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Common Unsafe Behaviors in Construction Toolbox Talk

In this toolbox talk, review some very common yet unsafe behaviors that occur everyday on the construction site.

Common Unsafe Behaviors in Construction Safety Talk

Maintaining a safe workplace is a top priority for all businesses. Unsafe behaviors of employees result in many injuries, fatalities, and property losses that occur each year. It is important that all employees have a thorough understanding of rules and guidelines to avoid unnecessary incidents.

Unsafe behaviors on the jobsite

Employees who do not follow guidelines and rules that are set in place for their safety are at higher risk for causing injuries to themselves or others.

There are many instances that can and will happen when an employee is negligent of the rules. Here is a shortlist of some common unsafe acts:

1. Performing tasks outside your training

In construction, there are many training programs that must be completed and and certifications that need to be obtained in order to perform certain tasks. If you choose to perform work outside of your qualifications, you are putting your entire workplace at risk.

Risks of performing tasks for which you are not trained or certified include the job not being done correctly, injury of yourself, and injury of others. Many training and certification programs include safety guidelines you would not eb aware of otherwise.

It is always important to stay within your work qualifications for optimum safety while on the job. If you are asked to complete a skilled task for which you are not trained or certified, notify a supervisor immediately.

2. Not wearing personal protective equipment

Different jobs require personal protective equipment, or PPE, to be worn for safety. Neglecting to wear the proper equipment while working can result in injuries.

PPE can include gloves, protective eyewear, hard hats, harnesses, and other safety gear. Make sure you know what the PPE requirements are on your jobsite.

3. Trying to multitask

Employees should also stay 100% focused on the job that they are doing at the moment, especially when they are operating heavy equipment. Cellphone use, horseplay and general unawareness are common distractions from the potentially dangerous task you are completing.

Stay alert, aware, and focused on the task at hand.

construction hard hats and safety vests.

How to be safe on the jobsite

Whether you are working in a warehouse, on a construction site, or in a manufacturing plant, it is important to always follow the workplace safety rules that have been set in place. Neglecting to follow rules can result in injury to yourself or others.

Some of the ways that you can avoid unsafe behaviors are:

1. Be a role model

Each day, you have the choice to be the person who sets an example of how a safe employee should act. It can be easy to want to joke or play around, or to be lazy when you are working.

Doing your best to keep yourself in check and work as safely as possible can help inspire others to do the same.

2. Hold yourself accountable

Understand that your actions on the jobsite may affect not just your safety, but also the safety of others.

Being responsible and remembering that you are protecting others as well as yourself can help you to avoid harmful behaviors.

3. Don’t slack off

Consistently following proper safety procedures in the workplace is the only way to avoid injuries from negligence. There are times when injuries will occur due to an unpredictable accident. However, many more injuries occur due to safety violations that could have been avoided. That's why it's important to take ownership of safety.

Safety should never take a day off. Stay vigilant and apply best practices to every task, no matter how small or low risk it seems.

Common safety violations in construction

Construction is one of the most dangerous industries when it comes to safety risks. Some of the most common occurrences of unsafe behaviors in construction are:

  1. Not using proper PPE - Proper PPE keeps you safer and more protected while at work on the construction site. While PPE is your last line of defense, it is still important to wear and make a major difference.

  2. Using PPE incorrectly - All PPE should be worn correctly to protect you the way it is designed.

  3. Not using caution when operating heavy machinery - Operating machinery at the right speeds and the way it was intended to be run is required for safety.

  4. Operating machinery that you are not authorized to operate - Proper training is needed for machinery to ensure you know how to operate it safely.

  5. Using broken equipment or equipment that needs maintenance - If machinery is broken or in need of maintenance, you should avoid using it until it is repaired.

  6. Not using safety equipment correctly (Seatbelts, safety glasses, etc.) - If safety equipment is not worn or used in the right manner, it is less effective.

  7. Not using safety equipment at all (Seatbelts, safety glasses, etc.) - Not wearing safety equipment at all can result in you being more grievously injured in the case of an accident.

  8. Performing tasks you are not qualified for - Proper training and certifications are needed to perform certain tasks. If you perform them without the right qualifications, you are risking harm to yourself and others.

  9. Poor housekeeping of the work area - Housekeeping in construction is essential. Dirty floors, cluttered work areas, and spills should always be cleaned promptly to avoid slips, trips, and falls.

  10. Not making emergency exits visible - All employees should know where emergency exits are, and the exits should be clearly marked.

  11. Too many workers In one area at a time - When there is congestion in the workplace, it can cause unsafe working conditions and a greater risk for injuries or accidents.

Stay safe and behave

It is vitally important to always pay full attention to the safety guidelines that are put into place to protect you and others. Safety rules are put into place for a reason.

Failure to comply will only result in greater risk. All employees should take full responsibility for themselves and do their best to work in the safest manner possible.

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