Construction work requires a lot of onsite safety, especially when building high structures and bridges. Unfortunately, over 20,000 reported constructions site injuries occur annually as a result of falls from stairways and stepladders. Incorrect use of ladders and stairs can be fatal, especially during construction where most of the surfaces are likely to be uneven. As it is, everyone has a responsibility to take care of themselves when using these facilities to minimize the construction fatalities reported every year. The tips that help people avoid accidents are simple to implement, yet they can make a significant difference. Some of those guidelines include:
Always Use the Right Ladder for the Right Job
Construction companies that are well established usually have many safety requirements in place. Essentially, safety does not just come about; you have to pursue it. In the case of ladders, you should ensure that you always use the right type. There are several different types of ladders including telescoping ladders, step ladders, extension ladders, and multipurpose ladders. Before settling on a specific type, you should have evaluated all the tasks it will need to perform to make a perfect selection. At times you may have to place a ladder on the stairwell for a safe environment and stable working conditions. However, frosty stairways should not be used, however minor the frost may appear.
Work With a Professional Inspector
Before you set up to use your stairways and ladders on a job site, you should have an expert inspect your working area. A professional inspector can assure you that your stairway and ladders are ideal for their intended use. Usually, inspectors work in intervals during which they keep assessing the job site. Their role goes way beyond observation because they are also responsible for guiding you to comply with the area building codes and standards. In essence, they evaluate all the defects that could lead to accidents. Their role in construction sites is indispensable.
Choose an Ideal Location for Stairways or Ladders
To be assured of safety, you need to choose a location that is firm and whose landscape is leveled. By all means, you should ensure that you achieve a firm ground. For the stairways, it matters how often they will be used during construction. Either way, these stairs must be fixed at least 30 degrees and a maximum of 50 degrees from the horizontal. If doors or gates are opening directly onto the staircase, then they must have a platform extending at least 51 centimeters away from the swing. The design of the stairs should not be spiral if it is only meant to serve during the construction period.
Responding to Potentially Risky Staircases and Ladders
As previously stated, there are some impending risks that you may never identify unless with the help of professional supervisors and inspectors. In the case that they identify potential hazards, they will immediately suspend use of that particular stairway or ladder. In some cases like slipperiness on stairways or protruding nails, it is always easier to correct the issue and resume once the conditions are rectified then to deal with the consequences of an injury. For ladders, only one person should use them at a time, and they should never be used unopened because this is unsafe. Also, always use ladder steps for what they were built; don’t sit on them.
If you would like more information about construction site safety, contact T.F. Harper & Associates LP, located in Austin, TX.