Hard hats- Prevention of head injuries is important in every safety program. How does a hard hat provide protection? It can shield your head (scalp), face, neck and shoulders from a falling object, splashes, spills and drips. A rigid shell can resist blows to the head. The suspension system inside the hat acts as a shock absorber. The right hard hat can serve as an insulator against electrical shock. Some hard hats can be fitted with face shields, goggles and hoods. A survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that most who suffered head injuries were not wearing head protection. Employers have a “Duty of Care” to ensure the health and safety of employees.
Safety glasses- Why is it important to wear safety glasses? According to a survey 800,000 work related injuries to eyes occur each year. From 10% to 20% of these injuries cause temporary or permanent damage. It is believed that up to 90% of these injuries can be prevented by wearing safety glasses. Safety glasses come in many different styles, physical makeup and usage. It is important you use the safety glasses you need for the task you are performing. It is equally important to choose glasses that fit properly and are comfortable to wear.
Safety boots (preferably steel toe boots)- In construction many people question whether or not to wear safety boots. Many think safety boots can be uncomfortable and that the steel toe will not allow for good air circulation. Safety is the main reason why people wear these boots. Most construction sites will not let you enter the site much less work there unless you are wearing steel toe boots. By wearing these boots you resist the possibility of being exposed to unnecessary hazards. If something heavy was to fall on your feet, or your feet should come into contact with sharp objects, steel toe boots can help to prevent injuries. Safety boots will also protect your ankles should you step in a hole or onto an uneven surface. When it comes to choosing comfort over safety, safety should always win.
Gloves- While performing a task that has the possibility to produce injuries to any portion of the hand, protective PPE should be used. In certain circumstances, there are exceptions to this. Some tasks where gloves can be caught in a tool or machinery and can be determined to have more of a chance to injure the hands, gloves should not be used. This should be discussed with the on site safety professional prior to proceeding. For further information on gloves to protect your hands, refer to OSHA Safety Training Maunal 29 CFR part 1910.138
This is a short list of 4 simple items to have each and every day on the construction job site. Remember safety is your responsibility, come prepared!