A construction site holds more hazards than most other working places within the UK. With heavy machinery and dangerous tools, it is important for workers to understand the potential risks on site.
To avoid any work-related incidents, there should be safety rules set into place.
Working at a height is one of the biggest risks. With scaffolding surrounding the buildings, workers are undergoing manual labour on fragile surfaces with a great drop beneath them, putting them at risk of falling from the framework and causing an accident. To prevent this, it is crucial to ensure that all staff who are working above ground level are required to wear a safety harness at all times.
On site, workers are surrounded by a busy, fast-moving environment with machinery always on-the-go, with diggers and supply vehicles moving around uneven terrain so to avoid a fatal accident, hard-hats are a necessity as it is possible to be struck by a machine in action.
In addition to this, construction sites are exposed to all weather conditions, inevitably having a negative impact on construction sites. Rain causes uneven ground and brings out the mud, causing the floors to be wet and slippery, putting the workers at risk of falling over and injuring themselves, potentially from a great height. To reduce the number of these accidents, stones can be placed over mud and grit can be placed over ice. Also, sign posts across the site can be useful to guide workers away from any danger or to warn them to wear gripped footwear.
A common construction hazard is the constant loud noises being projected through the site. It’s necessary for workers to wear the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) and for all construction sites to undergo a noise level assessment to ensure that the workers are not at risk of being distracted, suffering from headaches or even developing hearing disorders.
Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is a painful illness which affects the blood vessels, nerves and joints of the workers on-site. While the issue is preventable, once HAVS is triggered it is permanent and over 2 million people are currently at risk of developing the disease. Construction employees should be equipped with the correct protection to handle machines with high vibration.
Asbestos kills around 5,000 workers each year and puts millions of people at risk. Asbestos is a set of six fibre minerals and when the materials that possess such fibres are disturbed, toxic particles are released into the air. Inhaling asbestos puts workers at risk of lung cancer, pleural thickening and asbestosis. Workers must always be informed of where there is asbestos on site and should be trained to deal with the materials.
Construction sites are riddled with exposed electric parts, causing a high risk of electrocution which can lead to falls from ladders and high platforms. Health and Safety Executive company, HSE, reported that over 1,000 electrical accidents at work occur every year, most of which are caused by power cables and electronic equipment that is used on site. Workers must be alerted of where there is an electrical appliance or outlet on site and should only manoeuvre them if qualified to do so.
With these cautionary rules in place, workers can understand the safety that should be considered around the construction site, eliminating any risks and inevitably causing fewer accidents.