Health and safety should always come first when you’re a tradesman; it’s the rule that you should live by, no matter whether you are an electrician, plumber, or a builder. Besides keeping yourself safe, it’s also important to take good care of your tools, as they are key to your livelihood. Without your equipment, you can’t work, and the price of specialist tools often makes them difficult to replace. With that in mind, here are some basic rules to live by when working on a job.
Keep your working site organised & clean
Even though this may seem obvious, it’s essential to ensure that the site you are working on is well-organised and has all the appropriate measures in place to keep you all, and all the contractors you work with, safe at all times.
It is extremely important to fence off the site you’re working on, in order to reduce the risk of danger to the public, and make sure that you take all necessary precautions during any kind of demolition work. If you are working with trenches and excavations, ensure that they’re inspected on a regular basis, and that they’re all sign-posted and fenced.
All unused tools and materials need to be kept in a designated area when you’re not using them. Moreover, make sure that all your workers on the site are aware of the site rules regarding cleanliness and organisation.
Keeping your van safe
Your van is an important part of your work, so it’s essential to keep it safe at all times. Make sure that you have covered the basics to help keep your vehicle secure, even when it’s not in use. Start by making sure that the security system of your van is working properly, particularly when it comes to the door locks. There were an estimated 923,000 vehicle-related thefts in the year ending March 2015, so make sure your van is safe, because if your van gets stolen, your tools will likely be stolen as well.
Many tradesmen think that hiding their van is a way to keep it safe. This is, however, is almost more dangerous, because a van that’s hidden in a secluded side street makes an excellent target for thieves. On the other hand, a van that is left out in the open on a busy street makes it riskier for thieves to steal it. Finally, get all your work tools marked because this will allow the police to track them down in the event they’re stolen.
Keeping safe whilst working at heights
Working at heights as a tradesman is a common occurrence, so you need to take proper precautions to minimise the likelihood of fatalities.
Before undertaking a job that requires working at heights, make sure that all the equipment you use is secured. You should also make sure you use proper equipment, such as scaffolding, to will prevent the risk of falls. It’s important to stress that you never work at height when the weather conditions don’t permit it, and make sure that you always gain access to the heights, safely and securely.
Protecting your tools & materials
Besides protecting yourself, you also need to take special care of your equipment in order to avoid having to replace it too soon. Make sure that you always use the right tool for the correct task, and that you have adequate training for the use of any sort of heavy machinery before using it on a job. Finally, make sure that all tasks on a construction site are undertaken with great care towards the members of the public and workers, which includes protecting them from any accidents created by any of your tools or your work.