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What are safe construction practices?

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Quick Answer

Safe construction practices for workers and firms in the United States are detailed by the United States Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health Administration, or OSHA, and are constantly changing, but include sound scaffolding, fall protection, correct task ladders, free stairways, protected trenches, head protection and strong hazard communication. Hazard communication is important because construction workers need to know if there are chemicals that can cause chemical burns as well as what potential fires or respiratory problems they should expect.

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Without accurate knowledge from communication about the hazards present at the site, construction workers are put unnecessarily at risk. OSHA recommends that all construction sites maintain Material Safety Data Sheets, or MSDS, at each of their facilities that have chemicals. Each construction worker should also be trained to understand the MSDS and to follow protocol if there is contact with a chemical at the jobsite.

Head protection is also a serious concern on construction sites. All construction workers need to wear hard hats when on site to avoid electrical contact with the head or objects falling on to the head, which are often deadly. Fall protection is another area that OSHA is concerned about because out of all of the accidents in the industry, falls are where the most fatalities occur. Keeping surfaces clean and adding guardrails can help protect construction workers.

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