It's Not Always In The Manual

Not everything you need to know is going to be in the manual. There are a lot of little things that we can do to create a safer workplace that you're not going to see in every manual and training video.

- Retire your damaged and worn-out tools. You may have an old hammer that you've used on every job for fifteen years, you love that hammer and you don't want to put it to rest, but... when the head flies off and lands where it wants to land, you'll wish you'd invested in a new one.

- Give people space to work. You don't need everyone pushing and shoving past each other while carrying power tools. Make sure to space out workstations.

- Keep tools away from heat sources. Leave a pair of pliers on top of a generator and you're just asking to get burns and blisters when you pick it up next.

- Try to reduce noise and vibration. You're going to make noise on a jobsite, but power tools with muffled noises and lower vibration will do less damage to the ears and joints.

- Don't go carrying or yanking any tool by its cord or hose. It's easy to hand a drill to someone by dangling it off the scaffolding instead of walking down and handing it to them, but it could lead to frayed wires and, eventually, a nasty shock. At the very least, you're putting undue stress on the tools.

- Maintain good posture. Standing up straight at a workstation means you're going to be less likely to slip or stumble or drop something on your toes.

- Don't push the overtime. There's a reason the workday lasts about eight hours: it's very hard to be aware and alert after ten, twelve hours of work. Make sure that you're not pushing your team too hard. Hire a few extra crew members if need be. It will cost you less in the long run than an on-site injury will.

- Don't skimp on the guardrails. Maybe that platform is only going to be up for two days while you finish up the second floor wiring, but why skimp on the extra hour it would take to give it some guardrails?

- Walk, don't reach. If something isn't close enough to grab it, take a step closer, don't lean to it, especially not on any elevated floor.

- Put the tool back in your belt, not down on a surface. You don't need to drop your wrench on someone's head, you don't need to have someone trip on your hammer, and of course, you don't want to forget where you put your tools.

Training, experience and common sense are three of the most important ingredients in jobsite safety. Don't just use the manual, use your head. 

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