According to the census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, the construction industry took the lead in the total number of fatal occupational injuries. It accounted for 23% of all private industry worker deaths in 2020 alone. In 2019, over 5,330 workers in all industries in the United States were killed at their workplace, which equals over one hundred deaths every week. The Bureau of Labor Statistics disclosed that 1061 construction workers were killed in 2019 on a construction work site, accounting for 20% of all work-related deaths.
The construction industry is one of the biggest industries globally. According to research, the construction industry alone accounts for close to thirteen percent of the total global GDP. That amounts to about $10 trillion. Data USA says, “As of May 2021, there are 7.99M people employed in the Mining, Logging, and Construction industry. This means that the industry is growing. The more involved people there are, the more they need safety measures to be put in place when transporting materials on site.
Before choosing a method of transporting your building materials, consider the following:
1. The type and safety of materials.
You want to look at the nature of the building materials you are moving. Bulky materials like roofing materials, concrete, and bricks require equipment such as forklifts, cranes, or trucks. Aside from that, ensure you avoid poor-quality building materials that may not compromise the safety of your workers. Source your building materials from the best marketplace for building materials.
2. Storage area
You also want to look at the storage area or the warehouse. How far is it from the site? Will the chosen method of transport be able to access it? Therefore to ensure the storage area fits all the criteria for safety, it must have the following:
– A clear exit area, aisles, and passageways to avoid tripping over objects or falls.
– Materials should be stacked/arranged safely according to the guidelines for each type of material. For example, it is advised that bricks should not be stacked higher than seven feet high or lumber piles more than twenty feet high. Keeping these guidelines in mind will help cushion against accidents during loading.
-The storage area should be secure, and the maximum storage capacity is not defined.
– The storage area should be clean and dry at all times. If anything, most accidents at the construction sites are caused by falls caused by wetness. Also, a dry warehouse will help keep your building materials against damage.
– The storage area should be readily accessible.
Measures taken to ensure security is achieved during transport
1. Seek services of credible contractors
Lack of professionalism is the biggest menace facing safety concerns. When sourcing individuals to operate machinery, ensure that they show proof of expertise by producing their licenses, the relevant test certificates, or certificates of competency.
2. Have a Lift Plan
Having a lift plan in place will ensure every activity happens in harmony. A lift plan has all the information needed for a lifting activity; for example, a crane moving your roofing materials to the third floor has taken place effectively. A good lift plan should contain the following information:
– Site information-Information about the site, e.g., weather, ground conditions, location, etc.
– The method statement should have information about the activities that will take place during the lift operation, that is, the people involved and their various roles.
– Information on a crane setup. This should also strictly involve thoroughly assessing the crane and whether it matches the safety requirements.
– A risk assessment should involve looking into the potential risks in the site area and all possible solutions.
– Emergency plan to mitigate any potential hazardous occurrences
After a Lift Plan has been drafted, a copy should be shared with all individuals involved. All parties should understand the details of the lift plan and ensure coordination during the actual Lifting.
Safety measures during Lifting
– Ensure ground conditions are favorable.
– Ensure the carrying capacity guidelines are adhered to.
– Every employee at a construction site should ensure that they do not position themselves under a crane or a forklift.
– As an overseer, ensure the team is in harmony; for example, the Banksman should be available when the crane needs to reverse or that the dropping zones must be well secured and supervised.
– If more than two cranes are operating at once, there must be crane coordinators present to ensure smooth operation.
– The cranes are in no way authorized to use the same space as the public.
– Professionals should strictly operate the cranes.
Apart from using machinery, there are instances where the employees themselves transport materials to the site. Such materials are, in most cases, if not all, relatively heavy. However, serious injuries occur because certain precautions are not implemented. To avoid such accidents, employees should ensure the following:
– The team should have undergone training on their safety on a construction site.
– Make use of Personal Protective Equipment(PPE). Such equipment includes a helmet, protective shoes, a pair of gloves, ear muffs, protective goggles or glasses, respiratory masks, especially when working in very dusty environments or chemicals, and a reflective jacket.
Where slightly heavy building materials are concerned, transporting such materials should be strictly done by two or three people and ensure that the proper posture is applied to avoid strain and breakages in the body.
Fall Protection systems must be put in place when materials are being transported to a higher level. They include guardrails, Personal Fall Arrest Systems, and safety nets.
Construction sites vary, and each comes with its own set of challenges. However, these challenges can be mitigated to avoid unnecessary accidents by considering the guidelines mentioned earlier while on site.
We hope you found A Guide to Moving Building Materials Safely on a Construction site useful. Make sure to read Business Owner’s Expectations on the Commercial Construction Process for more helpful tips.
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