Construction Safety Guidelines
Worksite safety is one of our top priorities. We advise you to be aware of your surroundings at all times, and remember that if you are uncomfortable with a task, notify your crew leader. Arrive well-rested and on time for orientation.
Before beginning work
- Listen attentively to the morning safety talk.
- Ask questions until you feel comfortable with your task.
- Know where the first-aid kits are located and how to get emergency assistance, if needed. Know where your crew leader is at all times.
- Do not climb a ladder or operate a power tool before inspecting it.
- Notify your crew leader immediately if you feel a situation is unsafe or if you discover a tool is damaged. Do not wait until the end of the work day.
- Listen attentively to instructions about the use of power tools, even if you are experienced. Demonstrate your abilities to the crew leader before working alone with a power tool.
- Wear proper clothing for the weather and for the task at hand. Feel free to request gloves, protective glasses, a helmet or any other article of safety clothing.
- Never come to the worksite in open-toed shoes or sandals. If you do so, you will be asked to leave for your own safety.
- Protective glasses must be worn when operating a power tool.
- When installing insulation, a dust mask is required.
- Wear sunscreen and bug spray when needed.
Safety measures on site
- Stay focused on your task.
- Avoid the use of your cell phone while working. If you must take a call, wait until you have finished your task and walk away from the site.
- When carrying large objects, remain alert to people and objects around you. When encountering a person with a heavy load, give them the right of way.
- When lifting, use your legs, not your back.
- Check behind you before hammering to avoid striking someone.
- Stay hydrated. Water is available on the worksite at all times. You may also bring a personal container.
- If you experience pain or feel ill or light-headed, safely stop what you are doing and notify your crew leader at once. Also notify your crew leader if you are injured.
- Be aware of your footing at all times.
- No alcohol or drug use is permitted on the worksite.
- No one under the age of 18 is allowed on a roof at any time.
- When working on the roof, make it a policy to never step backwards. Shift your weight slightly toward the peak.
- Never place tools on the roof where they might slide off and injure someone below.
- Stay aware of the roof edges at all times.
- Maintain an orderly worksite and keep the walkways clear.
- Do not leave wood, nails, wire, bolts, scrap materials or garbage on the ground.
- Tools and equipment should be placed in their proper storage containers when not in use.
- Report any exposure to a toxic substance to your crew leader immediately.
- Notify your crew leader if you are injured or if you witness an injury. All crew leaders are trained in first-aid.
- In case of an emergency, call 911.
- Never lower or carry a power tool by its cord.
- When using an electric saw, make sure that the cord is behind and away from the saw.
- Never use a power tool above shoulder height.
- A three-pronged plug should be used on all power tools and cord connections should be protected from water.
- Extension cords should not have frayed insulation or be held up by staples, nails or wires.
- All temporary lights should be equipped with non-conductive guards.
- Only use power tools under dry conditions (i.e. never in the rain).
- Use the correct size and type of tool necessary for each task.
- Do not use a tool that has a loose handle or is in poor shape (e.g. a dull blade).
- Make sure that your tool remains clean – oil and dirt can cause a tool to slip.
- When using a power saw, cut away from yourself and do not use a body part as a guide.
- Edged and pointed tools should be turned downwards and held with both hands when possible.
- When above eye level, keep your hammer in a hammer loop or tool belt. Do not place hammers or other tools on top of a ladder or on a sloping surface.
- Do not carry sharp tools in your pocket. Put them away when not in use.
- When cutting long panels, the blade sometimes binds, causing the saw mill to catch and kick back towards the user. Never cut anything that could tilt or fall and cause the saw to slip. Notify your supervisor of any damage to a blade guard and never tie back the guard to get it out of the way.
- When using a circular saw, make sure the lumber is properly supported. Always extend the lumber past the outside edge of the support and then cut. You may need a helper to loosely support the lumber.
- When using a chop saw (miter saw) never cross your arms under the blade. Make sure that your hands and/or fingers are a safe distance away from the blade. Pull the blade downward in a slow even manner.
- Inspect ladders before climbing them. If you notice any defects, loose rungs or other signs of damage, notify your crew leader.
- Make sure the ladder is on a solid, stable surface before climbing.
- Do not leave tools on top of the ladder.
- Keep your hips within the railing of the ladder. Do not lean to one side.
- A good rule of thumb for a ladder is that for every 4 feet of height, the ladder should be moved 1 foot away from the wall it is leaning against.
- A ladder should never be used outdoors during a storm or on very windy days. Never use a metal ladder near power lines.
- Keep your hands free and face forward when climbing a ladder. If necessary, use a carrying device such as a tool belt to bring tools up.