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Important Safety Information When Constructing a Building

Commercial construction is a diverse industry. In commercial construction, there are many moving parts with various teams all working simultaneously on different components. It takes a lot of people with individualized skills to construct a beautiful building. However, with power tools, heavy materials, dangerous machinery, and so many people working in one place, safety must be the top priority to ensure that no accidents happen while on the construction site. It is important to take into consideration the below safety information while constructing a building.

Proper Procedure Depending on Building Type

The construction of every building is unique. This also means that proper safety procedures will depend on the building type. For instance, when building steel buildings, safety elements like temporary bracing, preplanning, and fall protection become vital.

Temporary bracing procedures prevent heavy steel beams from falling on crews while pre-planning procedures ensure that everyone knows where the crane will be moving those heavy beams so no one is in the path. Fall protection is important on all structures, but steel buildings are often tall making it even more essential. Always double-check you are wearing the proper fall protection equipment and using it correctly depending on the building type.

Always consider the building type when reviewing safety procedures and wear the necessary personal protection equipment.

Frequent Communication

Communication is an essential element when it comes to building construction safety. Many accidents can be prevented with extra communication. For example, when heavy materials are moving around on-site, everyone should know about it.

Details about what every team is doing every day should be shared with all crews so everyone can do their part to ensure a safe worksite. Many times, this is done with a daily meeting with leadership. Crews should pay attention and give detailed reports of their plans every day during this meeting.

Additionally, you have probably heard the term “if you see something, say something”. This applies to safety when constructing a building, too. If you see that a required inspection has not been done on a piece of equipment, it should be reported. If you see someone not following safety procedures, that should be reported as well. You may not want to get involved, but providing that communication with leadership is what keeps everyone safe.

Location of Fire Protection System

Installation of wiring, using gas and electric powered tools and machinery, and the prevalence of flammable materials pose a fire risk at every building construction site. Always ensure that you know the location of fire protection systems. The building may have a passive fire protection system already installed. If so, you should always know the location and how it works. Additionally, crews should be up to date on where fire extinguishers and evacuation routes are located.

Documentation is Your Friend

On a safe construction site, there should be a lot of documentation. Documentation helps maintain a safe worksite by proving proper inspections, meetings, and planning were done. If you happen to complete an inspection or host a meeting, you should document everything that was done and by who so that the next person and the person after that knows. 

Documentation also aids in creating new safety procedures because you can look and see what may have caused an unfortunate accident such as a missed inspection, a meeting that never happened, and more.

Always check the documentation on the machinery, equipment, and tools that you are using to ensure that they are safe to be working with as well. If your intended equipment has not had a required inspection, bring it to the attention of leadership and do not use it until it has passed the requirements. Small details like this can impede efficiency and be annoying, but safety should always come first. Paying attention to documentation, keeping up with it, and being detailed in your documentation can prevent accidents and provide insight if any occur.

Ensure Worksite Installation Codes

Not only should you be knowledgeable on safety codes, but you should also keep up with the proper installation of the elements you are working with. For instance, if you are installing industrial radiant heating systems while constructing a building, you should review the safety and installation codes of those specific industrial radiant heating systems.

The same applies to electrical work, plumbing, finishers, crane operators, and every specialized skill at the worksite. Reviewing installation procedures and product-specific safety guides is just as necessary as having a good working knowledge of general safety procedures.

The Bottom Line

Safety must always be of the utmost importance when constructing a building. Construction crews should regularly review safety information, keep in constant communication with leadership regarding safety, and uphold any and all safety precautions no matter how small. Accidents while constructing a building can be prevented by having diligent safety procedures and implementing them effectively.

Guest Blogger: Natalie Akins is an editor for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. She is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.