Within the construction industry, it’s estimated that 2.3 million working days are lost each year as a result of workplace injury and work-related illness. The root cause of injuries and illnesses caused by construction sites varies, however, according to the Health and Safety Executive, approximately 1,200 of injuries in 2016/17 were as a result of slips, trips, and falls.
In this blog, we discuss the most common health and safety issues of construction sites in further detail and provide tips for how workplace injuries can be avoided, so you can ensure your construction site is a safe place to be for you and your staff. Continue reading to find out more.
According to the HSE, there were 64,000 non-fatal injuries to construction workers in 2016/2017, the most common were:
Being struck by a falling object
With building work taking place and many different people coming and going, a construction site is often a hectic, high-risk environment and can become extremely dangerous when health and safety precautions are ignored. Without proper procedures in place, construction workers and members of the public in surrounding areas nearby to the working sites run the risk of being injured or seriously hurt. Some of the most common hazards encountered on construction sites include the following:
Working at height
Construction and demolition work typically requires workmen to carry out jobs at height. Many accidents throughout the year occur as a result of height-related factors. To prevent accidents from happening, thorough training must be provided, including safety awareness training for employees who are required to carry out work at height. Courses, such as these, will allow your workers to understand the dangers associated with this type of work and how they can implement safe practices within the workplace. In addition to this training, railing should be added to high-rise areas, so that workers are protected against dangerous falls should they lose their footing.
Many construction sites can often become hectic spaces, as a result of equipment, vehicles, and tradespeople constantly moving. To prevent major accidents from happening, procedures must be in place to ensure everything runs smoothly. While manoeuvring particular equipment, such as dumper trucks, members of staff must be aware of their surroundings, as well as nearby hazards.
Slips, trips and falls
It may sound obvious, but to avoid slips, wet floor signs should be added to any slippery surfaces or areas where spillages have occurred. To avoid trips and falls, objects should be moved aside out of the way of walkways, so there are no dangerous obstacles in the way of pathways.
Repetitive, loud noise is known to cause long-term hearing problems for workers and can often be a hazardous distraction, resulting in accidents. Although you may think earplugs would resolve the problem, more often than not, earplugs don’t provide enough protection against excessive noise. Instead, a noise risk assessment should be carried out and, once complete, appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) should be distributed to your workers.
People working on power lines and cables are at risk of being electrocuted. Workers who are not qualified to work on jobs involving electrical items are at particularly high risk. To prevent someone being electrocuted on your construction site, appropriate training must be provided to workers who are at risk. It’s important that workers understand the hazards, so they know which precautions to take to avoid electrical shocks.
With proper training and procedures in place, it can be simple to prevent anything bad from happening to your site workers. Keeping your construction site safe is your responsibility, so make sure it is done well. Otherwise, you run the risk of putting your employees at risk, which could result in a fatal accident.