Keeping Your Workers Safe: How to Manage Chemical Hazards in the Workplace

Risk management is a top priority for any business that handles hazardous chemicals and substances. Unfortunately, it’s also a complex process that requires a deep understanding of safety protocols, regulations, and the inherent dangers of these materials.

Complete a Chemical Risk Assessment

The first step in managing chemical hazards is to conduct a chemical risk assessment. A risk assessment aims to identify the types of chemical hazards at the workplace, identify the safety effects wrought by their exposure, measure the extent of exposure, and assign hazard characterization. Safety Data Sheets (SDS) provide all the necessary information for a complete chemical risk assessment.

Hierarchy of Controls

Once you have completed a chemical risk assessment, the next step is to use the hierarchy of controls. The hierarchy of controls protects workers from chemicals and toxic substances that stresses physical removal of hazards wherever feasible.

Engineering controls sit at the top of the hierarchy and include such measures as installing correct general ventilation and local exhaust ventilation, automating processes to remove operator exposure, enclosure processes to reduce the area of exposure, eliminating sources of ignition from the site, and building a chemical storage system based on inventory storage requirements.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal protective equipment is the final line of defense in protecting workers who cannot avoid hazardous chemical exposures. It offers front-line protection to workers when used correctly and when workers are trained to use them to handle the chemical. PPE includes overalls and aprons, gloves, chemical-resistant glasses, respiratory protection, and properly-fitted respirators. The PPE must be appropriate for the chemical hazard, and the SDS should include the minimum PPE required for safe handling. Ensure the inspection of all PPE before and after use, and in the event of an incident, remember to treat or replace PPE as needed.

Elimination vs. Substitution

Eliminating hazardous chemicals that aren’t necessary at the workplace is the most effective way to manage chemical hazards. However, elimination is only sometimes simple, so substitution can be considered. Substitution replaces a hazardous material with another less hazardous one. However, it’s crucial to ensure you don’t swap one high-risk hazard for another with lesser-known effects. Implement a change by running a Change Risk Assessment template to understand the potential impact of swapping hazardous chemicals or toxic substances.

Administrative Controls

Administrative controls are supplementary measures that mitigate the impact of chemical hazards in case all other controls fail.

Some examples include creating a written chemical safety program that includes handling procedures, training requirements, etc., reducing chemical inventory to store only the quantities needed, ensuring quick disposal of spent hazardous chemicals, marketing and labeling all containers with chemical names, manufacturer’s name and contact info, and potential hazards associated, exceeding the minimum OSHA chemical training requirements and reducing the number of employees on-site to be exposed to chemicals.

Safety Protocols to Prevent Risk

Proper management of chemical hazards is crucial in ensuring workplace safety. You can achieve this by completing a chemical risk assessment, using the hierarchy of controls to manage chemicals and toxic substances, using personal protective equipment as the final line of defense, eliminating or substituting hazardous chemicals, and implementing administrative controls as supplementary measures.

Failure to manage chemical hazards poses a significant risk to workers, visitors, and the local community. If you need assistance setting-up appropriate workplace safety protocols, contact Construction Safety Experts today at (919) 463-0669, and we’ll help you design a safer working environment.

How Can a Safety Expert Witness Help You Create a Protective System for Trench Safety?

On any construction site, the risk of injury is higher than in most other industries. Trenching and excavation have various safety and environmental hazards, including sudden collapse. Those incidents can result in catastrophic injuries.

Dangers of Trenches Without a Safety Expert Witness

One cubic yard of soil weighs about the same as a vehicle. Crush injuries and asphyxiation can happen quickly if the sides of a trench cave in. However, trench accidents are preventable. Accidents can completely alter a person’s life or result in the loss of life and damage your overall company. Frequent worker injuries can affect workplace morale and cause other workers to question the safety of your business.

Safety Systems Required

OSHA does set standards for excavation, warning companies to err on the side of caution. You should always have a competent person, like a safety expert witness, to determine your need for cave-in protection.

When working underground, you should always:

  • Contact the underground notification center
  • Identify if the excavation is less than five feet deep
  • Mark utilities before construction
  • Identify if the trench is in stable rock

If you have an excavation more than 20 feet deep, you need to have a protective system designed by an engineer.

Protective System Factors

Your protective system will depend on various factors. First, you’ll have to take soil classification into account. Soil can be classified into four basic types:

  • Stable rock
  • Type A: Clay, silty clay, clay lam, sandy clay
  • Type B: silt, silt loam, crushed rock, sandy loam
  • Type C: granular spoil, submerged rock, submerged soil

Stable rock is a solid material that you can excavate with intact vertical sides. In contrast, Type C soils are unstable and may be in a sloped, layered system where the layers will dip into the excavation.

To classify the soil, you must use at least one visual and one manual analysis.

Types of Protective Systems

There are four different protective systems that a safety expert witness may suggest you use. Those systems include:

  • Sloping: Sloping requires you to cut back the trench wall at an angle inclined away from the excavation. Flat angles offer the most protection, but the angle required also depends on your soil classification and the amount of water in the soil.
  • Shoring: Shoring requires installing aluminum hydraulic or other supports to prevent the excavation from caving in. The horizontal supports are called walers, while vertical supports are uprights. You may also have to use a shoring system to support adjacent structures.
  • Shielding: Shield systems are trench boxes and other supports that shield workers if a cave-in occurs. Trench shields have sidewalls held apart by steel or aluminum spreaders.
  • Benching: Benching is a lot like sloping. You remove the material from the excavation and dig the sides to form horizontal levels and steps. Benching systems are not suitable for type C soil.

No matter the soil type, you must have a system to stabilize deep trenches.

Use a Safety Expert Witness To Avoid Accidents

Tragedy can strike when your company lacks adequate safety systems to protect workers in and around trenches. Established in 1996, Construction Safety Experts has offered safety training to nuclear, oil & gas, pharmaceutical, chemical, steel and the commercial construction industry. Contact us today or call us at (919) 463-0669 for an evaluation by a safety expert witness!

For the Record: OSHA-Required Injury Logs and Reports

Ensuring a safe workplace is both a practical necessity and a legal responsibility. Although you may not consider paperwork a central part of your safety plan, following OSHA’s guidelines for recording incidents is not optional. Staying on top of your OSHA record keeping obligations is usually straightforward. More importantly, it’s good for both your employees and your business.

OSHA Records and Reports Required for Your Business

Assuming your company is not too small or in a special low-risk category, you must complete and maintain records of three OSHA forms when a worker is injured.

  •   OSHA Form 300. This form names, describes and classifies each workplace injury or illness using standard OSHA criteria and classifications. Required information includes the identity and job of the injured worker, the location and time of the incident and a broad categorization of the injury. The Form 300 incident log provides a top-level survey of your site’s safety performance for the year.
  •   OSHA Form 301. The Form 301 Incident Report must always be completed when a worker suffers an illness or injury that you have added to your Form 300 injury log. OSHA Form 301 collects many of the same basic facts about the injury or illness that has occurred, but also includes further details about the incident’s causes and effects. For example, the Incident Report allows you to record any medical treatment the worker received in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
  •   OSHA Form 300A. This form is the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. You complete a Form 300A report every year, based on the records in your Form 300 log. Form 300A sums up all of the recordable events your workers experienced during the year, with final totals for each significant injury type. Form 300A also collects the annual total of injury-related effects, such as missed work or job duty changes. Your Form 300A summary report must be posted publicly at your workplace and should be submitted via the OSHA Injury Tracking Application if you have at least 20 employees.

What Workplace Events Should Be Reported?

All illnesses and injuries are not equal, and only certain types of injuries belong in the Form 300 log. A minor cut or scrape that only needs an adhesive bandage from your first aid kit is not a recordable event. Conversely, a laceration that requires stitches must be recorded. The usual test is whether the injury or illness requires treatment by a physician or whether it causes lost time from work. Obviously, injuries that result in hospitalization or death must be recorded. In fact, fatalities that follow a workplace accident must be reported to OSHA within 8 hours of the worker’s death. Hospitalizations must be reported within 24 hours.

Proper OSHA record keeping not only protects your company from penalties, but it also provides you with priceless data for building and improving your workplace safety protocols. With a few simple forms, you can meet your regulatory requirements as well as your responsibility to maximize safety for your employees. For more details on safety procedures and OSHA requirements, contact Construction Safety Experts at (919) 463-0669 today.

Confined Space Safety Programs

Job safety is important and there is always some element of danger for working people. Some occupations are especially hazardous because of the nature of the job, tools and materials used, or the environment.

Working in confined spaces is among the most potentially dangerous of jobs. There are many construction jobs that involve working below ground, under buildings, or in other tight spaces. Workers face dangers due to a hazardous atmosphere, engulfment, or entrapment.

Every employer in these types of occupations must have a thorough confined space safety program in place. It reduces the risk of injuries to employees and also allows for rapid rescue and treatment of injuries should an accident occur.

Training and Planning

The best way to avoid accidents is to anticipate and prepare for them. All managers, supervisors, and employees should take a training course approved by OSHA and MSHA that teaches proper safety procedures as well as rescue techniques, and how to use equipment properly.

Having regular drills and inspecting safety and rescue equipment, including manuals, is vital to keep everyone on a job site prepared to deal with any dangerous situation in a proper and safe manner.


Safety procedures must be written down and accessible to everyone who works in or near the confined space. These documents must be thorough and include all necessary information.

  •   A complete glossary explaining all terms relate to working in confined spaces, safety and rescue procedures
  •   A description of the overall safety policy
  •   An inventory of all confined spaces, their locations on the job site, physical descriptions, and the work performed in them
  •   A flow chart of decisions made in confined space emergencies
  •   The unique hazards and potential dangers of each confined space
  •   The training and experience requirements of each job including supervisors, managers, and safety personnel
  •   List of safety and rescue equipment, how to use it, and where it is stored
  •   Procedures for atmospheric testing and respiratory protection

The documentation should also include forms for incident reporting, record keeping, debriefings, and work reviews. Documentation must be updated and revised as needed. This will help improve the program and reduce the likelihood of future incidents. Periodic testing of air quality in spaces that may contain airborne contaminants is also a must. The time to find the danger is before anyone is in it.

Safety First

Given the incredible risk of injury and death in a confined workspace, the safety and rescue programs, training, and documentation must all be in place well before any work is done in the space. Experts in hygiene, engineers, equipment manufacturers, and the employees who work in these types of spaces, should all be consulted and their suggestions listened to and considered for implementation.  You can never go too far when it comes to confined space safety programs.

One of the most dangerous kinds of work environment is a confined space. Accidents that can lead to serious injury or death are very real threats. Contact Construction Safety Experts at (919) 463-0669 for expert help in putting together a confined space safety program that will allow all employees and managers to do their work safely.

Electrical Safety Brief: Comprehensive Arc Flash Protection From Head to Toe

Electrical hazards on work sites present real dangers to people. There are complex rules and regulations in place to ensure that people who work in construction and related fields have the information and protective gear they need to stay safe. Not everyone has time to become an expert in electrical safety, so here is a brief guide on comprehensive arc flash protection from head to toe.

Understanding Arc Flash Dangers

The first part of building electricity safety knowledge around arc flashes is understanding the dangers of these electrical events. An arc flash happens when an electrical current escapes into the air, or jumps, and either passes into the ground or back into another existing current. Some industries, such as welding, use controlled arc flashes. Some of the most common causes of arc flashes are:

  •   Human error
  •   Equipment failure
  •   Environmental factors
  •   Damaged equipment
  •   Dropping a conductive tool
  •   Using uninsulated tools

Arc flashes release an explosive amount of heat and energy in just microseconds, which is what makes them so dangerous, and they occur in both high and low-voltage situations. Arc flashes can cause serious injury and even death. The best way to deal with arc flashes is to prevent them and provide thorough training to workers. It’s also crucial that everyone working around electrical systems wears appropriate protective equipment.

Suiting Up With the Right PPE

Choosing the right personal protective equipment for the situation can mean the difference between serious injury and safety. Different electrical systems and setups require different levels of protection. Most projects need to begin with an arc flash analysis to determine how much Arc Thermal Protective Value the PPE needs to be rated for as well as what the Energy Break-Open Threshold needs to be. When these factors are clear, then it’s time to stock up on the following protective equipment:

  •   Hard hats
  •   Arc flash hoods
  •   Arc flash face shields
  •   Rubber insulating gloves
  •   Arc flash coveralls
  •   Insulated footwear

Workers need all of these individual pieces of equipment to stay safe when working with and around electricity. People can also choose to purchase an equipment set that includes a hood, coat, and overalls. Sets are usually rated fairly high in terms of electrical protection. In other instances, workers might also need unique items for their industry or for the situation, including things such as hair and beard nets and fall protection.

Saving Lives With Proper Preparation

Since human error plays a major role in most arc flash incidents, project leaders can save lives by making sure their crew members are properly trained in electrical safety. OSHA sets minimum training requirements so that anyone working around or with an electrical system will understand the safety procedures and practices needed for that specific job. Project management should enforce all rules and regulations regarding training and safety equipment on the job, but it’s also every individual’s responsibility to recognize electrical hazards and bring attention to dangerous working conditions.

Ensure the safety and security of your job sites with Construction Safety Experts! Electrical safety is paramount and can save lives while creating a more comfortable work environment for your employees. Take advantage of our comprehensive one-day electrical safety training course to get all your staff on the same page. Don’t wait, call us today at (919) 463-0669 for a consultation quote and take the first step towards a safer workplace!

Safety Sign Errors and Violations to Avoid

Correctly displayed safety signs are a necessary element for any workplace. They should be obvious and send a clear message informing everyone of potential hazards in the area. There are right and wrong ways to display messages, so knowing the proper methods will keep your employees safe and your business compliant with OSHA standards.

Post Signs Only When Necessary

Only post current warnings to raise awareness of potential hazards. Remove any signs of past notifications or safety recommendations not relevant to the current conditions, as it can lead to a worker overlooking the pertinent information. By doing this, the existing signage will reinforce appropriate hazard warnings and avoid potential unintended safety issues.

Select Proper Colors

The color of the signs for placement in the workplace is essential to ensure compliance with the law. Here are some fundamental rules to follow:

  • Caution signs that denote less hazardous situations should always have a yellow background with a black upper panel that reads CAUTION. The sign should indicate the type of hazard or condition with a graphic that is easy to understand.
  • Warning signs should indicate moderate risks that can lead to severe injuries or death associated with equipment, roadwork or sharp objects. The signs must have an orange background with the word WARNING on the top panel.
  • Biological hazard signage requires red-orange or fluorescent orange coloring with contrasting text to display its message.
  • Danger signs indicate difficult situations resulting in immediate bodily injury or death. The signs must combine red, white and black with the word DANGER at the top.

Using non-emergency colors for signs that address general information is recommended. For instance, policy and procedure signs are typically in blue or green.

Place Signs in the Correct Location

The visibility of safety signs ensures that all workers have reasonable access to their messages. The signs should be in reasonable proximity to allow the worker time to avoid the hazard. The signal word (Warning, Caution, Danger, etc.) should be at least five feet from the reader and in a prominent location. Other placement considerations are as follows:

  •   Ensure the sign is at eye level and, if necessary, include an arrow pointing to the elevation of the hazard.
  •   If posting the sign on a gate, place it on the side of the latch, a customary place for most people to look.
  •   Place the sign in a well-lit area. If it is not possible, include lighting to make it more visible.
  •   Keep the signage away from obstructions or obstacles that limit its visibility or its ability to indicate the hazard.

Choose the Proper Design

Before purchasing a safety sign, check the requirements to ensure the sign complies with the law. There is a general set of standards defined by OSHA.

Send the Right Message

Clear and concise messaging on warning and safety signs is crucial for employees to immediately recognize potential dangers and avoid accidents. At Construction Safety Experts, we prioritize worker safety and offer a range of safety training and risk management services to help businesses create a safe workplace. To learn more about our services, call us at (919) 463-0669 today.

Welding Hazards and Welding Safety—An Overview

Welding requires a considerable degree of skill and professional know-how. In addition to being challenging and complex, this work can also be hazardous. Recognizing the most formidable dangers involved in welding and taking proactive precautions can help people carry out welding tasks safely. Here are some key occupational hazards to be aware of and targeted steps to address them.


Using equipment that operates at extremely high temperatures presents serious concerns about fire safety. Moreover, liquified gasses that fuel welding processes are highly combustible. If not used properly, equipment may ignite fires that could injure workers or damage property.

It is important that welders familiarize themselves with the correct way to use a specific piece of equipment. It is advisable to read operating manuals and determine the correct way to adjust settings before beginning to use equipment. Maintaining equipment in good condition and inspecting it before use can also mitigate the risk of malfunctions.

Avoid putting any flammable items in an area where workers are welding. Keep extinguishers in close proximity so workers will be able to quickly contain any fires that should occur.

Acute Burns

Welders must exercise the utmost caution when they wield a high-intensity flame. A minor accident misdirecting the arc of an electrode could result in a severe burn. Furthermore, coming into contact with molten metals such as cadmium or chromium could cause serious injury.

Essential Personal Protective Equipment is a vital safeguard to mitigate occupational risks in welding. Workers must wear gloves that are sufficiently rated for welding. It is a good practice to wear additional PPE such as flame and heat-resistant clothing. Eyewear and facewear can also provide practical protection against severe burns.

Electrical Shock

In certain types of welding that utilize a concentrated electrical charge to break down metallic materials, workers could sustain electrical shocks and accompanying burns in a number of ways. The current running through equipment’s arc may inflict an acute shock. Touching an electrode and the material being welded simultaneously will create an electrical current. The presence of damp materials or excessive humidity in the air can heighten the risk of shock when powering on and handling equipment.

Insulated PPE reduces the risk of shock by serving as a barrier that cannot conduct an electrical current. In addition, safety training and signage makes workers conscientious about electrical hazards in welding.

Respiratory Injuries

The use of noxious chemicals and the process of liquifying metals exposes welders to respiratory irritants. Wearing a mask dramatically reduces the risk of inhalation-related injuries in welding.

Areas where welding is taking place should be well-ventilated to prevent asphyxiation. If it is necessary to perform work in a confined space, it may be necessary to use higher-rated face coverings or a respirator and limit the length of time that workers operate equipment by staggering the scope of work into separate phases.

For assistance ensuring safe working conditions on your company’s projects, contact Construction Safety Experts at (919) 463-0669. We can help with training initiatives, safety policies, and compliance management. Our team of experts can also provide onsite evaluations, inspections, and supervision.

How To Keep New Construction Workers Safe

The construction industry is growing rapidly. Because of worker shortages, you need to retain the workers you do hire. Nevertheless, new employees in construction are three times more likely to suffer an injury that causes them to lose work than their co-workers who have been working a year or more. The tone for the entire employment relationship is set during the first 90 days, which is why integrating new recruits into your safety culture is so important.

What Do Construction Injuries Cost You?

According to Safety and Health Magazine, a medically consulted work-related injury costs about $32,000. This includes administrative expenses and medical expenses, as well as the costs to you, the employer, from losing an able-bodied worker. To offset the cost of each injury, your other employees each have to produce an additional $1,000 in goods or services.

Injuries to your workers also cost you in other ways. Frequent worksite injuries can affect morale among remaining employees. Workers who feel that they are not safe in their current position may start looking for work elsewhere. If you cannot retain employees, you have to keep hiring replacements, absorbing the costs of onboarding every time.

What Can You Do To Keep New Workers Safe?

New hires in construction are more vulnerable to injury due to a lack of experience and training. Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep them safe, especially during the critical initial 90-day period.

1. Set Reasonable Expectations

Safety onboarding should begin at the start of the application process. Provide job descriptions that are detailed and realistic about the physical demands the job requires. During the interview, ask specific questions of applicants about how they understood and participated in workplace safety in prior roles.

2. Provide Comprehensive Training

The training that you provide to new hires should follow a well-organized and detailed curriculum. It is not enough to explain what the safety rules are and why they are important. Employees who understand the rationale behind safety procedures are more likely to follow them.

3. Use Mentorship

Team up new recruits with more experienced employees who serve as mentors. The job of the mentors is to show the new recruits how to do the work while observing safety rules and to provide feedback when the mentees do well or when they violate safety protocols. A mentor may also be able to intervene and prevent an injury when a mentee makes a mistake.

4. Start Small

Look for lower-risk jobs that you can assign to new recruits during the initial 90 days. As they learn the safety protocols, they can gradually start to take on higher-risk assignments. It may help to create a tiered system of organizing jobs so that a new hire that reaches a certain benchmark in a low-risk position can move on to one with moderate risk.

5. Provide Positive Reinforcement

Research shows that workers are more likely to repeat desired behaviors if they receive praise for them. By contrast, constantly punishing unwanted behaviors can be disheartening. Look for opportunities to provide your new recruits positive reinforcement, and instruct trainers, supervisors, and mentors to do the same.

Award-Winning Construction Safety Experts

In addition to providing safety training and certifications, we also provide safety consulting. Contact us at (919) 463-0669 for more information about our services.


According to the Hearing Health Foundation, occupational hearing loss is a significant problem in the United States. Over 20,000 workplace hearing loss cases occur each year. About one-quarter, 24%, of hearing loss in the U.S. is attributed to workplace exposure. The annual cost to society is around $26 billion. OSHA requires employers to reduce the risk of damage to employees’ hearing from exposure to noise levels. Here are some key points to controlling noise levels in the workplace.

Know Your Noise Levels

OSHA requires a hearing conservation program when noise levels go over 85 decibels for 8 hours. You need to determine your workplace threshold to know what you need to do to combat that. Eighty-five decibels is considered loud. It’s the equivalent of heavy traffic or the sound of a blender. If you need to raise your voice to speak to someone about 2 feet away, that is considered hazardous noise. Many machines in the office and the workplace create that level of noise, but there are industries more prone to hazardous noise levels.  Measure the noise levels with a Noise Level Meter or use an app on your phone that measures decibels.

Train and Inform Employees

Employees need to be aware of occupational hearing loss to prevent it and protect against it. Employers may not be able to reduce the source of the noise, but there are ways to reduce noise exposure. Employees can reduce their noise exposure:

  •   Take a break from the noise and reduce time in noisy areas.
  •   Put barriers or increase distance between the source of the noise and the employee.
  •   Wear hearing protection in noisy areas. Make sure all employees know how to insert foam plugs correctly.
  •   Provide proper protection equipment that is in good working condition.

Set Up a System to Prevent Occupational Hearing Loss

Occupational hearing loss costs businesses and employees. Workers with hearing loss typically have a lower income. Hearing loss impacts safety, not only on the job but at home. Employers are responsible for medical costs when hearing loss occurs in the workplace. According to the CDC, with prevention strategies and technologies, occupational hearing loss is highly preventable.

  •   Monitor workers’ hearing levels by requiring an annual evaluation to know if their hearing is affected.
  •   Track noise levels in the workplace on a regular basis. When it’s over 85 decibels,
  •   Invest in equipment that is quieter.
  •   Limit a person’s exposure to loud areas.
  •   Follow all OSHA guidelines.
  •   Evaluate hearing protection for effectiveness.
  •   Maintain records of your efforts to control noise levels and to prevent hearing loss.
  •   Evaluate the success of your program to improve your efforts.

Protect Your Workforce

Occupational hearing loss is hardly ever reversible. It will be a permanent condition, which will have a profound impact for the rest of the employee’s life. Employers are responsible for providing a safe environment. Construction Safety Experts offers safety consulting services if you aren’t sure where to start or just want to improve your program. We can help you implement a program that reduces the risk of occupational hearing loss in your business. Give us a call at (919) 463-0669 today!

7 Topics To Address At Construction Safety Meetings

Safety meetings are essential for any construction company. By discussing the various potential hazards at job sites, you can reduce the chances of nonfatal and fatal injuries.

Of course, you do not have time during safety meetings to discuss every possible danger. You should instead focus on the most common causes of accidents and how to prevent them. Here are seven topics you should emphasize during construction safety training.

1. Fall Hazards

Falls are the most common cause of death at construction sites. During safety meetings, you should discuss ways to prevent both falls from a height and falls that do not involve a change in elevation. This is particularly important for employees who frequently work on ladders or scaffolds.

2. Trip and Slip Hazards

Slips and trips are common at construction sites, as well. While these incidents are not usually fatal, they can cause painful strains and sprains. They are particularly common in icy or poorly organized areas. Be sure to talk about ways to limit falls on all types of surfaces, including stairwells.

3. Electrocution Hazards

While electrocution fatalities in the construction industry have decreased in recent years, they can still occur. In fact, most electrocution deaths at worksites still take place at construction sites. During safety meetings, be sure your workers understand proper tagout and lockout procedures. They should also understand the dangers of contacting live electrical equipment, including exposed cords and overhead powerlines.

4. Caught-Between Hazards

Construction workers can easily get pinched, crushed or squeezed between multiple objects. Caught-between hazards include potentially fatal incidents such as being buried in a trench, to relatively minor accidents such as getting a hand caught in a machine. Even the latter ordeal can still be quite painful, so you should train your workers to identify and limit potential causes of caught-between accidents.

5. Struck-by Hazards

A struck-by injury occurs when a worker is hit by a falling object or by a moving piece of equipment or vehicle. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that struck-by incidents are the second-most common cause of death and the most common cause of nonfatal injury at construction sites.

While many people face struck-by hazards at work, the risk is particularly great for those in the construction industry. According to the NIOSH, construction workers are involved in more fatal struck-by incidents than those in other industries are. Construction workers are also twice as likely to suffer a nonfatal struck-by injury.

Workers can be hit by objects that are swinging, falling, rolling or flying toward them. Each safety meeting should discuss the hazards that fit into each of these categories. You should also instruct employees to safely secure all materials, and to only operate equipment on which they have been trained.

6. Material Handling

Heavy loads and materials can cause injuries in other ways, as well. Improperly carrying, pushing or pulling large boxes can also lead to spinal injuries. Workers should learn about proper lifting strategies and ergonomics. They also should understand that it is acceptable to ask another worker for help, or to use a dolly or cart when necessary.

7. Personal Protective Equipment

Construction workers need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) at job sites. Unfortunately, it is easy for them to forget their goggles or hard hats, especially when they are busy or in a rush. Remind them which PPE is required for certain tasks, and emphasize why this equipment is important. Workers need to understand that PPE may be their last chance to avoid injury.

Develop a Safety Culture

Holding proper safety meetings is just one part of establishing a safety culture within your construction company. The professionals at Construction Safety Experts can keep your workers safe and reduce construction hazards. Whether you need employee training, onsite safety professionals or consultations, contact Construction Safety Experts at (919) 463-0669 today.