As a former OSHA inspector and a safety consultant for 29 years, David F. Coble, president of CTJ Safety Associates, Cary, N.C., has examined his share of employee injuries on construction and remodeling sites. Here are his top five tips for improving safety during residential construction.
1. Wear safety glasses with side shields. If a nail gun misfires, these accessories can deflect the nail.
2. Use GFCIs. Plug one into the service receptacle and plug the extension cord into the GFCI, then the tool into the extension cord.
3. Don't overload portable ladders. Use a Type 1A ladder rated for 300 pounds and inspect it before each use.
4. Properly support scaffolds, even pump jack scaffolds. The footing must be secure (never use concrete blocks or bricks for footings). Always use guardrails, and be sure to inspect all scaffolding each day before use.
5. On roofs, install fall-protection devices such as guardrails or anchorage points to tie off. New methods have made anchors cost-effective and much easier to install.