The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires workplaces, such as construction sites, to maintain a level of safety to prevent work-related accidents and injuries. Although OSHA has inspectors evaluate construction sites for issues, employers can institute a set of self-inspection procedures to eliminate hazardous areas and reduce the chance of becoming fined by OSHA. Depending on the type of construction performed, most employers base their self-inspection checklist on OSHA standards regarding the four leading hazards at construction sites: falls, falling objects, electrical and machinery hazards.
Employers evaluate fall hazards that can cause serious injuries and death to workers. Items of inspection include evaluating all fall-arrest and safety harness equipment for employees who will be involved in work that is more than 6 feet from the ground. Work locations from which employees might be involved in a fall include roofs, elevated floors and scaffolding.
Falling Object Hazards
Employers perform inspections regarding the possibility of falling objects from high places that may strike a worker. The employer addresses issues such as keeping tools the necessary distance away from the edge of raised platforms and ensuring workers are aware of the possibility of falling objects when walking or working near or under scaffolding and ladders. The employer also ensures that all workers are wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment, such as hardhats, and that the equipment has been tested for safety.
Where construction activities involve electrical work, employers should evaluate all systems. The employer inspects for proper grounding before installation, checks that the electrical equipment is suitable for installation and makes sure that the workers are using the necessary insulated tools for electrical work. Employers also evaluate procedures in the de-energizing of high-voltage lines to prevent electrical shock.
Employers inspect all machinery for safety hazards, such as certain equipment without the necessary safety attachments, such as hand guards and bars. Employers also evaluate employees for knowing the proper procedures to take when operating large machinery. Heavy construction machinery, such as forklifts and backhoes, need to have parking brakes set and the engine completely shut down when the worker exits the vehicle for any reason.