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Key Safety Tips When Installing Exterior Building Products

When installing exterior building projects, it’s exciting to see the final result. But instead of skipping ahead in your mind to what it will look like, remember to focus on safety first.

It is imperative to plan out the project in terms of design, budget, and, most importantly, safety.

Be sure to take time to review key safety measures to make sure your project gets completed in a quality way and with health and safety in mind for you and your fellow crew members.

Consider these four key safety tips when working on installing exterior building products:

  1. Because many construction products and materials can contain many chemical substances, it is crucial to know and understand what the materials contain and how to use them properly to ensure there are no hazardous situations. The Material Safety Data Sheets or MSDSs contain any potential chemical hazards and information on how to work with these materials safely. It is the employer’s responsibility to provide the MSDS sheets to employees, but it is also a good idea for employees to do some of their own research to learn about the materials. Even consumers can go on the internet to research the MSDS for chemically based products.
  2. Always read the instructions. Carefully read the manufacturer’s assembly and installation construction after purchasing exterior building products. Remember that improper installation can lead to product failure. That means the warranty will be voided and there is a potential for injury to the employee or homeowner. Detailed installation guides are readily available on manufacturers’ websites.
  3. Always wear the proper protective equipment. While nobody expects to be injured on the job, thousands are injured each year, according to the Association of Workers’ Compensation Board of Canada. Wearing the proper protective equipment has proven to be one of the best ways to prevent on-the-job injuries. The PPE should be approved by standard organizations such as the Canadian Standards Association or through UL Certification. The equipment includes gloves, harnesses, safety boots, hardhats, eyewear and other gear. Inspect the gear daily.
  4. Don’t take chances in extreme temperatures. In times of severe heat or cold, it is essential for people working outside for any job to take all necessary precautions. In extreme heat, for example, there is the possibility of heatstroke or heat exhaustion. Take appropriate breaks, drink liquids, wear sunscreen and avoid sunlight when possible. In extreme cold, there could be issues with frostbite or hypothermia. Wear layers, drink warm, sweet drinks, make sure you have warm shelter available and use a buddy system.

Ensure before each job starts to consult building codes and permits to ensure the installation you are about to perform meets all minimum acceptable levels of safety.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.