Construction professionals know that when their boots hit the ground, they come face to face with a variety of workplace hazards. It’s why safety is a number one priority for the industry.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), one in 10 construction workers are injured annually. Of every 5,000 private-industry worker fatalities, 20 percent are in the construction industry, meaning that one out of every five worker deaths are construction-related, according to OSHA.
This week, Construction Safety Week, is an opportunity to raise awareness for workplace safety. One element that can often be overlooked is safety related to the fuels being used on the jobsite.
Propane use continues to grow and has become commonplace on many jobsites because its versatility enables it to power everything from portable generators and jobsite heaters to power buggies and concrete grinders and finishers.
Review these safety reminders for propane equipment and share them with co-workers:
- Make sure that everyone on site is familiar with propane safety procedures and knows what to do in the event of a propane leak. Propane is naturally odorless and nontoxic, so processors add a chemical odorant called ethyl mercaptan to help users detect leaks. If employees get a whiff of rotten eggs, a leak is likely. Turn off the propane supply and call a propane service professional. They will spray a noncorrosive leak detector solution on the connections to the valve and regulator and watch for bubbles indicating escaping gas.
- Know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can include headache, dizziness, weakness, chest pain, and confusion. Fortunately, almost all new indoor use equipment has a carbon monoxide detector onboard. If using temporary propane heaters and equipment in a closed indoor area, make sure that equipment is designed for indoor use.
- Keep temporary propane containers at least 10 feet from ignition sources, combustible materials (such as lumber and brush), air intakes, and building structures.
- Always keep propane cylinders in the upright position on a flat, stable, fireproof base.
- Use crash protection and bollards to prevent potential damage or denting to propane equipment, cylinders, or containers.
- When refilling propane cylinders on site, safely do so outdoors or in an approved filling area, with the proper personal protective equipment.
- Always work with a propane supplier to ensure the proper placement and handling of propane equipment.
To learn more about propane equipment, proper safety procedures, or benefits of this energy source, visit Propane.com/Construction-Safety.