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ensuring safety at construction sites by selecting the right equipment

Ensuring safety at construction sites by selecting the right equipment

Author - NIHVA Technologies

Date - 8-1-2020

The construction industry is a vital part of a country's economy. Construction sites are risky places to work. The safety of workers and employees at construction sites is of paramount importance. According to ILO (International Labor Organisation), the construction industry has a high rate of accidents every year. Though there are safety risks, having the right safety equipment can prevent accidents and save lives. Here, we will discuss how to select the right equipment for ensuring safety at construction sites.

What are the hazards faced by workers at construction sites?

According to ISO/DIS 45001, the definition of a hazard is a source or situation that can cause injury and ill health. The focus is to establish and maintain processes that reduce Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) riks for all employees using the following hierarchy of controls.

  • Eliminating the hazard
  • Substitute with less hazardous processes, operations, materials or equipment;
  • Use engineering controls and reorganization of work;
  • Use administrative controls, including training;
  • Use adequate personal protective equipment.

Organizations need to implement a well-designed safety plan for the workers. Having the latest technology in place by selecting the right construction equipment goes a long way in minimizing the hazards faced by workers in the construction industry.

Construction Site Equipment

Machinery used at construction sites is selected based on many factors. The factors could be labor, project-specific, and equipment specific. There are different types of equipment to be considered when choosing the right equipment. Some of the equipment that ensures safety in the construction sites are:

Scissor Lift

Scissor Lift is useful equipment at construction sites. Scissor Lift is a work platform that moves vertically with the use of linked, folding supports in a criss-cross 'X' pattern. Scissor Lift is useful for moving people and material vertically to elevated work areas. Employees working on a scaffold of more than 10 feet need to have fall protection requirements in place. Scissor Lifts are the right equipment for these employees, especially at construction sites.

scissor lift

Figure 1: Scissor Lift

In the construction industry, choosing the right Scissor Lift is essential. Scissor Lift should have safety features like handrails, barriers, roll-off guards for the scissor lift platform. Based on the OS&H guidelines of ISO 45001, safety practices have to be incorporated while using the scissor lifts. Some of these safety practices include working these lifts at a distance from electrical lines to prevent a worker from electrocuted by coming in contact with them. They have not to be operated in extreme weather conditions such as high wind as they may cause falls. Choosing the right Scissor Lift also involves training workers on established safety practices. NIHVA provides best-in-class Scissor Lifts that operate with all the safety protocols in place and offers customized solutions to its clients.

Goods Lift

Goods Lifts are a type of elevator that moves goods from one place to another. Goods Lift is used in the construction industry to shift materials at varying heights. Construction materials such as stone, steel, concrete, etc., are moved in these good lifts. Hydraulic Goods Lift is economical, easy to install, requires less space, and energy-efficient. Goods Lifts are popular and cost-effective at construction sites.

goods lift

Figure 2: Goods Lift

Construction workers who perform overhead repairs from ladders or goods lift need to be alert and wear helmets on site. While working at heights such as a flat roof, Goods Lift has interlocking gates and protective mesh cages for security purposes. An Overspeed safety device, overload sensors, emergency start/stop button, and hand control boxes are the other safety features of Goods Lifts. Excess stacking of goods has to be avoided by construction workers to prevent any mishaps. According to the manufacturer's recommendations, there have to be limitations on the height of material loaded on the Goods lift platform. Goods lift have to be maintained and operated according to the safety regulations. NIHVA has a wide range of Goods Lifts in its product range, which can be custom-built according to the client's requirements.

Battery-operated Mobile Crane

Mobile cranes are cranes mounted on crawlers or tires, offering greater mobility than standard cranes. A battery-operated mobile crane is also called a pick and carry crane that is battery-operated. It is an alternative to a forklift, as it can quickly pick and carry loads up to 2000 kg due to its 180 degree rear hydraulic steering system.

battery operated mobile crane

Figure 3: Battery operated mobile crane

Battery-operated mobile cranes work in congested areas, including busy construction sites. A radio remote control, low marking tires, electromagnetic front brakes, and rear camera are the safety features. he battery-operated mobile cranes have to consider hazards like swinging weight when moving loads, instability of cranes by overloading. It becomes an engineering challenge to design a mobile crane to counter any accidents from occurring. The lifting procedure of a mobile crane has to be checked and certified by an engineer. The crane mass, weight, center of gravity, distribution, and rigging tightness need to be balanced to provide overall stability to a mobile crane. According to ILO recommendations, every lifting appliance, be it a mobile crane, should be of good design, construction, and adequate strength to be used. NIHVA makes zero-emission battery-operated mobile cranes that are low on maintenance and have a long functional life.

Maintenance Work Platform (MWP)

Maintenance work platforms are aerial platforms that help to raise or lower a worker to optimal height. These aerial work platforms are mechanically operated, with powerful batteries. They are designed with added grips to work in harsh environments. Maintenance work platforms are ideal for construction as well as for maintenance and repair work of buildings.

maintenance work platform

Figure 4: Maintenance Work Platform

Workers at construction sites are always at the risk of hazards like slips, trips, and falls from height. According to ISO 45001, OS&H requirements, a person working at height must have a full-body harness and other PPE. A full-body harness prevents the MWP operators from a fall while providing freedom of movement to the worker. NIHVA provides user-friendly, battery-operated maintenance work platforms that will suit a customer's requirements.

Selection of right equipment at construction sites

The selection of equipment at construction sites is based on the requirements of the organizations. Labor costs, safety factors, and economic considerations are also taken into account while selecting equipment. It is also based on quality standards and adhering to OS&H guidelines as required by ISO 45001. Good ergonomics at the workplace increases productivity as well as the morale of workers. Musculoskeletal injuries due to the wrong posture will cause discomfort to workers. By selecting the right equipment, organizations will bring comfort to their workers. NIHVA helps its customers in choosing the right equipment that ensures safety at construction sites.

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