OSHA Safety Manuals | Foundation Construction
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foundation construction

Foundation Construction

Foundation Construction

Foundation construction can involve power and cutting tools, excavations, the use of concrete and mortar, and other techniques that require training and proper safety equipment.

First, wear personal protective equipment suitable for the job.  Safety shoes protect your feet from crushing injuries and punctures.  Long pants and sleeves protect your skin from cuts, scratches, and exposure to chemicals and concrete.  A hard hat protects your head from falling items and bumps.  Wear leather gloves when moving equipment and materials, wear chemical resistant gloves if you work with chemicals and concrete.  Consider hearing protection and a respirator for specific job sites and tasks that may be noisy and/or loud.

Foundation construction often requires excavation, so follow procedures for safe excavations.  Call USA North / Common Ground Alliance (CGA) at 811 or 1-800-227-2600 before you dig to see if there are buried pipes or utilities in the area before you begin to dig.  Inspect your excavations for hazardous gases, engulfment hazards, and other risks.  Where needed, get Cal OSHA excavation permits and use protective systems such as benching and shoring to prevent collapse.  Inspect the excavation sites daily for soil distress or other hazards.

Rebar is often used to reinforce foundation work.  While the work is in progress, make sure to guard against the impalement hazards of exposed rebar ends.  First, prevent falls from elevated heights by guarding openings and using fall protection.  Next, make the exposed ends safe by using steel-reinforced rebar caps of the proper size or troughs that will cover the exposed ends.

Practice tool safety when you use powered and cutting tools on the job site.  Inspect your tools before each use.  Know where your hands are at all times when you are cutting, drilling, or fastening materials.