Safety in the work places is important. Particularly on construction sites, where many risks are present. Construction sites present many potential dangers: there are heavy machines moving around, heavy items being moved, pollutants, loud noises, potentially hazardous substances.
For this reason, it is important to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). Here is a quick guide to some of the important construction safety gear and what they protect:
1. To protect the head
The head is one of the most sensitive areas of the body. As such, a hard hat is one of the most essential construction safety gear across you will need. A hard hat will protect your head from any falling debris. It will also protect you from the elements, such as sun and rain, as well as from electric shock.
Hard hats are so effective because they are made out of tough materials such as HDPE (High density polyethylene) or resins such as Ultem. But when choosing one it is also important to make sure that it is a good and comfortable fit. A poorly fit hard hat may result in headaches or fail to fully protect you from injury.
2. To protect the eyes
Eyes are very sensitive and it is important to protect them. They are vulnerable to foreign particles and debris as well as to smoke and chemicals. These may enter the eyes during a variety of activities such as cutting, nailing, welding, working with concrete, working in windy areas, working with dangerous chemicals, etc…
You will need to adapt the type of eyewear that you choose to the risks involved in the task that you are carrying out. Special attention should be paid if you are going to be welding or working with highly acidic substances. To protect yourself use safety goggles or a face shield. They will be made from shatter resistant plastic in order to protect your eyes from flying debris. If there is going to be any dust then choose goggle over a face shield as these will keep particles as well as larger objects out of your eyes.
3. To protect the lungs
There can be many unhealthy gases and particles at construction sites. If you breathe these in, they can damage your lungs and lead to severe disease further down the road. For example, the silica dust produced by bricks can cause emphysema and bronchitis as well as increase cancer risks.
In order to protect yourself choose a good dust mask. The construction safety gear sold at your typical hardware store are called “nuisance dust masks” and only protect against common large particles, making them unsuitable for this type of work. Instead opt for one that has a filter and that indicates that it will protect against fine particles. It is also important to choose one that is a good fit, as large gaps between the face and the mask mean that particles are getting through in those areas.
4. To protect feet and toes
It is important to wear work boots. These types of construction safety gear can protect your feet and toes from the outside world. They also help to prevent falling accidents that are the result of tripping or slipping. To prevent these accidents, make sure that your work boots have slip proof soles.
Accidents can also occur if sharp elements such as nails pierce through the shoe, so make sure that the soles are puncture resistant as well. Some may even protect against electric shock, which can be important if you are working on a site where this might be an issue. Finally, all work boots should have steel toes in order to protect those sensitive digits from any falling materials or debris.
5. To protect hands
A good pair of gloves is needed when you are working as a commercial builder or general contractor. The type may depend on the tasks that you intend to complete and the weather in which you are working. Some gloves are designed for better grip, to resist vibrations or the heat. Whichever you choose, a glove will also protect your hands from potential cuts, burns or chemicals.
6. To protect the entire body
This may mean wearing a reflective safety vest, a harness, carrying a good flashlight or equipment to detect particulates and gas in the air. A high visibility safety vest is essential when around vehicles, whether these be from general traffic or machinery on a closed construction site.
If not, it is still important to wear a high visibility shirt. Wearing these will ensure that you are seen by all of the heavy machinery moving around the site. If you are going to be working high up, then make sure to wear a good and properly secured harness in order to protect yourself from falls.