As with any labor-intensive job, there are always risks involved but when it comes to construction, the number of accidents is much higher than in any other job.
In 2020/21 142 workers were killed during work-related incidents and the largest percentage of deaths came in construction with 39 deaths. Whilst this number is lower than it was in the 1980s, we must stay vigilant and continue to work hard to prevent further deaths down the line.
Hazard identification is the process of assessing a workplace of all the potential dangers that could harm the workforce. From here, risk management is set up to ensure that any mistakes are kept to a minimum, hence reducing the risk.
Without construction, the development of any country in the world would come to a grinding halt so we must find a way to incorporate greater hazard identification and risk management. Here are our top 4 things to consider when planning to keep your construction workers safe.
Falls from heights remain the biggest killer for workers and that is usually down to faulty equipment. If the site you are working on does not have the appropriate equipment to keep you safe, then no work should commence.
Aside from falling from heights, objects falling and hitting people beneath them is also a major hazard in construction so ensuring that all of the workers are equipped with hard hats is essential.
A naturally occurring fiber widely used in construction up until the 1990s which can potentially lead to lung-related illnesses, asbestos is now banned from all uses. Newer buildings are clear of asbestos but if you are working in an older building, you must identify it first and determine its condition before commencing work.
If asbestos is a serious risk then you must ensure that you’re wearing the correct protective equipment like a respirator. This equipment is easy to get a hold of with so many great PPE suppliers in construction.
3. Slips, Trips and Falls
These can, unfortunately, occur in every workplace but should they happen in construction, the effects can be far more damaging. Fortunately, with good planning, the risk can be reduced.
Provide designated walkways which are clear of any debris to reduce the risk of a fall. Ensure that there is adequate signage and lighting to guarantee that workers have a clear vision of where they are going and the obstacles they may face. Avoid cable trailing where possible as they can easily get caught on other objects making them highly likely to trip someone over. Try using cordless power tools to combat this.
4. Manual Handling and Heavy Lifting
Knowing how to safely lift heavy objects is vital in construction. Each day the job requires the workers to carry and assemble heavy materials and so, basic practices like lifting should be a major part of the risk management plan.
The basic practices with lifting include assessing the situation so you know it is a one-man job, focusing on your body posture and positioning, and finally providing support for your spine by engaging your core muscles during the lifting and carrying stages.
Featured image: Unsplash (Jeriden Villegas).