Construction Tips for Your Workers’ Safety

1. Getting in and out of equipment:

– Check your boots and gloves for slippery substances and wipe them off to avoids slips and falls
– Get a foot or hand hold before hoisting yourself up
– Use a step ladder if necessary to make sure you can climb on the equipment safely
– If you need help, be sure to ask
– Avoid rushing to hop up or down on equipment

2. Personal Protective Equipment:

– It is important to wear the right clothes for the job, along with protective gear. On the job, your gear and other tools should be stored in a safe, dry place. First aid kits and fire extinguishers should be located near the work area and readily available.

– When lifting heavy objects, you should use a back brace to prevent damage to your body. You should also be sure to wear gloves and goggles on the work site if you’re using dangerous tools. If you’re working on an elevated area and there’s a risk of slipping and falling, you should wear a safety harness.

– Nonskid, rubber footwear is also important if you are working in an area with slippery surfaces, or if you’re lifting heavy objects.

– It is crucial to your health that you wear a mask at work if your workplace has bad ventilation and if you work with dangerous toxins, constant dust or other debris.

3. Staying safe loading/unloading equipment:

– No matter where you’re working, there is always the risk of equipment rolling over when you are loading or unloading it. This is why it is important to make sure the ramps you are using are straight and cleared. You should also be sure to allow plenty of room between you and the equipment in case of an emergency.

– It is always smart to use another co-worker as a spotter while guiding your equipment to make sure the machine is clear of the ramp before turning it. However, you should also make sure the trailer deck and you have proper clearance before loading it, in addition to using correct tie-down procedures.

 

‘Women Building Futures’ Program Trains Women to Work in Construction

A new program in Tampa, Florida, “Women Building Futures,” aims to train women to work in construction. Women fill every job imaginable capably and confidently, but construction is one job where you still might not expect to see many women. In fact, women make up only 9 percent of the entire construction workforce in America, according to OSHA; that’s less than one in every 10 construction workers.

This program helps women learn the skills and knowledge they need to work in the construction industry. “There’s a big demand for tradesmen and workers in the construction field so this class will give the ladies the opportunity to be able to go out and compete in that arena,” program manager Kimberly Kitchen told Fox 13.

Women Building Futures (WBF) became registered as a non-profit society in 1998 as a small group of women (social workers mostly) who set out to fulfill their shared dream of helping women achieve economic prosperity through trades training and mentorship. Working out of an office space ‘borrowed’ from the City of Edmonton, WBF focused on securing small grants to run a series of three-week classes on carpentry.

As of November 2006, the program is now 17-weeks long and includes introduction to six trades - carpentry, plumbing, electrical, steamfitting/pipefitting, welding and sheet metal. The graduate success rate continued to climb and all staff stayed on board during this period; a true display of the tenacity that makes WBF a success.

To learn more about this program, visit https://womenbuildingfutures.com.

Revamping Your Closet

Spring is approaching quickly, and you may be in the need for a closet revamp.

First, start with what's hanging. Place clothes on their hangers in two piles—one for short items, like shirts, and the other for long items, like coats and pants hung full length by their cuffs or waistband. Measure the height of each pile to get the desired lengths for short- and long-item rods. Next, arrange your clothes that could be folded in 10-inch-high stack; each stack needs 14 inches of shelf length. The ideal reach-in closet is 6 to 8 feet wide and 24 to 30 inches deep. Standard double doors are best, assuming there's room to swing them open.

Now, to start planning the interior, beginning with the left wall; measure everything to a T. Sketch a to-scale layout on graph paper, with each wall's width and height as well as details. Make note of sloped ceilings, knee walls, and other oddities. Start with storage for your shoes; your best bet is open shelves without dividers. To squeeze in an extra pair, alternate toes-facing-out and toes-facing-in. Sketch in rods for shorter items, making them as wide as your wardrobe warrants, and a higher rod for longer items. Draw shelves 4 inches above the rods plus a high shelf for less-used items, and mark their depths.

For walls and plaster that's in poor shape, line the closet with ¾-inch hardwood plywood and screw it to the studs. Now you are able to attach rods and shelves wherever you want.

No room for swing-open doors? Avoid sliders and invest in sturdy, solid-core or solid-wood bifolds and heavy-duty fittings. Lightweight doors with bad fittings wobble and constantly fall off their tracks. Decide where you want your off-season items, ideally in the attic or a dry corner of the basement. If you have spare room on the same floor, consider a clothes rack that can be wheeled to the closet when it's time for a swap-out. If this isn't an option, store your clothing pieces in bins and totes; be sure to label them so that you have easy access to something you need, year-round.

 

Spring Home Renovation Ideas

With spring just around the corner, you're probably dying to spruce up your home with a little renovating or DIY. Here are a few ideas for some springtime improvement - without breaking the bank!

  1. Landscaping - If you're imagining a green lawn with some fresh blossoms, the prices for plants could add up quickly. With $5-$15 per plant, plus maybe some bark mulch and shrubs, it could be a pretty penny spent. Alternatively, don’t buy all established plants that will add up in cost. Instead, try planting seeds for a fraction of the price, and soon you will have that dream garden. Just be sure to keep in mind the importance of lawn maintenance, such as mowing, weeding and hedge trimming!
  2. Repaving the Driveway - Between salt and snow in the winter, your driveway must be aching for a refresher. As concrete is very expensive and asphalt is a close second, prepare to pay for this project, because this is not a DIY. Sometimes all a driveway needs is a new sealcoat, which you can do on your own. With a few hundred dollars of sealcoat, a driveway squeegee, and a little prep time, you could have a brand new driveway - estimating $250 to $500 on a typical two-car driveway.

    7 years old girl painting the wall at home, Instagram style toning
  3. Repainting the Walls - Now that winter grays are past us and there is such wonderful color all around, you must be dying to add a pop of color to your rooms. But first, think about if you really need to repaint the walls, and if you're willing to take the time out for this project. Instead, repaint what you really need to, such as a wall that has damage or a color that really takes away from the room’s potential. Light grays, earth tones, yellows or blues are all safe and appealing colors that won’t scare off a new homeowner, if you are planning to sell in the future. Focus first on areas where you entertain or spend the most time, because little costs can add up, on top of the gallons of paint, primer, rollers, paint brushes, tray liners and caulking to fill cracks and nail holes.

With these tips - and whatever else you can think of - you will soon be on your way to a happier feeling home (while saving some money)! Happy Spring!