Construction Safety

Scripture: Genesis 11

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the details of the story of the Tower of Babel
  • Students will learn basic construction safety rules
  • Students will will practice using basic construction safety rules while completing a simple woodworking project

Guiding Question: What do you need to do to be safe when building things?

Materials: safety goggles/glasses (one pair per student), hard hats, disposable safety breathing masks, work gloves, wood, nails, hammers, screws, screw drivers, sand paper, paint, paint brushes

Procedure: Review the details of the story of the Tower of Babel. Talk about what building the tower might have been like. Ask the students what can happen at a construction site if the workers do not follow safety procedures.

Teach/review basic construction safety procedures including:

  • Remove unnecessary jackets and sweaters and secure remaining clothing by rolling up sleeves and tucking in shirts.
  • Wear safety glasses/goggles when working with anything that might get into your eyes (including flying wood chips, etc.)
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when handling things that emit fumes or dust and other particles that could enter your lungs.
  • Be aware of others around you and make sure you have enough room to do what you need to do without harming anyone around you.
  • Wear shoes – with steel toes if handling extra heavy objects that could drop on your toes.
  • Carry tools carefully, with sharp edges pointing down and away from your body.
  • When using tools, be aware of where your fingers are and wear work gloves if necessary to protect fingers. (Note: sometimes work gloves can make what you are doing more dangerous. Check best practices before using gloves when working with tools.)
  • Keep sharp tools and objects like nails and screws off the floor where someone could step on them.
  • Only use a tool after you have been taught how to use it safely.
  • Follow all safety rues given for using each specific tool.
  • Pay careful attention when building anything. Do not let phones or people distract you from what you are doing.
  • Follow any additional safety instructions given to you by the adult supervising your construction project.

After the students understand the rules, have them try out the various pieces of safety equipment. Using ideas from one of the following links (or try this site) or one of your own, have students work to compete a simple woodworking project. Please note: You will need extra adults to help you execute this activity. Consider contacting stores like Home Depot or woodworking hobby shops to find experienced volunteers if you do not already know of some in your area.

Additional Question: What special rules are there for building construction sites that would be different from safety rules for regular construction projects?

Supplemental Activity: Have the students research safety rules for building construction. Consider having them interview a construction worker to explain how the workers stay safe on the work site.

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