When was the last time you evaluated the safety measures in your own work environment? With up to 4.7 million days lost in the UK every year due to workplace injuries, it’s worth ensuring you’re protected no matter what industry you work in.
As a tradesman, one of the best places to start is by choosing the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) for your job and deciding how to communicate safety measures with others. Here are a few things to consider when you do:
1. What hazards do you face?
It’s important to carry out a risk assessment for every task you perform. To anticipate the potential hazards and risks that each job entails, you can ensure proper safety measures are taken by equipping yourself with the correct safety gear and accessories. For example, if you’re working in extremely low or high temperatures, think about how long you’ll be exposed to them.
Consider how long you're on your feet, what kind of shoes would be safest and most comfortable, and what kind of gloves can best protect your hands, for instance, when choosing your accessories.
2. Who faces these threats besides you?
This includes everyone working on the job with you. Take into account the physical abilities, health and age of the people you work with when determining what kind of task they’ll be performing, and for how long.
For example, someone dealing with asthma will need to take special precautions if they are working around dust. Comfortable workwear specific to a job will actually help employees feel safer and therefore, more productive.
3. Introduce a safe working policy
Before you start a job and during your initial risk assessment, draw up a safe working policy that specifies how everyone should work, how the tools need to be treated and how the work should be approached.
Having a written record of these rules and regulations that everyone can access is a great way to set a standard and ensure each person knows how to proceed. Some things you should think about and include are:
- What the security requirements are when leaving tools on site overnight.
- An inventory of tools and equipment.
- Protective clothing requirements that each person needs to adhere to.
- Common signals and gestures used to communicate on the job.
Show your commitment to work safety by evaluating your protective clothing and employee regulations each time you start a new job – good luck and keep safe!