You finally have the budget for your next big home improvement project.
You’ve narrowed down a list of possible contractors and contacted the one you think is perfect for the job. When they’re ready to knock down some walls, you see that some of the workers seem a bit unprepared and underequipped. Though it’s not too late for you to discuss this matter with your contractor, it would still be a hassle to delay or reschedule the project or find a more suitable contractor to work on your home.
It’s only natural to want the best for your home improvement project. You want to keep your home secure and avoid causing any damage to areas which are not part of the renovation plan. Save yourself from such headaches by using these five home safety principles that your contractor should know and follow.
Fall protection is considered the most cited standard in construction and is one of the major causes of deaths in the site. This is why contractors need to accurately assess job sites and have fall protection in place throughout the project’s duration. The contractors have to protect the workers in areas with unprotected edges that are 6 feet above a lower floor. Safety measures at a home construction project include guardrails, safety nets, and personal fall arrest systems (harnesses), among others.
The workers should also familiarize themselves with all the possible fall hazards of the construction area. They should inspect harnesses before use to ensure that it will work when needed. They should not work in areas where these protection systems are not yet available or installed.
Fall events are unfortunately common and jeopardize a lot more besides worker lives. It’s startling to see home remodeling contractors work without adequate safety protocol governing material use, site access, and worker safety gear, especially when carrying out high-risk installations and fixtures. Falls make up a third of all worker fatalities even though these accidents are easily preventable. OSHA empowers the construction industry to foster a safety culture not just for workers but for customers who frequent sites for general inspections. Safety for everyone should undergird construction operations—this source deconstructs the essentials of a safety program for construction companies to successfully secure their job sites.
Eye and Face Protection
It is a must for contractors to provide and have enough eye and face protection for their workers. Based on the anticipated hazards of the project, contractors should have proper lenses, masks, and other protective equipment to keep the eyes and face safe. With all the work that’s happening in a construction site, it’s not uncommon for stray debris flying off from all directions. This could easily hit workers in the face, or worse, the eyes, which are typically uncovered and unprotected.
When workers wear eye protection, they should also make sure that it does not interfere with their movement and normal functioning. Its protective eyewear should fit snugly and not fall off from regular motion. Before wearing one, they should first check to see if they’re free of cracks, chips, or other damage. Wearing damaged protective gear can be more dangerous than having no protection at all.
The hard hat is the number one safety equipment in a construction site. It is a must to wear one when you’re in the area, whether you’re just visiting or inspecting or part of the construction crew. It’s because they protect you from several hazards like falling and flying objects, falls, and other impacts. The contractor is responsible for providing all employees with head protection that’s built-in accordance with safety standards. These head protection must come free of charge, should be in good condition, and be replaced immediately if they’re damaged from blows or electric shock.
Workers, on the other hand, are expected to comply and wear these head protection at all times or whenever there is the potential of being struck by debris, falling tools, or nails. Just like any other safety equipment, workers should inspect them before starting their day. They need to check for cracks, dents, and other signs of deterioration. They should also choose hard hats which fit snugly on their head, and won’t come loose under normal activities.
Safe Living Solutions for Stairways and Ladders
In-home improvement projects, ladder use, is inevitable. Unfortunately, an improper ladder is a leading case of falls resulting in injury. Contractors should inspect all the ladders before use every day. When a ladder is already defective, they should be marked and taken out of service until repaired. They should also conform to OSHA standards, with the weight capacity strictly observed.
It may seem like a simple, straightforward tool, but workers should still be trained on ladder safety. They should know which ladders are appropriate for a given situation. For starters, they should always maintain three points of contact when going up or down. They should tie ladders to a stable, secure point to avoid falling or sliding, or anything that could cause an accident.
Home Safety Solutions for Toxic and Hazardous Substances
When the contractors use hazardous chemicals on any construction project, they must implement a hazard communication program. They should make their workers aware of the materials being used, have all the chemicals labeled, and have trained personnel capable of handling these materials.
For the workers, they’re expected to read and use a material safety data sheet to hazardous substances being used. They also need to wear proper equipment when handling these materials and should be able to clean up any spill, in case of one. Lastly, if they’re not tasked with handling these materials, it’s best to avoid contact with them and leave them in more capable hands.
Safety is indeed a priority in any construction project. To ensure that your home remodel pushes through without any issues or accidents, make sure that your contractor knows and follows the above-mentioned home improvement safety tips. Other safety measures at home should be followed in everyday life, like fire and gas safety. Don’t hesitate to ask your contractors if they have the necessary skills and training to handle such incidents as well.