ICF Safety and Best Practices
Welcome to the BuildBlock ICF Installer Training Series. This is 20 part video series is intended to be an educational walk-through of the ICF building process. From the early planning phases to pouring concrete and finishing walls, this series will provide the basic knowledge you need to have a successful BuildBlock ICF build.
In part 2 of the series, we discuss safety on an ICF job site. We take a look at safety equipment, proper practices, and the importance of keeping a clean and organized job site.
The videos in this series are produced as a companion to the BuildBlock Installation and Technical Manuals available for free download on the Publications Page or for purchase via the BuildBlock Online Store. You can view more videos in this series via the BuildBlock Blog or by subscribing to the BuildBlock YouTube Page. For a more in-depth training experience, you can take the free Online ICF Installer Training Series.
Welcome to the safety training section. Job site safety is one of the most important skills you will need to practice every time. In this short video, we will cover the importance of a safe and clean work environment as well as proper equipment and practices for the job site.
Just as working with traditional construction materials, safety should be a top priority when building with ICFs. Being mindful of safety codes and best practices will lead to a more comfortable work environment as well as a safer, more efficient build.
Before construction begins make sure you have the Personal Protective Equipment you need. Each person on your job site should have access to these basic items: a hard hat, safety glasses, gloves, boots or proper protective footwear, and a safety vest.
It’s also important to keep a clean and organized job site. Set aside areas for tools and materials to be stored as well as specific locations to dispose of waste. Keeping the work area clean will ultimately lead to fewer hazards and better communication through visible jobsite markings. Design the job site layout with safe and easy access for workers and materials. Proper ladders or ramps will make staging and accessing materials simple.
When the site is well organized, workers waste less time searching for the tools and materials they need. All of these practices come together to help prevent costly and time-consuming mistakes.
As walls go up and concrete is poured it will be necessary to work on elevated surfaces. Follow all appropriate safety codes including OSHA Requirements, Seismic Considerations, and Local Codes. Install handrails as needed and be mindful of best practices when bracing your walls and constructing scaffolding.
Scaffolding and walk boards should be easily accessible via ladders or ramps. Keep the ground below elevated work areas clear of hazards to better protect against injury from a fall. Lastly, team members should feel confident in their workspace but always be mindful of their surroundings and walk slowly when on elevated surfaces.
Rebar will be used throughout the ICF build. To avoid injury, properly use rebar protection caps and mark rebar that extends from the slab. Use local codes for site-specific requirements and always wear proper protective gear, specifically gloves and a hard hat when working with or around embedded rebar.
Lastly, establish an environment of continual communication. Safety meetings should be conducted daily to ensure that all team members understand expectations, present hazards, the plan for the day and best practices. Educate the team so that anyone team member is able to point out non-compliance to another member.
In summary, an ICF job site should be treated like any other. Safety should be a top priority every day from start to finish. The team should work together to create a safe, clean, organized environment. When these practices are carried out you’ll be set for a safer, more efficient, less costly, and successful build.