Safety is paramount in the construction workplace. One can encounter many hazards when working in this kind of environment, such as falling debris, collapsing scaffolds, chemical spillage, and electric shocks. The consequence of being exposed to one of these elements can be debilitation and, worse, even death. Companies who do not follow strict implementations of requiring personnel to wear protective gear can also be held liable for a safety breach. To avoid these complications, protective equipment such as Bolle safety glasses, hard hats, and safety boots must be worn at all times. Here are some of the standards that these different types of protective equipment must have for them to fully protect a person against potential harm in the construction site:
Construction sites have the highest rate of eye injuries based on a report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. There is an average of 10,000 cases involving eye injuries in the workplace every year, thus necessitating the wearing of safety glasses.
Safety glasses worn in the construction site must comply with Australian Safety Standard AS/NZS 1337.1 so that the eyes can be wholly protected from specks of dust, flying fragments and particles, and melting metals. It should also be able to shield the eyes from aerosols, vapours, and other harmful gases.
Proper eyewear, like the Bolle safety glasses, must be made of polycarbonate. This type of lens is highly resistant to high-impact objects. It also has a natural filter that can block the eyes from 99% of UV rays.
Besides being able to shield the eyes from harmful materials, proper eyewear should also provide clear visibility. It would also be helpful if it has an anti-fog feature.
The hard hat to be used in constructed sites should meet ANSI/ISEA Z89.1-2014. A construction headgear is typically classified as Type 1 and Type II. The former simply protects the top of the head while the latter can protect the whole area even from lateral impact.
An industrial-grade hard hat should be made of thermoplastics, such as polycarbonate resin or polyethylene. Alternatively, some manufacturers also create hard hats from aluminium, resin-impregnated textile, and fibreglass, but these may be less reliable than thermoplastics.
Interestingly, construction sites use colour-coding to classify workers. General labourers often wear yellow hats; technical operators use a blue hat; road crews sport orange hats; safety inspectors show off with their green hat.
According to the 2018 Health and Safety Executive Report, 31% of the non-fatal injuries in the workplace were caused by slips. As such, aside from the general purpose of safety boots to protect the foot from sharp objects, harmful chemicals, and molten metals, it should also be slip-resistant. Additionally, it should also be able to resist electrostatic build-up and extreme temperature.
A suitable material for safety boots is leather. However, some manufacturers incorporate wool or cotton in the design since they help in thermoregulation.
The standards for safety footwear are elaborated in EN ISO 20345.
Without a doubt, getting a set for your workers is a worthy investment. Though they may cause slight discomfort, wearing personal protective equipment in the workplace can prevent injuries and save lives. International standards have been set so that its protective capacity can be fully utilised. Once you have these gears with you, you can face almost all common hazards in the workplace.
Author Bio: John Navarra is a copywriter and content strategist. She helps businesses stop playing around with content marketing and start seeing the tangible ROI. She loves writing as much as she loves the cake.