Health and Safety On Site: Heavy Lifting
On construction sites across the country there is a requirement for equipment and machinery that helps with lifting. Heavy lifting equipment, such as those designed to assist with pulling, hoisting, jacking, rigging, and other actions are vital to ensure that strict health and safety guidelines and processes are followed to the letter. Health and safety on site is a crucial component of any construction project, or any site within the heavy industry, engineering, or infrastructure sectors where there is the need for large quantities of heavy materials.
Regulations relating to health and safety on construction sites and the like have steadily improved over the decades, and it is now an integral part of any site plan, with strict penalties for those companies and individuals who fail to adhere to them, putting individuals at risk of suffering accidents leading to injuries and fatalities.
On any given day on a construction site there will be plenty of materials and items to move around, to remove from site, and lifting is a crucial aspect of this. There will be times where you can lift and move something manually, and other times where this is completely inappropriate and you require the assistance of heavy lifting equipment and/or machinery. It is important as a project manager to understand when and where each is appropriate, and for all employees and contractors on site to have been given full training on each type of lifting equipment and machinery.
With proper training and understanding of all aspects of safe handling of heavy materials and the correct manner in which you should lift items, as well as how to handle heavy lifting equipment to assist you in the process of lifting, a person will have a much greater effectiveness. With better standards of health and safety on a construction site in all matters, including heavy lifting, you can ensure that there are better performance levels met, a greater level of consistency, and fewer accidents, especially those leading to injuries and fatalities.
Remember, you should always assess the situation and have the support around you to understand whether something should be lifted manually or with equipment. If something needs to be lifted manually it is important to reduce the amount of reaching, stopping over, and twisting that your body does in the process. Never lift from ground level or above shoulder height, without the assistance of lifting equipment, and manage storage areas to ensure there is minimal need for movements such as this. If you do have to carry a heavy item manually, reduce the distance that must be travelled carrying it, and assess the weight to see if there is a need for extra personnel or equipment.
If you have evaluated the situation and deemed it appropriate to use lifting equipment there are some choices within this, from harnesses and jacks, to forklift trucks and heavier lifting machinery. Again, reduce the carrying distances where possible and have a process in place that all contractors and employees understand to the letter in order to uphold safety standards on site.