from any airborne particles, including dust. In addition, for special cases like welding or where harmful gas is present. During welding, a welding mask is compulsory, and a gas mask is necessary where applicable.
Workers at Construction site should always wear safety shoes with slip-resistant and puncture-resistant soles. Open-toed footwear should be avoided. When working with heavy equipment or where there is chance of heavy objects falling, steel-toed shoes must be worn.
Gloves should be worn during metal cutting, drilling, welding, grinding or when working with sharp objects. The gloves should fit the wearer as any loose gloves are worse as it might get tangled and cause more harm. Insulated gloves should be worn when working with electrical equipment or any electrical hazards.
Earplugs or Earmuffs are often overlooked in Bangladesh, but it is also crucial to use as more than one in three (38 percent) construction workers suffer from work related hearing loss. The Earplugs or muffs should be cleaned regularly.
Safety Harness should be worn when working at high places or when working along the perimeter, outside the safety railings or when there is no safety boundaries present. Sometimes a fall from a low height can also cause major injuries if there are hazardous items down below.
A lot of accidents occur due to ignorance and then negligence. Therefore it is required for everyone to know about the Personal Protective Equipment and make sure that the proper gears are worn where applicable.
by Siam Mim