Construction tools can be incredibly useful for a variety of tasks, no matter your trade. But it’s also common knowledge that if they’re not used properly, they could potentially cause some serious damage to your project and materials – or even to your body.
Safety precautions are put in place for a reason, and the same goes for instruction manuals. When you’re dealing with the demands of the trade, finding the time to read them can feel near impossible. So, regardless of whether you’re an apprentice or an experienced structural engineer, it’s always worth refreshing your memory on tool safety.
Using professional tools safely: 5 key steps for efficiency on construction sites
Wear the right gear
Wearing the correct personal protective equipment could save your life on-site. It’s also a legal requirement, so employers should be ensuring that their teams are fully equipped with suitable and approved gear to keep them safe while they work.
On a construction site, the PPE kit for each worker could range from hard hats and steel-toe-capped boots to full protective suits and face shields. Make sure that your PPE strategy aligns with the tasks involved, and always try to prioritise compliance across the board. You never know when you might receive a visit from trading standards inspectors.
Work together, not alone
Some heavy machinery requires supervision. But even if it’s not written down in formal guidance, it makes sense to keep your employees grouped together while they work using heavy or dangerous tools.
For example, with another team member standing by to oversee the work, using tools like cordless angle grinders can be done with greater peace of mind. Along with checking the quality of the work being done, having a team member close will provide an immediate response in the event of mistakes, malfunction or accidents.
Conduct risk assessments
Site managers will be aware of their responsibilities concerning risk assessments. However, for the safety of everyone onsite and any members of the public passing by, frequent risk assessments come strongly recommended.
In the 2021/22 year, there were more deaths in construction than in any other industry. The risk of accidents from slips, trips, and falls from a height are constantly high, so it’s crucial to be aware of any risk factor before it puts your team in danger.
Only use approved kit
The tools and equipment you use should adhere to strict industry standards alongside safety regulations. If you’re using the wrong tool for the job or you’ve tried to cut costs by buying an inferior device, you could not only impact the overall quality of your work but risk your health and safety too.
Always make sure that you’re using kit and devices that meet industry standards, with tried and tested applications in your trade.
Don’t attempt repairs yourself
Lastly, even though it might be tempting to try and fix your kit while you’re on the job, doing so could cost you more than just time. If heavy industrial equipment is faulty and insufficiently repaired, you risk not only your safety but encountering even more serious damage while you’re working too. Keep safe and take the larger tasks to the professionals.