Construction Site Basics: A Checklist for Safety and Regulations
By Dan Coconate
Don’t jump into the next construction gig until you’re fully prepared for anything you might need. A quick run through this checklist can help ensure the site meets all the necessary requirements for your work to go according to plan.
Job sites—particularly construction ones—have lots of different moving parts. Several crew members are off handling various tasks, and a lot of equipment is around. With so much activity happening, things could fall through the cracks or get overlooked, so being prepared always makes sense. Here’s a checklist of what you need to be safe on your construction site.
What happens on a construction site stays on a construction site. In other words, the tasks and dangers of the job should never reach beyond the site’s perimeter. Accidents can happen even when managers do all they can to avoid them. Were all human, mistakes happen.
However, no one wants to deal with an accident happening to a passerby. Ensure outsider’s safety by setting up a basic perimeter line using bright orange cones and construction tape. It may seem tedious, but if a general civilian is unaware of the work taking place, an accident could potentially occur. Place signs around the area if needed as well. Civilians should never be close to or on the construction site unless they have permission to do so.
Naturally, everyone on the site will have personal protective equipment. But simply wearing the gear and ensuring it can handle the dangers of the workplace are two different things. Therefore, conduct a thorough PPE inspection before starting any tasks.
Even if the inspection went well it may not always be enough. The equipment needs to be functional and capable of protecting the workers as well. OSHA provides all construction sites with a PPE inventory and inspection checklist. Run through it to ensure all workers’ equipment is satisfactory and working correctly. Once again, you might think these are obvious precautions to take, but safety on your site is not something you’re going to be wanting to mess around with. If you can avoid it before an issue takes place, you’ll be a much happier camper.
All construction sites need adequate sanitation facilities for their workers. Neglecting to follow through is a violation of OSHA requirements and could make the site subject to a shutdown or fine. You’ll want to make sure there’s an adequate number of portable restrooms for you and your crew.
OSHA also requires handwashing stations at jobsites. There are specific requirements that describe what constitutes a handwashing station. If you can, brush up on them because a hose on the site most likely won’t be enough.
Signs and Messaging
Construction sites can get loud. Similarly to setting up a proper perimeter you need to have proper signage around the site. People need to know if the area they’re near deals with possible fire hazards or falling debris.
You can also never go wrong with having signs on and around the site for workers as well. Put out small reminders on how to handle equipment and what gear people need to wear before stepping into specific areas. A lot of guys on the site might think they already know everything there is, but reminders are always a good help as well to make safety measures stick.
Lastly make sure everything is readable and clear. Use pictures and not too many words because you don’t want people to spend a long time trying to decipher the message (nobody likes being decoders at work).
Overall, a quick run through this construction site checklist so that you and your crew have everything you need to be safe is highly recommended. Stay safe!
About Dan Coconate
Dan Coconate is a local Chicagoland freelance writer who has been in the industry since graduating from college in 2019. He currently lives in the Chicagoland area where he is pursuing his multiple interests in journalism.
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