PLH GROUP NEWS
Uninvited Guests on the Construction Job Site
Date: June 21, 2020
Did you ever have an uninvited guest show up to your dinner party? What about your job site? From the tundras of Canada to the swamps of Florida, across rural regions and populated urban areas, PLH Group companies work in all environments– environments that are home to wildlife that could become a potential safety hazard to workers. When pests and critters show up on the job site, workers must identify them as a potential safety hazard.
PLH Group companies repair electric power lines in urban areas, construct oil and gas pipeline infrastructure in open land, and provide emergency response suspended from helicopters in flooded terrain.
“Regions that our companies serve are natural habitats to various wildlife, pests, and critters, including ticks, spiders, wasps, snakes, bears, and dogs. Local wildlife may be a risk to workers if they slither, fly, crawl, or walk onto the job site,” said Elsie Bentley, vice president of Health, Safety, and Environmental at PLH Group. “We equip our workers with the skills and safety protection needed to avoid an unwelcome encounter with animals and pests that call the regions we serve home.”
While proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is an important last defense against these uninvited guests, a crucial first step in preventing harm or injury is to routinely perform risk assessments before commencing work. Risk assessments identify potential hazards to employees and workers, such as examining the construction site for traces of pests and critters, as well as properly mitigating a potential encounter.
According to Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), an effective risk assessment includes these six steps:
- Identify hazards.
- Determine the likelihood of harm and subsequent severity.
- Identify necessary actions to mitigate the risk.
- Evaluate to ensure the risk is adequately mitigated.
- Monitor the effectiveness of the mitigation plan.
- Document and record, when necessary.
If an injury were to be experienced from a pest or animal on the job site, basic first aid should be administered until professional medical attention can be received. Know the signs of vector-borne illnesses transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas, and get immediate medical attention if necessary.
Potential hazards from pests, critters, and wildlife on the construction job site must be discussed as a team during pre-job safety assessments to mitigate an encounter before one occurs. Protect yourself and your workers from harm or injury from uninvited guests.