There are some very basic safety precautions that need to be undertaken regardless of the type of work environment that exists.
Personal Safety Equipment
- Hard hats to provide protection from falling objects and from moving objects at ground level.
- Safety goggles to safeguard the eyes from dust or other debris, which can cause permanent eye damage. If performing welding then additional protection needs to be used to prevent internal eye damage.
- Work gloves, to protect the hands from cuts, crush injuries, chemicals, and electricity. Obviously the type of gloves used should be related to the type of work being carried out. For example, for chemical related work the gloves should be made of thick plastic and be resistant to the chemical being used.
- Steel toed safety boots or shoes, to protect the toes and feet from crush injuries or from sharp objects on the ground. If performing electrical work the type of boots worn should also provide relative protection.
- Brightly colored vests to increase visibility from machine operators and from other workers.
- Hearing protection to protect from loud noises, which can cause immediate damage and hearing loss, or from constant noise, which can lead to tone deafness.
- Breathing barriers to protect from lung damage from dust, fumes, or chemicals. There are different types of breathing barriers, and the ones used need to offer adequate protection from the type of work being carried out. For example, a thin plastic mask over the mouth and nose will not provide adequate protection from gases.
General Safety Equipment
- A first aid kit: well stocked, and checked regularly to replace used up supplies. The kit should be clearly visible and should never be locked up. Everyone should know where it is.
- A first aid manual as a reference.
- A fire extinguisher: there are different types based on the material it will be used on, make sure this is investigated first. There should be at least one extinguisher for every work area or for every room. It needs to be clearly visible and everyone should be shown how to use it. The extinguisher also needs to be checked monthly to make sure the charge is in the correct position, and replaced if there is a problem or if it is used.
- A landline phone available only for emergency calls.
- An information sheet by the phone with instructions on how to get help, including directions to the location of the site.
- An eye was station.
- A body wash station if working with chemicals.
- MSDS: Material Safety Data Sheet for information on all chemicals on the site, even things like paint thinner should have an MSDS.
- All sources of electricity must be disconnected at the source. Only certified electricians should be working with electricity.
- If there is risk of falling objects steps must be taken to prevent this.
- At least 1 of every 4 workers, with a minimum of 2 workers, should be trained in first aid and CPR.
- Outdoor work should be discontinued during an electrical/lightning, or heavy rain, which increases the risk of slipping and falling storm.
- If a worker has a medical condition this should be made known to at least 2 other workers. If medication is taken the other 2 workers should know where it is kept and what it's for.