As tradesmen around the country prepare to return to work, it’s time to make sure that your team is well prepared and have a full understanding of how to keep themselves and their clients safe.
Health and safety comes first while at work and tradesmen either going onto construction sites or into homes are always at high risk. Accidents are too common, so here are a few things to remind your employees before they head back out into their workplaces.
Think about these things before and during work –
Both you, as an employer, and your employees should have a clear plan of work to be carried out. Make sure you know the layout of any rooms or sites.
Expect the unexpected! List any potential hazards on site including those related to electrics, water, materials and falls.
Risk assessments shouldn’t just be carried out before you start working, they should be thought about every day and as anything changes.
How about some of the most common causes of accidents?
Ladders and scaffolding
Before you start a job you should make sure that any ladders and scaffolding is fit for purpose. If there’s any doubt over the safety of this equipment, get it fixed. Every time you climb a ladder or scaffolding you should check that it is well secured and that the area around it doesn’t pose any risks to its stability.
If you’re outside, you should also factor in any weather conditions that may affect scaffolding or ladders – rain or ice will make surfaces slippery, wind may cause items to fly around you or your equipment could become unstable.
Finally, make sure to secure nets or sheets appropriately in order to prevent a fatal fall.
Protective clothing, a hard hat and eye protection should be worn when any demolition work is taking place, big or small. Loose chippings or large pieces of debris can be unpredictable so you should always be cautious of what could hit you.
If you are carrying out the demolition work, you should check your tools beforehand and also check the immediate area for hazards. Also clean up any debris as you go along to avoid trips or falls.
If you are not carrying out the demolition work but you are in the vicinity, you should keep a safe distance and still make sure you have the right protective gear on.
Faulty or inappropriate tools
Machinery and tools should always be checked before carrying out a job. No matter how big or small, they need to be safe and fit for purpose. You should also make sure that you are using the right tools for the job and not just improvising or cutting corners.
Training should be provided for any new equipment used, as well as regular interval training to remind employees how to use tools and machinery efficiently and safely.
Trips and falls
This is too common in the workplace – both in clients’ homes and on a larger site. The easiest way to avoid such accidents is to work cleanly and tidily. If you are at a height and you drop anything to the floor, pick it up as soon as you can. If you are carrying out dusty work, clean up regularly to avoid slipping on any larger particles.
Being well organised can go a long way to avoiding so many accidents in the workplace.
Even if you are not taking part in any of the above activities, any time you are on a construction site or in a house where work is taking place, you should follow the same precautions. Just because you’re not participating in the same work, it doesn’t mean you couldn’t be affected by the dangers.
Always remember that you are keeping yourself safe and your clients. Consider safety before, during and after the work being carried out.