Every foreman has a duty of care over the staff which work underneath them. In practice, that means ensuring that your staff are properly trained and qualified, are kitted out with their required PPE (personal protection equipment) and that you inspect the site carefully to ensure that safety is being upheld and risks are mitigated at all times.
It’s a complex job but one which, ultimately, will help protect the safety and well-being of your team – something that you really can’t put a price on.
But what questions do you typically find on a foreman’s checklist? In this article, we’re going to share with you the questions you’re most likely to encounter on your checklist. They are:
- Is personal protection equipment required at this site, and if yes, have you supplied it? Personal protection equipment includes things like hard hats, boots, hearing protection, eye protection and respiratory protection. Your checklist will ask whether you require them on your site and whether you’ve supplied them.
- Are ladders present at your site, and if yes, are they being used correctly? Ladders on site can prove a significant threat if not handled correctly. They need a firm footing, to be free from obvious defects, extend more than 3 feet above support and more in order to be considered safe.
- Are scaffolds present at your site, and if yes, are they safe and secure? Scaffold towers on site pose a safety risk, so ensure that fall protection is included if your tower is above 10ft, they’re set up on a level, stable footing and the platform is appropriate for the width of scaffold you’re using.
- Is fall protection needed at your site, and if yes, is it being used correctly? Your checklist will ask you if you need fall protection and pose questions regarding your use of harnesses, guardrails and slide guards.
- Are machine hazards present at your site, and if yes, is the risk being mitigated? Have your workers been trained on the use of power tools, do they have the relevant PPE, are tiles and concrete being cut with the wet method? These questions and more will be asked by your checklist.
- Are there potential heat stress issues at your site, and if yes, are you dealing with them? Your checklist will prompt you on worker training for heat-related illnesses and breaks for water and rest.
- Are there lead paint hazards on site, and if yes, are they being mitigated? Have your workers been trained in handling lead dust? Is the work area properly contained?
- Are electrical hazards present, and if yes, are they being mitigated? Your checklist will quiz you on whether all electrical sources are identified, de-energized and locked out or tagged out. You’ll also be asked whether you’ve identified all power lines and made efforts to avoid them and whether your ladders, scaffolds, equipment and materials are more than 10 meters away from power lines.
- Are excavations present on site, and if yes, have you mitigated the risks? Checklists typically prompt you on whether soil and conditions have been checked each day, whether you’re providing ladders for excavations deeper than 4ft and whether shoring, shielding and inclination are required for excavations deeper than 5ft.