There isn’t a higher priority for us at X3 than safety. Not just on a job site, but also during the time it takes you to drive to and from work.
It takes all of us to create safe environments to work in. Following safety protocols and standards can mean the difference between returning home to your loved ones or a trip to the emergency room.
The SAFETY acronym is a great reminder to be aware of your surroundings at all times and to use safe practices in your daily life.
S – Struck-By
A – Appropriate PPE
F – Fall Safety
E – Electrocution
T – 30-30-30
Y – You
OSHA defines struck-by hazards as’ “injuries produced by forcible contact or impact between a person and an object or piece of equipment”. A struck-by injury can be caused by a flying object, a falling object, a swinging object, or a rolling object.
Unfortunately, a struck-by incident is quite common in the construction industry.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), struck-by injuries account for 17% of total injuries. 75% of struck-by fatalities involve heavy equipment such as trucks or cranes. They are common. Some of the most common struck-by injuries include:
- Something has been thrown or hurled across a space
- Objects ejected under power by a tool such as an air compressor
- Objects such as wall panels or tools falling from a higher elevation
- Windy conditions cause materials lifted in the air to swing and strike an individual
- Machinery not properly parked or secured can roll away and strike an individual
- And many more
The best way to avoid a struck-by injury is to be aware of your surroundings at all times and be a voice for others who may be using materials or equipment in an unsafe manner. You can also use the X3 30-30-30 rule.
Can you name the five pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) that X3 trains talent on?
- Protective eyewear
- Hard hat
- Safety vest (a bright color such as construction orange, green or yellow)
- Foot protection (steel-toe, slip-resistant, etc.)
In other situations, additional PPE may be required such as respiratory protection, hearing protection, and clothing guidelines (no shorts for example). PPE is there to prevent an injury if a hazard should arise.
It’s never worth the risk to work without gloves or glasses. Using the appropriate PPE from the beginning of your shift to the end will give you the best chance of staying safe and returning home.
On the OSHA website, it reads, “OSHA requires that fall protection be provided at elevations of four feet in general industry workplaces…and six feet in the construction industry.”
How do we prevent falls in construction?
There are several ways you can practice and recognize fall safety on a job site.
- Wear a harness and always stay connected when
- Always stay connected to your harness when working at any height at or above six feet. Make sure it is the right size and it fits snugly. In case of a fall, you don’t want the harness to slip off of your body. It should feel snug but with a full range of motion.
- Use guardrails or lifelines.
- Safety guardrails and toe-boards must be installed around every elevated platform, floor, or runway. This also includes stairs.
- Guard or cover all floor holes
- Anywhere that a worker could accidentally walk into a hole in the ground should be covered up or protected with guardrails.
- Keep kept clean and as dry as possible.
- Even the risk of tripping or slipping on something on the floor can be a risk. Keeping floors clean, clutter-free, and dry where possible can also be a form of fall prevention.
More than half of the reported electrocutions each year come from the use of temporary power during construction. Electric shock is a danger on any job site and should not be taken lightly.
A few precautions we take with our talent & clients:
- We don’t allow our talent to work on projects with live wires and energized systems. The only exception is when testing is required.
- Lockout/Tagout or LOTO: This system protects workers from unintentional exposure to hazardous energy from machinery or equipment. The process ensures that equipment is shut down properly and is inoperable until its next use.
- Power cords and power tools should be checked for damage before and after use.
We created the 30-30-30 Rule as a constant reminder for our tradespeople to check their surroundings and ensure that their work environment is safe.
- 30 Minutes – Stop every 30 minutes
- 30 Seconds – Take 30 seconds to look around
- 30 Feet – Look 30 feet around where you are to identify and fix any safety hazards
Your environment could change drastically in less than 30 minutes with how many tradespeople are involved on a site. It’s important to check your surroundings frequently to not only keep yourself safe but those working around you too.
Safety begins with you. These suggestions or practices don’t make any sense if you don’t implement them or enforce them.
Making safety your number one priority will also show others that you are concerned about your safety as well as the safety of others. It only takes one person to make an environment safer or more dangerous.
The acronym S-A-F-E-T-Y will help you recognize safety and work safely every day.
What other safety suggestions would you add to our list? Let us know in the comments.