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Hard Day’s Work: 4 Ways to Prepare for Working a Construction Job

Working a construction job is a great way to apply your skills, stay fit, and enjoy a solid income. But it can also be dangerous if you aren’t properly prepared. Here are a few easy preparations, so you can be sure that the time you give to your trade will be safe, worthwhile and effective.

Have the Right Gear

A construction site offers a unique set of physical characteristics that require the right gear to effectively accommodate. For you, this may mean a pair of steel-toed boots to protect your feet, a hard hat to protect your head, or rain gear to ensure you stay dry and comfortable in case it starts raining. An interesting quote from Ben’s Cleaner Sales says “When your job requires you and your employees to work with pressure washers or outside during the rain, you want quality rain equipment to keep you dry. When you are dry and comfortable, you are more productive… Plus, most of our rain gear is brightly colored and equipped with reflective stripes for safety.”  So it is important to remember that when the weather is bad visibility is also lower, so the addition of bright colors and reflective materials can also improve your safety.

You must keep in mind that you may be exposed to the elements up to your entire workday, so you need to dress to ensure you remain comfortable if that ends up being the case. If it’s cold, dress in layers so you can shed layers as you heat up while performing work. If it’s warm, wear clothing that will wick sweat away from your body so you don’t end up with wet, uncomfortable clothes all day. Two critical pieces of personal equipment you should have are construction boots and a reflective vest. Simply by wearing these to a construction site you show the job foreman that you are serious and ready to work.

Study up

If this is your first time working in the construction industry, being able to understand what’s being asked from you, right from the start, will help you reach greater heights in the industry. Know specific terminology that is used in your field, and understand how to use the tools of your specific trade. Two certifications that you can easily get are your OSHA 10 certification and your “Flagman” certification as you’ll see in this video these two certifications will take you a total of 14 hours to get and will go a long way toward getting your foot in the door of the construction industry.

Over time you will certainly improve in all these areas through daily exposure and hands-on learning, but if you don’t know much when you show up to a job site, the learning curve is going to be difficult and potentially dangerous.

Get Enough Sleep

Since your safety and the safety of others on the job site depend on you being fully focused on what you’re doing, it’s important to get enough rest to prepare for the next day. Most adults require between 7-9 hours of sleep a night to be completely rested.

Whether you’re responsible for operating a piece of heavy equipment, or you’re making precise measurements that determine the success of the rest of the project, you want to be totally awake and aware of what’s going on so you can offer a good day’s work to your employer. When working with dangerous equipment from a small circular saw to a large Caterpillar tractor, a momentary lapse in your attention can easily result in the loss of anything from a finger to your life.

Get Fit

A construction job is certainly a great way to build some muscle and trim a few pounds, but to help yourself be successful from day one, beginning these processes in advance will help you immensely. Being able to lift a decent amount will ensure you’re able to do whatever tasks are asked of you without needing assistance, and shedding some weight will ensure you have the endurance to do difficult tasks for long periods without needing a break. You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete, by any means, but being more fit than an average couch potato will certainly be beneficial.

Avoid Alcohol

Even though drinking on the job site is a common practice, alcohol not only packs a bunch of calories that can easily give you that “beer belly” but it also slows your reaction time and clouds your judgement. These are certainly things to be avoided while working with dangerous equipment.

Take Pride

While getting up to speed in the construction industry can be difficult at times, your job should also be a source of immense pride. Take a few moments at the end of each day to appreciate the results of your work throughout the day—a tangible reminder of the hard work you have put in and the skills you are honing moment-by-moment.

That will be all the motivation you need to return the next day, as you continue in your learning and your professionalism on your way to a successful career.

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About Tim McMahon

Work by editor and author, Tim McMahon, has been featured in Bloomberg, CBS News, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Washington Post, Drudge Report, The Atlantic, Business Insider, American Thinker, Lew Rockwell, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Oakland Press, Free Republic, Education World, Realty Trac, Reason, Coin News, and Council for Economic Education. Connect with Tim on Google+

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