When you consider the changes in the solar industry over the last five years, it shouldn’t be surprising that many companies continue to operate the same health and safety protocols year after year. However, the true key to ensuring your contractors are safe on the site is to help them by keeping them in the loop and safe! In this article we are going to look at some of the major risks on the job site, and how to mitigate the risk to contractors, and most of all keep your job site safe!
The solar industry is all about the power, and with power comes the risk of electrical shock. One of the major issues that may arise is arc flashes which can cause serious injury, if not death. Proper protocols are essential for preventing arc flashes or any other injury resulting from electrical shock. Plus, outfitting your team with proper equipment and in field training, every six months will allow your contractors to be safe and in the loop.
Falls are a major concern in the solar industry, and when you are dealing with heights and electricity, the first thing you have to know is to double check everything! Heights are always going to be a risk, and no matter if you are strapped to a safety harness or on a ladder, the steps are always the same; double check gear, make sure equipment is locked out before starting work, and most importantly, ensure there is clear communication between the workers on site. Checking equipment every time before going up needs to be the routine, as safe equipment is always the first step in ensuring safety first when it comes to preventing falls.
The solar industry is not one that shys away from equipment, and no matter if you are dealing with backhoes, cranes or levelers, you always need to have a solid lockout and tagout procedure in place. To ensure your contractors are in the loop, a successful solar company will run through procedures monthly, and ensure that all machines are inspected regularly. Clear communication and proper maintenance are always worth an effort when you are looking to keep everyone in the loop when it comes to lockout and tag outs.
No matter where you live, there is always a risk to solar contractors of heat or cold stress. Solar installations are outside due to their nature, and with outside work comes the risks from the elements. To help keep your contractors safe, a strict heat and cold policy should be followed, along with having contractors outfitted appropriately to ensure they are able to handle the elements.
When it comes to safety, it all starts at the top. A company that is able to put safety first is one that will truly succeed in the solar industry. From electrical risks, falls, lockout preparation and heat stress, there are always ways to mitigate risks, and most importantly, to keep contractors safe and in the loop.