The construction industry is particularly vulnerable to onsite hazards and injuries. After all, they are dealing with heavy-duty machinery, moving objects, and working at a height. Health and safety is an essential part of any construction site, and everyone present should take it seriously.
Health and safety procedures aim to prevent accidents or injuries in the workplace, but they still happen. In fact, 3% of all construction workers in the UK experience a work-related injury. There are multiple laws and regulations in place to make construction sites as safe as possible – and failure to comply with these can result in prosecution. Health and safety rules protect employers, employees, visitors, and clients. Neglecting these regulations can endanger those onsite and increase costs and decrease profitability.
Furthermore, slips, trips and falls are some of the most common injuries in the construction industry. A tidy site can drastically reduce the risk of these injuries. Wires, rubbish, and spare tools lying around are tripping hazards, and they can result in long-term injury. Construction business owners should carry out thorough training with all their employees. They should know how to care for their tools, keep the site clean and adhere to the necessary health and safety procedures.
Here are the hazards you may encounter when working on a construction site.
Working at a height
In 2015/16, the Health and Safety Executive revealed that working at a height causes over a quarter of worker fatalities. Working on roofs and scaffolding is dangerous territory, especially when you do not follow the proper safety precautions. Workers should be given safety awareness training so they can work safely at a height.
Construction sites involve large machinery, materials, and manual handling of this equipment. Adequate training must be provided so employees can handle these machines safely and efficiently. For example, a hydraulic press uses a compressive force to forge and mould materials and could cause a severe injury if mishandled.
Objects are constantly moving on construction sites. There are vehicles, machines and tradespeople lifting overhead equipment and dumper trucks everywhere. Employees need to be aware of what’s going on around them and the risks present.
Repetitive and excessive noise can cause long-term hearing problems. Construction workers should wear PPE to protect their ears and hearing abilities. Basic earplugs do not provide total protection from ear damage.
Hand-arm vibration syndrome
Hand-arm vibration syndrome is sometimes called ‘blue finger’. It is a painful disease in the blood vessels, nerves and joints caused by vibrating power tools and machinery. This usually happens with machines that have been poorly maintained or misused.
Health and safety procedures should be closely followed and taken seriously in every workplace.