The construction industry is dangerous and competitive, and every job site needs the right tools and equipment to keep workers safe and productive. So take a look at these top six construction site essentials.
Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment
No matter how you measure workplace safety, the construction industry is among the most dangerous. The National Safety Council studies trends in workplace injuries and fatalities. In 2021, they found that the construction industry had more deaths than other industries and ranked high in nonfatal injuries.
Personal protective clothing is gear that workers wear to stay safe. Whether workers handle chemicals or work with dangerous tools, personal protective equipment (PPE) protects them from dangers. Depending on the type of work being done, workers may need to wear the following types of safety clothing:
- Hard hats
- Hi-visibility clothing
- Coveralls or suits
- Dust masks
- Safety glasses
- Ear protection
- Face shields
Every construction site must have PPE readily available to workers and visitors.
Other Types of Safety Equipment
There are many other types of safety equipment used on construction sites. Anything that keeps workers and the job site safe is considered safety equipment.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has grouped construction accidents and injuries into four main groups. The “Fatal Four,” as they are called, includes falls, struck-by-injuries, electrocutions, and caught-in-or-between injuries. Many types of safety equipment prevent falls, the leading cause of injuries and fatalities on construction sites, and it’s essential to have these available on the job site.
Here are some of the most common types of safety equipment that you can find at construction sites:
- Safety harnesses
- First aid kits
- Guard rails on scaffolding
- Fire extinguishers
- Respirator masks
There are many other types of safety equipment. While some equipment should be on every site, like first aid kits, some are specific to certain kinds of work, like safety harnesses.
Waste Disposal Equipment
Safety starts with keeping the construction site clean and tidy. Proper waste disposal equipment makes it easier for workers to keep the job site neat, making them safer and more productive.
Equipment like waste chutes and self dumping hoppers are commonly used on construction sites. Waste chutes are easy to set up, quickly delivering waste from upper stories to ground-level dumpsters. Low-profile self-dumping hoppers can be placed under workbenches to catch debris, then rolled out and picked up with a forklift for disposal. These methods of waste disposal keep work sites clean with little effort.
Using equipment like self-dumping hoppers to store lumber and cut-offs also helps to keep the workplace organized and less messy. Anything that construction managers can do to help workers reduce messes and tripping hazards prevents injuries and save lives.
Strategically placed dumpsters make cleanup easy, which is essential because construction is messy work. In addition, machinery can be damaged by items like loose nails and wire, leading to expensive repairs and potential safety hazards.
Portable Generators and Emergency Lighting
Construction sites often need alternative sources of electricity during power outages or when electricity is unavailable at the job site. Portable generators and emergency lighting can help crews stay productive even when the power is out. They are easy to move around the job site wherever they are needed.
Mobile Office and Equipment
Construction management requires a lot of organization, and while some construction managers have paperwork strewn throughout their pickup trucks, it’s much better to set up a mobile office. A small trailer can be a hub for construction managers to run their job sites smoothly.
The mobile office is a place to store contract forms, construction plans, safety forms, and accident books. It’s also an obvious place to keep material data safety sheets, spare PPE, and fire extinguishers. As a result, construction managers are more efficient with a properly organized mobile office, which directly translates to increased productivity and profits.
Building construction requires the use of heavy equipment. Machines make light work of big jobs, and many tasks can’t be performed without equipment like forklifts, compact track loader or excavators. There are many jobs where workers are more efficient when they use heavy equipment, which reduces labor costs.
Construction site managers must know what types of heavy equipment to provide their employees to compete with other companies. Employees also need adequate training. When employees are appropriately trained in operating heavy equipment, using machinery makes their work safer.
Essentials for Construction Sites
The construction industry is highly competitive, and it’s one of the most dangerous industries in the world, so construction sites must be organized and operated with the right equipment.
Keeping workers safe costs time and money, but worth it in the long run. Safe worksites attract and retain quality employees, whereas unsafe construction sites cost employers in lost-time and higher insurance rates.
There’s more to construction than just staying safe, though. Work needs to be done, and to be successful, construction companies have to do quality work in a timely manner. So staying in business and being profitable starts with construction site essentials.