Personal protection equipment for the construction professional
There is no dispute that working in the construction industry is hard and dangerous work; from the most basic project to more complex high rise building projects the construction professional is presented with many risks on a day to day basis. In some cases the risks are immediate and apparent whilst other aspects may be causing harm over time, an example of this may be working in dusty conditions without a mask or not using ear protection when operating extreme loud machinery. Construction work is hard and construction companies know all to well that any tool that makes it easier to get the job done will save time and money. Safety sometimes takes a backseat when compared to workplace efficiency but with the right equipment the construction professional can drastically reduce risks which in turn means less sick days and a more productive workforce; not to mention less law suits and injury leave payments.
Of course there is also the matter of law and regulations that require safety gear and signage; equipping the construction professional with the right equipment also ensures that there are no issues on this front.
For this article we will look at a few of the available types of equipment and look into how they can help you or your staff stay safe, work more efficiently and stay on the right side of the law.
Eye and face protection, safety equipment
Eye injuries in the workplace are one of the most common types of injury, even a small injury can cause undue hardship not to mention the risk of losing vision altogether. Especially exposed are workers using grinders, welding, jackhammers and any other tools or tasks that involve debris traveling at high velocity. Nowadays there are many options for eye protection including very stylish glasses such as the 500 Series by Stanley Safety Equipment:
Of course depending on the work you are doing you may require safety goggles or a full face mask, it is important to consider the type of work you are performing throughout the day and also checking the safety guidelines for your industry and specific activity; needless to say the glasses featured above would not be sufficient for some of the more intense tasks such as welding or situations where there is the possibility of chemical splashes; in such a case you will be better off with a full face mask like the one below which will protect the whole face.
Head protection (Hard Hats)
Of all the parts of the body, the boss is of course the brain. Head protection is therefore one of the most important pieces of equipment especially on sites where cranes are in use or there is the risk of anything falling onto the head. As is commonly understood many construction sites are considered hard hat areas in which it is the law to wear hard hats. As technology has improved hard hats have gotten lighter, more comfortable and able to provide more protection than ever before.
Hard Hats are also important for professionals that are at risk of falling, tree trimmers, telephone and electric repairs that require climbing up tall poles and similar activities. Protect yourself and don’t take unnecessary risks, it only takes a second to slip your hard hat on and it can save your life.
Listen up! Unless you want to be partially deaf within a few months you need to take care of those ears. You may not like wearing hearing protection but unless you like the idea of repeatedly telling people to speak a little louder and repeat what they just said; you probably should look at investing in some hearing protection if you work in a loud environment. Our favourites are featured above, loaded with an AM/FM radio they provide some entertainment while you’re working hard.
Respiratory protection (Respirators, Dust Masks)
You only have two lungs and if you work with limestone or particular chemicals you are at a high risk of causing permanent damage over repeated exposure. Sometimes you can feel the effects immediately but most times the damage is done over time, there are different types or masks and respirators depending on the type of chemical exposure and environment you work in. Of course in Malta one of the most common workplace concerns in the construction industry is the high levels of dust. If you are in doubt what the best type of mask for your environment we recommend getting in touch with a professional that can guide you, masks generally range from 90% to 99.97% filtering efficiency if worn correctly.
Visibility in the work place is extremely important and whilst often overlooked it can be something that saves your life. The construction workplace can be hectic and everybody is trying to get as much done as possible as quickly as possible. Tight deadlines are common, there are a lot of moving parts in the workplace and heavy machinery in operation, people moving large objects around and being visible is extremely important. The risks are of course amplified in low visibility environments such as working at night or for example being in an area where there is an extreme amount of dust such as is the case with areas where stone is being cut. A simple lightweight high visibility vest can ensure you are more likely to be noticed and thus warned or accounted for by your fellow work mates.
Foot protection – Safety Shoes
The above photo by Gerry Dincher captures the message in this photograph of an old sign. If you can’t walk you can’t work, there is no reason not to wear safety shoes if you work in the construction industry. Unlike David Beckham or the great Messi your feet probably aren’t insured in the millions and getting to work is how you pay your bills. Stay safe and wear those safety shoes!
Other safety equipment & First Aid kits
Of course apart from the equipment mentioned above there are a lot of other important safety equipment considerations to make such as fall protection equipment and role specific safety wear. An emergency first aid kit that is frequently restocked and always has the basic needs is also a must to ensure that if a construction professional does get injured there is an immediate solution available.
This article was made possible by A Ferriggi Importers and distributors, industry leaders importers and distributors of safety equipment as well as specialized tools and related equipment. If you have any questions or need a quote kindly find their details below. Importers of leading brands such as Stanley, Mota and other high quality respected brands.
Contact A Ferriggi Importers & Distributors
65, Fiorella, Triq Guzi Abela, Zejtun ZTN 1651
Tel: +356 21 673 719
Mob: +356 99 475 154
+356 79 050 756