Lead HazardThe sign on the door in the adjacent image reads “POISON” in large block letters. The lead paint in the house was disturbed so the building inspector was forced to shut down the job site in accordance with US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.

Far too many people are injured and killed in construction-related accidents each year. These accidents include do-it-yourself projects and seemingly simple maintenance projects attempted by home owners. Construction sites, even those created by the smallest project, can be extremely hazardous. As we learned in the first paragraph, the materials can be as hazardous as the conditions of the site.

Our greatest concern is the person who unintentionally endangers children, the elderly and other people who cannot adequately protect themselves from hazardous conditions. For example, the noise generated by power tools can be enough to damage your hearing. What’s done in just a moment can have effects that last a lifetime.

Before you start a project, please consider using the following resources to avoid hazardous conditions:

National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH)

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

You’ll have to do some digging through each of the sites to find what you’re after though the information is invaluable – since you can’t put a value on what you’re protecting. If you’re in a rush, you can always contact your local or regional office and ask to speak with someone about your concerns.

You can use the NIOSH website to find everything from hazards & exposures to diseases & injuries. Its safety & prevention section is particularly helpful. The OSHA website literally contains the standard for safety on construction sites. You can use the OSHA standards to find everything from suitable hearing protection to state safety programs. The EPA website is a great tool for figuring out whether you’re working with hazardous materials like lead paint.

Contractors are typically responsible for the means and methods of construction: that includes compliance with government regulations related to safety. Many of the tasks homeowners choose to take on are repetitive maintenance-type operations. You can consult with an experience contractor or subcontractor to ask about safety and troubleshooting if you’re not sure what you’re getting into. That may save you a lot more than just a few trips to the hardware store – especially if you’re candid by letting them know you want help staying safe.

We sincerely hope these resources help you protect yourself and those around you. Please use our Contact page if you have a question or you’d like to share resources. Thanks!