Worker Safety Series: Construction Pocket Guide

OSHA Publication 3252-05N, offers assistance with construction hazards of all kinds. Some of its contents concern protective footwear and the requirements for equipping workers properly when they may be exposed to hazards.

the cover image from Foot protection is essential for almost all construction workers, with crushing, puncture, and slip hazards found at typical work sites. The effects of ineffective housekeeping and weather can make elevated and ground surfaces more dangerous; heavy equipment may be moving frequently or entering and leaving the site, presenting a risk of crush hazards. OSHA Publication 3252-05N, Worker Safety Series: Construction Pocket Guide, published in 2005, offers assistance with construction hazards of all kinds, from trenching to scaffolds. Some of the contents concern protective footwear and the requirements for equipping workers properly when they may be exposed to hazards.

The document says construction workers should wear work shoes or boots with slip-resistant and puncture-resistant soles, and they should wear safety-toed footwear to prevent crushed toes when working around heavy equipment or falling objects.

Guidance on scaffolds includes these items:

  • Employees are not permitted to work on scaffolds when covered with snow, ice, or other slippery materials.
  • Scaffolds must not be erected or moved within 10 feet of power lines.
  • Employees are not permitted to work on scaffolds in bad weather or high winds unless a competent person has determined that it is safe to do so.
  • Ladders, boxes, barrels, buckets or other makeshift platforms should not be used to raise the higher of the work being done.
  • Extra material must not be allowed to build up on scaffold platforms.

The document also notes floor openings (12 inches or more) should be guarded by a secured cover, a guardrail, or the equivalent on all sides (except at entrances to stairways), while toeboards should be installed around the edges of permanent floor openings if someone could pass below the opening. Slip, trip, and fall hazards on stairways are a major source of injuries and deaths among construction workers, the document states. It lists these solutions:

  • Stairway treads and walkways must be free of dangerous objects, debris and materials.
  • Slippery conditions on stairways and walkways must be corrected immediately.
  • Make sure that treads cover the entire step and landing. Stairways having four or more risers or rising more than 30 inches must have at least one handrail.

OSHA Publication 3155 (2003), Personal Protective Equipment, is a 44-page document offering additional help about PPE, including head, vision, arm, hand, and foot protection. This publication is available here.

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