9 Health and Safety Tips for Construction Workers
Construction workers are on the front line of all kinds of hazards. Pipes, bolts, and other potential hazards can harm their health and safety. These individuals need safety tips that they can rely on during a project. Let’s take a look at some of the most important things you should do to keep your body healthy and safe while working as a construction worker.
1) Wear Protective Gear
Construction workers are often required to use power tools. These tools can cause serious injury if proper safety precautions are not taken. You should wear safety gear such as safety glasses and hearing protection when using any power tools at work.
If you have to operate heavy machinery like a backhoe or bulldozer, wearing a hard hat or a reflective work vest visible from all directions so that you can be seen from afar by motorists is necessary since lack of visibility and protective gear is the most common cause for heavy machinery-related accidents. Follow the same safety tips when working with any other tools, including hand equipment, grills, and shovels, and never skip out on wearing the appropriate type of protective clothing for your occupation.
2) Get Regular Checkups
To maintain your health, you must stay up to date on your body’s needs, so keep on top of all your scheduled check-ups. There are specific health problems that construction workers are prone to. Muscular issues are one of them, with prolonged strain leading to muscular damage. Bone and joint pains are common occurrences for jobs requiring physical effort. But organ issues can also be a common struggle. Since construction workers are often exposed to various chemicals and materials, one of the most dangerous and common being asbestos, which is used in building materials, the risk of chemical damage is considerably higher in workers compared to the average person. Asbestos exposure can cause issues to appear even decades after the first exposure. A side effect of asbestos exposure is mesothelioma, a deadly lung cancer. It’s usually a warning sign to see mesothelioma symptoms appear after asbestos exposure, so keep an eye out for them and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
3) Wear Weather-Resistant Boots
As construction workers often have to walk on unstable and dangerous ground, try investing in some quality leather boots of the right size and thickness required for your routine to keep from penetration, sprains, and sliding. Other critical protective items include socks, long pants with a sturdy zipper, work gloves, work boots, and safety glasses.
4) Stay Hydrated
The human body needs water to survive. When working on a construction site that involves heavy physical labor, you need to drink plenty of fluids daily. Stay hydrated throughout the day to continue working without any health concerns. Reduce salt in your diet per your intake because too much can harm your health and your ability to perform at work.
5) Eat Well
You need a lot of energy to work several hours on a construction site. Avoid eating spicy foods and other items that can cause you gastrointestinal problems. Instead, eat a balanced diet that contains plenty of carbohydrates. Food courts at large construction sites often have all kinds of fast food options for construction workers. However, you’ll need to make healthier choices to avoid health issues in the long run.
6) Avoid Substance Abuse
Avoid drinking alcohol during the day or night because it can temporarily diminish your coordination and focus, which can lead to workplace accidents or transportation in the evening after the project is done. But if you drink a few beers during your lunch break, ensure you have a designated driver who can bring you back home safely in the evening. Do not work sick or when you’re delirious from alcohol. There are provisions for sick days for construction workers. If you don’t feel well, don’t go to work. Whether it’s drugs or alcohol, do not use any of these substances if you want to protect yourself from accidents at the job site.
7) Work on Your Mental Health
Construction workers are often under a lot of stress on and off the job site. You will have to face many challenging situations, some of which can be very stressful. Stress can lead to many health concerns such as anxiety, depression, and ulcers. You should read up on coping with stress at work or in the workplace. Reading will help you relax and ensure you’re prepared for any challenges during your work. If you feel mentally unfit, please seek help and support. Mental Health support within the construction industry requires attention from the masses, so you are not alone.
8) Practice Hand Hygiene
You are probably aware that construction workers must wash their hands often with soap and water. But did you know that if you don’t wash your hands well enough, you could have problems like infected splinters and blisters? Also, keep your nails well-trimmed to keep from the possibility of cuts. If you get any, use soap and warm water to ensure that all pathogens are killed off. Alcohol-based hand gels can also help you clean your hands.
9) Learn Stress Management
You can do several things to help balance out the stress in your life at work. First, you should find a job that you enjoy doing and one that is challenging for you to do. Then, when you are in the middle of a challenging project, find ways to relax and relieve your stress from daily life at home. You can also take the time to prepare yourself for a stressful project mentally. If you can’t do this, it’s better to seek support or work on a project that isn’t as risky for your health and safety.
Construction workers are often exposed to hazardous work environments. This can include anything from working with sharp tools and equipment, chemicals, dust, fumes, heat and cold temperatures, and sound. But by following the tips mentioned above, you can take care of your health without compromising productivity and a good work-life balance.