Many of the injuries and fatalities that occur on building sites are the result of workers falling from construction equipment. Here are two steps that can be taken to prevent these types of falls from occurring.
Take great care when climbing into and dismounting from heavy construction equipment
Falling from a piece of heavy construction equipment, such as a bulldozer or an excavator, can result in serious injuries, such as skull fractures and broken limbs. As such, it is vital for labourers to be extremely careful when climbing into or dismounting from this type of equipment.
First and foremost, site managers should insist on equipment operators using all of the available steps and handrails when entering and exiting machinery of this kind, even if the operator is in a rush. These handrails and steps should be inspected and cleaned at the start of each work day, as the presence of oil or water splatters on these surfaces could result in an operator losing their grip and falling to the ground. Appropriate footwear (boots with high-grip soles) should be worn to further reduce the chances of a slip occurring.
Where possible, operators should avoid carrying any heavy tools on their person whilst getting in and out of the equipment, as the additional weight could affect their ability to balance and lead to them falling.
Take appropriate precautions when using access equipment
Access equipment, which enables labourers to perform complex work at heights, plays a hugely important role in the construction of a building. However, this equipment needs to be used with great care to ensure that it does not put construction workers at risk of a fall.
Take, for example, mobile scaffold towers. This type of access equipment is routinely used on many building sites; its portability and spacious platform make it extremely useful for carrying out tasks at a height. However, if it is assembled incorrectly or used improperly, its could result in a labourer being seriously injured.
As such, if the site manager chooses to hire access equipment of this kind, they should take several precautions to prevent its usage from causing injuries. Firstly, they should ensure that the company they order this equipment from provides all of the necessary safety components (such as the access ladder, bracing and guardrails) so that it can be assembled correctly when it arrives on site. A fully-assembled scaffold that features all of the appropriate safety devices can drastically reduce the chances of a labourer tripping and falling off the platform onto the ground.
Secondly, labourers who need to use this equipment must ensure that it is positioned on level, tightly-compacted ground so that it will not collapse or begin to lean to one side as they do their work. They should also ensure that the base plates underneath it are completely supported and the castors are locked before they climb onto the platform. Last but not least, they should never attempt to extend the height of the tower beyond the manufacturer's recommended levels, as this can result in the scaffolding becoming unstable and toppling over.