On site health and safety tips for beginners

  • 8 May 2017

If it’s your first time managing or working on site, there’s a lot to get to grips with. Safety culture is a huge factor for those working in dangerous industries, and everyone should be on board with the values and attitudes around the issue.

If you’re a bit of a beginner, here are some tips to ensure that those early days run smoothly:

Take on the training

You will be inducted into training on safe practices around the workplace, and it’s vitally important that you engage with these sessions to ensure you are protected at all times. Whether it’s training about how to correctly navigate the site to avoid collisions with working vehicles, or what to do in the event of a fire, you need to know this training to ensure that you and your colleagues are safe.

Know what’s needed on site

Site safety is adhered to in a number of ways, and the equipment you need to work safely all depends on your situation – from the time of day, to the time of year. For example, lighting is imperative for late night work, so ensure you are using tripods with mounted spotlights in the dark. If you deal with asbestos, refuse bags featuring the correct hazardous warning labels must be used. If this type of site safety equipment isn’t in place, be bold enough to ask questions and ensure you are provided with the right protective tools and PPE.

Wear the right PPE

PPE must be worn at all times when carrying out work on site; hard helmets are there to protect you from falling debris and equipment while hi-vis clothing is essential to ensure you are seen at all times by your colleagues and the general public if you are working near roadsides or in public areas. Wear the right PPE for the conditions – in the summer months you may not need a full hi-vis jumpsuit and therefore can wear a hi-vis vest and trousers – just ensure the PPE protocol for your site is still being adhered to.

Communicate clearly

Ensure those you are working with know exactly what you are working on, as well as details of the equipment you are using. Some equipment can be particularly dangerous and may require working collaboratively with others. Therefore, you need to make everyone around you aware of what you’re doing, and you should be listening to what your colleagues are saying as attentively as you hope they’re listening to you.

Don’t use equipment unless you’ve had training

It’s very important you do not operate machinery you have not been fully trained to use. For the most part, general site equipment doesn’t require you to have a qualification to use it – not even chainsaws or compact excavators. However, the correct training is necessary to ensure you are capable of managing risks and avoiding harm to yourself and others.

If you’re just starting out on site, pay regard to these tips, but also make yourself aware of the rules and best-practices your company has in place. Question everything you are unsure of and attempt to adopt the safest practice at all times – it could save your life.

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