Keeping Workers Safe and Floors Clean During Construction

By on May 5, 2019

Today, the American construction industry is a big one, being worth well over $1 trillion. This industry is made up of many contractor teams and companies across the nation who are hard at work building offices, schools, libraries, banks, houses, and more. During a typical construction project, several different contractor teams will join forces and pool their skills, materials, and tools to finish a building. This ranges from a concrete pouring company setting up the foundation all the way to electricians, plumbers, wood workers, and elevator installation companies. This means that many different materials and tools are present at a construction site, but also many hazards. Construction is physically demanding, and many workers may get hurt over the course of a year. That, and the materials themselves may suffer from dust, stains, breaking, or worse. Protective measures are therefore taken to keep workers safe and keep surfaces clean, such as using a dust barrier, stucco tape, breathable floor protection, and door jamb protectors, among other things.

Worker Safety Hazards

What sort of dangers might the workers face while on the job? During a project, construction workers may face any number of physical hazards such as construction vehicles accidentally running them over, or these workers may have heavy loads dropped on them by accident. In other cases, workers might accidentally get their arms or legs trapped in machines or under heavy items, and this may even break bones or damage muscle tissue. And it may sound mundane, but slipping and falling is a serious hazard, since a worker may fall from several stories and land on sheer concrete or a pile of bricks. This may even be fatal in some cases. Workers can be kept safe by wearing hard hats, as well as colorful and reflective vests and pants to make them easy to see even in low lighting conditions. Workers should watch where they are going and be mindful of their surroundings when walking around, using tools, or operating a vehicle or large machine.

Airborne hazard will also be present. Engines and motors may create harmful fumes, and paint and paint thinner may also create fumes that workers might breathe in. Meanwhile, harmful airborne silicate particles may be kicked up when workers saw, cut, or crush bricks or concrete or stone. Such particles, if inhaled, may soon send a worker to the hospital. In fact, lung disease is very common among construction workers, as statistics show. Workers may be kept safe if they wear surgical masks and goggles when airborne silicates are present, and they may also wear gas masks or full body suits when working with harmful fumes, such as from paint thinner or spray foam chemicals.

Material Hazards

Meanwhile, the bare surfaces at a construction job may suffer from paint or glue exposure, or having dust or particles settle on them. Carpets are known to soak up a lot of dust and dirt, among other things, and emit harmful VOCs later. This is certainly true during a construction project, when a lot of silicates, plaster dust, paint, glue, and more is being used. Tiles on the floor or walls may also get these materials splashed on them, and glass panes may get dirty while workers are painting nearby surfaces or using glue. At the very least, such messes will inconvenience workers by needing time to clean up, and at worst, some surfaces or materials will need to be replaced entirely. This is why a dust barrier might be used, or stucco tape.

Workers can protect these surfaces with dust barriers, for example, and dust barriers made of paper, rubber sheets, or thin wood may keep a carpet or tile floor safe. Masonite boards are a fine example of this, and they keep a carpet clean while plaster dust or paint is going everywhere. Paper sheets may keep window panes clean while the wooden frames are being painted, and stucco tape is used for more precise work. This is waterproof tape that is applied to narrow, smaller sections of wood or drywall to keep it safe during work. Later, when construction work is finished, the tape may be removed without a mess, and this leaves a clean surface behind.

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