Employers and workers may greatly reduce the chance of injuries on a Louisiana construction site by following safety protocols and using proper equipment. Adequate Personal Protective Equipment is essential for every person who works on a construction site. There are several types of PPE designed to protect an individual from injuries. Some kinds of PPE provide general protection in a construction environment while other types help maintain safety in specific situations.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that construction jobs have high rates of fatal injuries compared to other industries. In 2017, the fatal injury rate for the construction industry was 9.5 per 100,000 workers. Nearly half of all worker fatalities in that year came from transportation, construction and extraction occupations. The most common fatal events were transportation accidents and falls. Other occupational fatalities came from contact with harmful substances and accidents involving equipment.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides employers and workers with helpful information on PPE for construction sites. In general, an individual has five different areas that need protection: ears, hands, feet, head and eyes. Some essential protective gear includes safety glasses, gloves, hard hats and earplugs.
Specific tasks may require additional equipment. For example, safety glasses may not provide enough protection for a welder; a face shield may be a better choice of PPE for welding. Employees working with electrical systems may need to wear insulated gloves that protect against shocks. Many construction sites have patches of dangerous ground or flooring. Most protective boots have crush-proof toes and soles that resist punctures. OSHA states that it is essential to check all PPE regularly for deterioration and replace items when they develop cracks or cease fitting properly.