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Personal Protective Equipment for Life

Life is full of falls, strikes, shocks, and getting caught in the wrong situations. For one who works in construction or around heavy machinery, simple precautions such as protective eyewear, long pants, masks, and gloves are an everyday uniform that many of us don’t ever think about. In many environments, safety may be implicit or referred to occasionally, if only in the abstract, but there may be little chance of electrocution or losing an appendage. However, it may be worth exploring the lessons of personal protection in our everyday lives both in and out of work.

Ten Construction Site Safety Rules You Should Know

  1. Always wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hardhats, safety glasses, gloves and steel or composite-toed boots. Think ahead and protect yourself. Use common sense, and heed the advice of others.
  2. Be mindful of your surroundings and those around you. Watch where you’re walking, and don’t be where you shouldn’t. Multitasking has become a cliche for modern living, but in reality, distractions and failure to be alert to the moment can become dangerous situations.
  3. Limber up by stretching before you begin your day. Your body likes a warm-up and is your most precious piece of machinery. Treat it right.
  4. Don’t overextend or make sudden movements – to avoid strains or sprains. Bend at the knees, and use your legs to lift objects. Avoid carrying heavy objects when climbing. Take frequent breaks when performing tasks that require repetitive motions or when you are feeling tired. Everyone wants to stand out from the crowd, but there are processes for a reason. Know your body and your capabilities; you can still push yourself and be smart at the same time.
  5. Use the proper tool for its designated purpose. Inspect all tools to ensure they are in good working order. Tools and inventions have been made throughout human existence to make life easier or more enjoyable, yet history provides plenty of examples of how misuse and folly have led to disaster.
  6. Clean up after yourself, and keep walking areas clear at all times. Be mindful of any tripping hazards or uneven surfaces. Early life advice for most of us, yet how many of life’s stumbles are due to easily avoidable circumstances?
  7. Only allow licensed or properly trained workers to operate vehicles or machinery. Sometimes the walls come tumbling down around us because we don’t do things the right way. Dangerous, as well, are circumstances in which we fail to properly train others around us who impact our success and safety.
  8. Avoid dangerous situations from above. Make sure fall protection is provided when working at height. This works both as a metaphor and in the literal sense. Certainly, safety requires that we view ourselves as small pieces operating within a larger and diverse environment with its own variables and challenges outside our own. Being mindful of trickle-down possibilities and events is often an elusive, yet prescient faculty.
  9. Always obey all traffic rules when operating vehicles on the road. Help notify others of their blind spots. Make sure others can see you when you operate. Also, look out for those who operate in a different capacity, such as motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians.
  10. Avoid creating dangerous situations for others. It’s a different view when you are looking out for more than “number one,” but nevertheless should be a requirement.