The Right Protective Materials For the Worksite

Written by Small Business Magazine on April 6, 2019. Posted in Construction edge protection, Door, Protection for painting

The construction industry is one of the largest in the United States today, and American contractors have plenty of work to do. They are tasked with building today’s offices towers, schools, banks, libraries, and homes, and a single construction project may involve many crews working together. These professionals will pool their skills, materials, tools, and more to get the project done, but a construction site is a hazardous place for the workers and machinery alike. Not only is physical injury possible, but dust, silicate particles, fumes, and more may threaten a worker’s lungs or eyes, and these materials may settle on carpets, tiles, bricks, or glass where they don’t belong. So, protection for painting window frames or protection for painting a door jamb may be needed, not to mention floor protection such as paper sheets or rubber mats on carpets to block dust from getting into the carpet’s fibers. Other surfaces, too, might need these covers or else surfaces might get damaged or stained during work.

Hazards on the Work Site

What exactly might be so dangerous on a construction site? A lot may happen, and some hazards may break bones or cause bruising while others might harm a worker’s lungs. In fact, before a construction project begins, specialized lawyers will be on hand in case someone gets hurt or if property is damaged, and workers might reach out to personal injury law firms if something happens. However, worksite safety and fire codes and regulations from the city or state will be in place and may be followed to help reduce the chances of an incident.

A worker may suffer blunt trauma, for example, if they get arms or legs trapped in machinery or under a heavy object, or if a construction vehicle hits them if the driver isn’t looking. A crane’s sling might snap and drop an item on a worker, or the worker might even slip and fall. This sounds mundane, but slips and falls are in fact highly hazardous, and a worker may fall multiple stories and land on sheer concrete or a pile of bricks and suffer great trauma. In some cases, the worker might even get killed.

Airborne hazards are an issue, too. At a work site, plaster dust may get released into the air, and silicate particles may be generated as well. These are tiny particles that are put into the air when bricks, concrete, or stone is crushed, sawed, or otherwise worked upon. Such particles can be accidentally inhaled and cause lung disease, and the construction industry is known for its high rates of occupational lung hazards. Meanwhile, fumes from motors or fumes from paint thinner or primer may be inhaled and harm a worker’s lungs and even their brain, and spray foam chemicals are hazardous to inhale. What can be done about all this?

Worksite Protection

Workers may use certain equipment to keep themselves safe from airborne hazards. Workers may use airtight goggles, for example, to keep airborne particles and fumes away from the eyeballs. A respirator may be used, especially indoors, to protect a construction worker’s lungs and nose from any noxious particles or fumes in the air. In some cases, such as a heavy-duty spray foam job, a full body suit may be worn so that nothing whatsoever can reach the worker’s eyes, nose or mouth, or skin.

Materials, too, need protection. Dust and particles may soak into a carpet and contaminate it, and such a carpet may emit harmful VOCs for years to come based on that pollution. What is more, surfaces such as wood, glass, or tile may suffer if paint, dust, or glue gets on them. While a worker paints a wooden window frame, for example, protection for painting that wood may be used for the glass. That is, such protection for painting wooden frames will keep the paint off the glass panes and also keep it off the surrounding walls. Covers may be used for wall or floor tiles as well, and wooden floors. Otherwise, paint or glue may make a mess and require cleanup, or even replacing the affected material in some cases. Stucco tape may also be used, a waterproof tape that covers delicate surfaces during messy work. Such tape can be easily removed later.

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