WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2022
Contractors must account for many risks and hazards during the course of daily operations. Given the various dangers that may be inherently present on construction sites, as well as the fast pace of these work environments, taking appropriate steps to protect your employees is critical.
If an employee is injured on the job, it can have major ramifications for their health and wellness, and your business may be held financially responsible. Furthermore, these incidents can lead to costly project delays that could result in you not being able to fulfill contractual obligations.
With all of this in mind, implementing and maintaining various precautions and safety measures, such as proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), is crucial.
What Is PPE?
As your employees go about their duties, your business must ensure that they are provided with adequate PPE. The right gear can make all the difference when it comes to preventing injuries, limiting their severity and even saving lives.
PPE comes in many forms and can be diverse in the specific hazards it addresses. When assessing and addressing equipment needs, you must be diligent in considering the following:
- Head protection—Proper PPE for employees’ heads can protect them from sharp objects, head impacts, falling or flying objects and even electrical shocks and burns.
- Eye and face protection—Safety glasses, goggles and masks provide critical protection for employees’ eyes and faces. Adequate protective gear must also be made available to employees who wear glasses.
- Hearing protection—In a construction environment, loud noises and audible hazards can cause permanent hearing issues. Adequate PPE may include earplugs, earmuffs and canal caps.
- Respiratory protection—Worksites may include many respiratory hazards, such as dust, fumes, vapors and chemicals. Developing and implementing a respiratory protection program can provide employees with the proper respirators to protect their lungs.
- Foot protection—It’s imperative that employees use protective footwear when working in areas where there are hazards that could cause foot injuries. This may include steel-toe boots, safety-toe boots, steel-capped boots and safety shoes, which can provide protection from falling objects and puncture wounds. Certain footgear may also be necessary to ensure reliable footing in wet or inclement conditions.
- Fall protection—Personal fall arrest systems are critical for employees working at height. Personal fall arrest systems must not be used for other purposes, as such uses can have a negative impact on the reliability of equipment.
In addition to providing employees with adequate PPE, you must also ensure that workers are thoroughly trained on how to wear and use each piece. Employees should inspect their PPE prior to each use. Furthermore, your business must hold employees accountable and make sure they are adhering to PPE guidelines and requirements at all times. Lastly, you must also ensure adequate maintenance and storage of PPE in order to maximize its effectiveness and lifespan.
Protect Your Employees and Future
The operations of contractors may include high levels of risk. Proper utilization of PPE can go a long way in curbing hazards and protecting employees; however, even the safest and most responsible companies may not be able to prevent all incidents. With that in mind, it’s also necessary for your business to prioritize a robust insurance portfolio. By having adequate coverage, you may be able to access crucial financial assistance in the aftermath of an accident or error. Conversely, without the right insurance, your business may face devastating out-of-pocket costs.
We’re here to help. The agents at RCU Insurance Services are dedicated to helping employers assess and manage their various risks and exposures while carefully crafting optimal coverage. Contact us today to get started.
This blog is intended for informational and educational use only. It is not exhaustive and should not be construed as legal advice. Please contact your insurance professional for further information.
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