Get Better Pricing with Red Check Advantage.
New Products in Fall Protection available now.

The Top 9 Essential Safety Items in Construction

In 2022, workers involved in construction and extraction occupations had 1,056 fatalities, the industry with the second most fatalities. This increased the fatality rate from 12.3 deaths per 100,000 FTE in 2021 to 13.0 in 2022. Within those fatalities, some of the leading causes, known as the “Fatal Four”, are falls, getting struck by an object, electrocutions, and caught-in or between material, equipment, objects, or collapsing structures. These numbers show just how important it is to ensure construction workers know and follow the safety protocols and use the correct safety gear. The safety gear they wear should be designed to protect them against the specific hazards they face on the job. The correct safety gear can help workers stay safe and comfortable while operating heavy machinery, conducting their everyday tasks, and working in different environments, as well as help increase their productivity and efficiency.

Keep reading to explore the top 9 essential safety items.

Fall Protection:

Statistics show that falls contributed to 38.7% of construction-related fatalities in 2021. A large number that shows just why having the correct fall protection is so important. Imagine a worker expertly harnessed, anchored, and focused on the task at hand, reassured by the knowledge that their safety is the top priority. That’s what we want for every construction worker who’s working at heights. Anyone working at heights should have fall protection available to them to either prevent them from falling or catch them if they do fall.

However, fall protection is not a singular solution; it’s a system comprising of harnesses, lanyards, and anchors. Each element serves a distinct purpose in helping ensure you stay safe on the job. To learn more about the components of a fall protection system, check out this blog about the Fall Protection ABCD’s!

For those ready to equip their crew with the best, explore our range of Ritz Fall Protection items!

Our top recommended fall protection solutions:

Head Protection:

Construction zones have many hazards that have the ability to cause potentially fatal head injuries, from falling debris, low-hanging structures or equipment, to unforeseen obstacles. According to OSHA, 800 construction workers suffered from head injuries in 2018, 28.8% of which were fatal, emphasizing just how vital hard hats are. Hard hats act as a shield, offering crucial defense against impacts to the top and sides of the head that could otherwise result in severe injuries or worse.

For a deeper dive into head protection and to learn when they are required, check out this blog post all about hard hats!

Our top hard hats to protect your head while on the job:

Respiratory Protection:

Construction workers frequently encounter airborne pollutants while on the job such as silica dust, asbestos fibers, organic compounds, and even something as simple as dirt or concrete particles. Breathing this in can lead to severe respiratory issues over time such as silicosis and respiratory sensitization. This is why respiratory protection is so important for construction workers. Respirators such as N95 masks and respirator cartridges help to filter out these harmful particles ensuring that the air is safe to breathe in.

Our extensive range of respiratory protection gear provides a breath of fresh air for construction workers facing diverse airborne challenges. From disposable masks for short-term tasks to advanced respirators for prolonged exposure, our selection ensures that every worker has the right defense against airborne hazards. Shop our respiratory protection today!

Some of our favorite respiratory protection for construction:

Eye Protection:

Startling statistics reveal that thousands of eye injuries occur on construction sites annually. In fact, construction trades workers had 2,120 eye-related injuries in 2020, while material moving workers experienced 1,860 injuries and other installation and repair occupations reported 1,480 injuries. Whether it’s flying debris, chemical splashes, intense glare from welding operations, or another hazard, the eyes are usually always at risk while working in construction. That’s where safety glasses and goggles come into play.

Safety goggles, with their sealed design, offer a great barrier against not only projectiles, but dust and airborne particles. These are especially helpful to wear during tasks such as concrete cutting or grinding, ensuring the eyes remain shielded from potential harm.

On the other hand, safety glasses are easier to put on and off and provide great defense against immediate threats around the eyes and larger debris. They may not offer the same level of dust protection as goggles, but their versatility makes them a practical choice for various construction tasks. From shielding against flying wood chips to protecting against unexpected impacts, safety glasses offer a reliable barrier without compromising comfort or convenience.

Help ensure your teams vision is protected and shop our full range of eye protection today!

Our favorite eye protection for the jobsite:

Hand Protection:

Nearly 150,000 hand injuries are reported on construction sites annually. These injuries may range from scrapes and cuts to severe trauma, emphasizing the critical role that gloves play in averting such risks. However, hand protection is not a one-size-fits-all solution. You must find the glove that works best for your situation and hazard at hand. There are many different types of gloves available to help provide the protection you need. For example, liquid-resistant gloves act as a barrier against hazardous chemicals that could otherwise damage the skin. For low-risk projects where minor scrapes and scratches are common, cotton or fabric gloves offer a practical shield. However, when facing the intense challenges of welding, resisting abrasion, or encountering electrical shock and extreme heat, leather gloves stand out as one of the best defenses.

Leather gloves, with their robust construction, provide fantastic protection in high-risk scenarios. They not only shield against heat and abrasion but also offer resistance to electrical shock, making them indispensable for welding operations. In addition, the durability of leather gloves ensures longevity in the face of rigorous work, making them a reliable choice for construction professionals.

Our BullShark leather gloves are specifically designed for durability and versatility, providing defense against the many challenges hands encounter on the job site. Explore our line of BullShark leather gloves and make hand safety a priority in every construction project.

Our best-selling BullShark gloves for construction:

Hearing Protection:

As construction workers are faced with excessive noise each day, as is common in the construction industry, it can permanently damage their hearing. In fact, approximately 14% of all construction workers have hearing difficulty and about 7% of all construction workers have tinnitus.

Loud noises, or even just the barrage of constant noise can lead to permanent damage to workers eardrums and hearing. Which is why ear protection is so important. The significance of hearing protection lies not just in drowning out the clamor, but in preventing that irreversible damage to the hearing. However, it’s not that simple. Construction workers need to find the perfect balance of hearing protection – protecting their hearing from excessive noise while remaining attuned to crucial signals and commands. The back-up alarm of heavy equipment or verbal instructions can be lifesaving, and overprotecting to the extent of missing these cues could pose additional risks.

That’s why at Ritz Safety, we recognize that hearing protection requires protection specifically picked out for the hazard you and your team face. Our range of ear protection caters to this diverse need, ensuring you can find the earplugs or earmuffs you need without compromising your ability to hear crucial on-site cues. Shop ear protection today!

Our best-selling hearing protection perfect for construction:

Electrical Safety:

44% of reported electrical fatalities in 2020 involved workers in construction and extraction, and another 20% for those involved in installation, maintenance, and repair. It is within this context that essential gear, such as insulated rubber gloves, and clear electrical hazard signage become so important.

Insulated rubber gloves provide a vital barrier between workers and the unpredictable shock of electricity. These gloves, meticulously designed and tested, ensure that hands remain shielded from electrical currents, preventing potentially life-threatening shocks.

Electrical hazard signage acts as a visual guide, alerting workers to potential dangers and creating safety perimeters around high-voltage areas. Clear and conspicuous signage is not just a regulatory requirement; it's a communication tool that empowers workers to make informed decisions about their safety, urging caution and adherence to safety protocols.

To help protect your team against electrical hazards while on the job, shop our electrical safety gear now.

The electrical safety favorites:

Heavy Equipment Operation Safety:

While heavy equipment and machinery may be necessary in most construction jobs, that doesn’t mean it comes without dangers. In fact, in 2022 there were 738 fatalities due to contact with objects and equipment. Accidents involving heavy machinery can lead to severe injuries and fatalities, making heightened visibility a must in on-site safety.

Heavy equipment operators must navigate through busy work zones, often with limited sightlines, creating a potential hazard for themselves and for those around them. This is where Hi-Viz products become so important. The vivid hues of high-visibility vests, jackets, and other apparel act almost like beacons, ensuring that operators and ground personnel remain clearly visibility in the hustle and bustle of the construction site.

The importance of enhanced visibility cannot be overstated. Hi-Viz products not only make workers more noticeable to equipment operators but also improve their visibility to fellow workers, creating a cohesive safety net across the construction site. This increased visibility is crucial for preventing accidents, especially in scenarios where heavy equipment is in motion, and workers need to be agile and responsive to changing conditions.

Our high-visibility gear is designed to meet stringent safety standards, ensuring that construction professionals can work with confidence and clarity. Shop now!

Our best-selling Hi-Viz apparel for the jobsite:

Tool Safety:

In the hands of skilled tradesmen, tools are instruments of creation, but without proper safety measures, they can also pose significant risks. Ensuring their safe handling, operation, and storage is extremely important in reducing injuries related to their use.

Tool safety begins with the basics – proper training in the correct handling and usage of tools. Familiarity with each tool's features, limitations, and recommended safety practices is essential for every worker. Additionally, regularly inspecting tools for wear and tear ensures that they remain in optimal condition, reducing the risk of malfunctions during operation.

Safe tool handling extends beyond the tools themselves; the use of tool bags and pouches plays a crucial role in maintaining a safe and organized workspace. BullShark Tool Bags are designed with durability and functionality in mind, providing a secure and efficient way to transport and store tools. By keeping tools in designated pouches or bags, the risk of accidental drops or misplaced items is significantly minimized. Prioritize tool safety on your job site and check out our BullShark Tool Bags.

Not finding what you're looking for? Shop our construction safety best sellers! Or want help finding the right safety gear for the specific hazards on your jobsite? We're here to help!


Back to Blog

Related Articles

National Work Zone Awareness Week: Keeping Road Workers Safe

As the sun painted the sky in hues of amber, John geared up for another day at the road...

The Continuing Need for Fall Protection

Having The Correct PPE For The Job

All PPE should be safely designed, constructed, and maintained for the sake of worker safety....