Worker Safety Considerations in Residential Remodeling
By Matt Blank
Worker safety in residential Remodeling is a top priority for us here at MBC Building & Remodeling, LLC. If a person cannot expect to be safe at work, the trade as a whole will suffer. Hundreds of Contractor Continuing Education courses every year in the US focus on keeping employees, clients and neighbors as safe as possible, while also highlighting the latest and greatest in advances in safety features for the different tools and machines needed to get projects done right.
Danger can be found in any corner of the house, no matter whether you’re remodeling a kitchen, bathroom or basement. Especially in exterior situations, such as windows, siding and roofing, safety must ALWAYS be on your mind; ladders and scaffolding of 40ft or higher may be needed.
Here are the common safety inspections and precautions we go through on every project:
- Where job materials will be placed – We always inspect first where and how we will get building supplies to the project. Can a truck dump it? Does it need to be hand carried? How do we keep it away from exits?
- Where trash/dumpster will be placed – Workers need safe and efficient access to get rid of trash and debris, but it also needs to be in a spot that is easy for the truck to pick it up when it needs emptied. This is often in the driveway, and making sure it is not blocking the view of someone leaving the home is critical.
- Level areas for ladders, scaffolds – This is not always the easiest to do, but a ladder/scaffold must be secure and level for workers. Sometimes plywood may be used to help level out the ground below.
- Hard hats
- Safety glasses
- Rubber gloves
- Dust masks
- Yellow tape and/or signage when necessary – This could be blocking people from walking under or around a jobsite and/or dumpster.
- Extra person– When a situation calls for an extra person on hand for helping with things like handling heavy jobsite materials or holding the ladder when climbing, it is always best practice to have at least one extra person on site and sometimes more depending on the size and scope of the project.