• 6 Safety Tips Before Taking on a Commercial Construction Project

    Commercial construction projects can be hazardous. Even if you have been working on construction sites your whole life and know all of the safety protocols, you are depending on others to follow the rules, and sometimes things can get overlooked. Safety on a construction site is an absolute must if you want to complete your project on time and without incident. Here are 6 safety tips that can help make your construction site a much safer place.

    Make sure your scaffolding is set properly

    Over 4,500 workers are injured falling off of scaffolds every year, so make sure your scaffold is set up on solid ground, can hold four times its own weight, is at least 10 feet away from electrical power lines, and is safely accessible via stairwells or ladders. Inspect the guardrails, midrails, toeboards, braces, and other scaffold accessories for damage and repair any weaknesses immediately.

    Use the correct ladder for the job

    Whether you are working on an interior or exterior construction project, having the right ladder for the job is essential. Be sure that the load rating can support you and that your ladder is long enough to safely reach work areas. Visually inspect the ladder for any structural damage and grease or contaminants that could cause a slip, and never set metallic ladders near power lines or electrical work.

    Keep stairways clear of debris

    According to OSHA, almost 25,000 people are injured due to falls on ladders and stairways each year. To prevent slip and fall injuries on your job site, keep stairway treads free of debris and immediately correct slippery conditions. Stairs that have four or more risers must have a handrail.

    Handle trenching with care

    Approach all trenching with caution and never enter an unprotected trench. All debris should be kept at least 2 feet away from the edge of the trench, and a protective system and safety practices like sloping, shoring, and shielding should be utilized to prevent soil movement or collapse. There should also be a safe exit – ladder, stairway, or ramp – no further than 25 feet away from employees at all times.

    Have your personal protective equipment (PPE) with you at all times

    The first line of defense between you and injury is your PPE. Always wear a hard hat in areas to protect yourself from falling debris. Gloves should fit snugly and work boots should be slip-resistant and puncture-resistant. Protective eyewear or masks should be worn when welding, cutting, grinding, nailing, or when working with electrical systems, concrete, or harmful chemicals.

    Stay well away from any machine operating areas

    This may seem like an obvious tip, but many backhoe operators will tell you that their biggest headache is people on the ground crowding the machine. Unless you are currently operating a machine, stay away from machine operating areas. When on a machine, use your horn to warn people to stay back, stop when necessary, and check behind you before backing up.

    At George Rullo and Associates, our professional construction consultants are dedicated to keeping you safe, so please give us a call for more safety tips today!

    Call 732-810-1049 for more safety tips from our experienced construction consultants!

  • The Importance of OSHA Compliance When Starting a Commercial Construction Project

    There is a lot more to undertaking a commercial construction project than simply knowing how to read blueprints and supervise skilled tradespeople. Construction can be dangerous work, involving lots of heavy equipment or specialized tools and people walking around on I-beams and scaffolding. Each stage of the project carries the risk of something going wrong, which could lead to project delays or, worst case scenario, unsafe working conditions resulting in serious injury or death.

    As a business owner or project manager, it is incumbent upon you to establish a safe and healthy working environment that puts the well-being of your team as the highest priority. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets out a number of regulations to help you do just that.

    If you want to complete your commercial construction project without any major setbacks, then take a look at these reasons why OSHA compliance is one of the best things you can do for your commercial construction project.

    Complying with OSHA’s regulations is:

    Required by the federal government

    In 1970, the federal government passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act that requires employers to keep their work environments safe for workers. It applies to all businesses that contain one or more employees with the exception of independent contractors or freelancers. Failure to comply with the safety regulations set down by OSHA can result in safety violations, expensive citations, or even cause you to lose your license. Any of these issues will drastically slow down the progress of your project, if not halt it all together, so it is definitely in your best interest to follow the rules. Some examples of potential OSHA violations may include:

    • Toxic fumes
    • Broken equipment
    • Electrical hazards
    • Unsafe practices like push starting tractors and operating circular saws with one hand

    Good business

    Skimping on safety programs to save money may seem like a good idea at first, but it will always come back to haunt you later. You will likely spend more time and money on unnecessary repairs or medical bills for your employees than if you had followed the OSHA regulations at the outset. In fact, according to OSHA’s official website, you can save $4-$6 for every $1 invested when you establish an effective and safe program at your job site. Establishing a safe working environment is not only the right thing to do, but it lowers costs, increases productivity, and raises employee morale.

    Essential for protecting your employees

    Without proper safety measures in place, it is only a matter of time before someone gets hurt. Many workplace accidents can be prevented with a comprehensive safety plan that focuses on preventing workplace hazards and training employees to follow all safety standards.

    Are you in compliance?

    Prevent the onset of willful citations by making sure you are in compliance with OSHA regulations. To find out your industry standards, simply go to the OSHA website or call on the expert commercial construction consultants at George Rullo and Associates. We are happy to help you figure out what your company needs to become OSHA compliant.

    For more information on OSHA compliance, please call 732-810-1049 today!