Material handling and storage efficiency are especially critical in the construction industry. There are many heavy-duty and temperature-sensitive materials to consider, and damage and theft concerns may arise anytime.
Any contractor may encounter several difficulties in terms of keeping such materials safe. Whether it’s lumber, bricks, glass, or chemicals, each material will require various methods of storage and handling to maintain its usefulness and avoid any loss.
If you’re running a construction business, you’ll need to learn how to properly store and manage different materials on construction sites. Here are some safety tips to consider in handling and storing construction materials:
1. Select A Storage Area Carefully
Poor handling and storage can affect the quality of construction materials and equipment. To avoid any damage, you have to make sure that each material is well protected, stored correctly, and handled appropriately. Having suitable storage options in place can make handling materials easier throughout the duration of your project.
Take inflammable liquids as an example. Such substances will need proper storage containers to restrict evaporative emissions and prevent any leaks. Therefore, you should have the appropriate storage tanks to ensure safety. If you currently don’t own one, there are a lot of used tanks for sale that can address your storage needs and meet your specifications.
Aside from those, here are other things you must keep in mind:
- Take the weather into account. Some supplies can be stored outside, while others will need to be kept inside at all times.
- Sort materials upon arrival. Categorize items according to their frequency of use.
- Have a specific space for waste materials such as metal, drywall, and wood.
Storage spaces must already be selected, assessed, and prepared even during the early design stage of a construction project. Doing so will help guarantee that the areas are appropriate for storage and prevent them from being overfilled or cluttered.
2. Use Specialized Material Racks
Typically, construction supplies are kept on racks and safeguarded by stacking, blocking, and connecting them. This technique is intended to prevent them from slipping, falling, or collapsing. Hence, your construction materials must be placed on specialized material racks. For instance, it’s impossible to pile bags on a sheet-glass storing unit since it won’t last long. The best approach is to choose a suitable storage rack for each type of item kept in your facility.
3. Avoid Stacking Drums, Barrels, Or Kegs
It’s not a good idea to store barrels or drums on top of one another because they might become unstable, get damaged, or spring leaks. Instead, use pallets or wooden boards between each tier. Try this to see how much steadier the barrels become when stored in one place.
4. Know Each Material’s Weight Limits
All materials have a weight limit, and it’s your responsibility to figure out what it is. Failure to do so may result in a slew of needless disasters. No matter how tempting it may seem, never exceed a storage unit’s stated weight restriction. It’s best to choose storage racks made of solid steel with weight limitations that far surpass the weight of the materials you want to store on them.
5. Use The Right Handling Equipment
One way to have highly efficient operations on your construction site is to have the proper handling tools. Obviously, it isn’t easy to do any task without the appropriate equipment. Likewise, using the proper tool for the job can save your back. Hence, try to consider if you’ll need trucks, carts, hoists, dollies, or forklifts in handling or transporting materials.
6. Store Similar Materials Close To One Another
Another approach to get the most of your materials is to keep similar items close together. You can start by having a labor crew that’ll unload and distribute materials to their intended destination. This could eliminate the need for duplicate handling and lower the expense of employing specialized personnel. Once the materials have been successfully transported, the contractors may then confirm the delivery.
7. Double-Check All Equipment, Machinery, And Tools Before Starting
Before commencing any work, inspect construction equipment, tools, and machinery on the site to verify whether or not they’re safe to use. As an example, before beginning the day, thorough planning and staging should be carried out. This will guarantee that workers have the necessary tools and equipment to perform and complete their tasks.
8. Ensure Proper Site Security
It’s essential to have sufficient security on your construction site. This will allow you to keep valuable materials intact. Restricting access to sites isn’t just a matter of preventing equipment theft or damage. With strong security measures in place, you can limit access to the worksite outside of business hours to protect workers or anybody from any risks.
9. Utilize Highly Visible Signage
Clear and visible signs are required to guarantee everyone’s safety on the construction site. The signage can indicate safety instructions and warnings for certain materials, emergency contacts, the location of emergency fire equipment, essential site amenities, and clear directions to the different offices and areas within the property. Visible signs will help crew members and visitors remember and comprehend the safety procedures that must be followed on the construction site.
10. Provide Proper Training
When it comes to handling and storing materials, training is a must for safety purposes. Many project supervisors assume that their workers are fully aware of construction site safety protocols when it’s possible that they’re not. Failure to give employees required training is one of the factors resulting in an increased number of injuries or accidents on construction sites. Besides that, they could lead to material mismanagement issues.
11. Keep The Entire Site Organized
Construction site owners must keep everything on their property in good order. Aside from that, all work areas must be organized, with various types of equipment properly stored. You must monitor the operations involved in the project, determine how the site should be kept clean, and enforce safety precautions. This way, all construction materials can be transported from one point to another without endangering the workers.
The Bottom Line
Construction materials must be stored and handled in a careful and appropriate manner. This is due to the possibility of injuries and accidents resulting from poorly handled and stored items. To prevent such mishaps, construction site owners and workers must learn how to deal with different types of materials properly. Doing so will allow the crew to make the most of the construction supplies they’re provided with for the project.