Safety gear every building labourer should own.
There are plenty of hazards on a building site, from power tools to rusty nails. Working safely as a building labourer means using good sense and caution. It’s also vital to equip yourself with some basic gear to protect your safety.
Safety gear (also known as PPE: Personal Protective Equipment) can be obtained cheaply from hardware stores. There are a few basic items every labourer should own and take with them on the job.
It’s vital to own a pair of strong, comfortable work boots. Your boots should have hard toe caps to protect your feet from crushing injuries. It’s also great to choose boots that are water-resistant because building sites are often wet and muddy.
Choose boots that fit snugly with thick socks. Wearing good socks will help protect your feet from blisters.
Building sites are noisy places. Loud noise created by power tools and machinery can cause permanent hearing damage with regular exposure. Every time you use a power tool, or you’re around other noisy equipment, you should protect your hearing with earplugs.
Choose plugs that you can re-use and clean easily. It’s good to have a pair of earplugs that will stay looped around your neck when you’re not using them, so they’ll always be handy when you need them.
Goggles or safety glasses are an essential part of every building worker’s kit. Eye injuries can happen easily on a building site, especially when you’re using power tools.
Good safety eye-wear should feel comfortable and give protection on the sides as well as the front.
You may have to use them in hot conditions where you will be sweating, so try to choose eye-wear that's well ventilated.
As a building labourer, you are constantly handling rough materials and heavy tools, so it’s important to protect your hands as much as possible.
There are many different kinds of protective gloves available. Some are designed for specific purposes like handling chemicals or wet cement. Others are more general-purpose and can be worn at all times.
Work gloves can be quite expensive, but there are also plenty of cheap types that work very well for normal daily use.
Choose gloves that are suitable for the kind of work you are doing and fit tightly but comfortably on your hands.
Building workers spend lots of time outdoors, so protection from the sun is very important. The Australian climate can be very harsh, and repeated exposure to UV radiation from the sun can cause much more serious problems than just sunburn.
Skin cancer caused by repeated sun exposure is a very real danger. When you’re working outdoors always wear a hat and use sunscreen to protect exposed skin from harmful UV radiation.
Choosing the right gear.
All PPE equipment sold in Australia should be certified to meet specific standards.
When you’re buying safety gear, always look for safety certification marks.
Most safety gear sold in major hardware stores will be safety certified.
Some safety products are designed for specific uses. If you’re not sure which product to choose, ask your hardware store for advice. Explain what sort of work you’re doing, and they should be able to help you make a good choice.
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