The construction industry is one of the biggest industries in Britain – and one of the most dangerous. In the last 25 years, approximately 2,800 people have lost their lives due to construction accidents. Many others have been injured or have fallen ill. Every year, this industry makes the top of the work fatalities list, accounting for more than a quarter of all work-related deaths, which is extraordinarily high.
There are many dangers involved in working in construction, including slips and tips, falls, hearing damage, asbestos exposure, working at heights and much more. Often in the construction industry, work is sub-contracted which can make it confusing when it comes to determining who is responsible for employees safety.
It is absolutely essential for construction employees, employers, subcontractors, managers and anyone else in the workplace to make sure that construction work is being carried out safely. It is important for employees and managers to be trained with the appropriate health and safety training courses, so that they are aware of the regulations and how to carry them out.
There are many courses available where construction workers can receive the training that they need to ensure health and safety in the workplace. These courses are available at training centres all over the country. The courses will not only teach you about the legal regulations that are involved in construction site health and safety, they will also teach you how to create a safe working environment that will lessen your risk of serious injury.
The Biggest Safety Concerns for Construction Workers
There are a number of hazards in the workplace for construction workers, but there are some risks that are more prevalent and dangerous than others. What are the biggest safety concerns when it comes to construction? the SMSTS course is a recognised qualification which educates individuals in the management of health and safety on-site, however let’s take a closer look at a few of the major dangers that workers have to look out for:
Often, large objects on a construction site are lifted into the air in order to be placed on a higher storey of a building. Unfortunately, these objects can become a major hazard when they are mishandled or dropped. 16% of reported construction industry fatalities are due to being struck by falling or moving objects. To prevent this type of tragedy from occurring, it is important to make a careful plan for lifting operations and to create exclusion zones in the area below. There also needs to be clear communication in the workplace so that employees can be aware of what is going on.
Lifting Heavy Loads
Many injuries in the construction workplace have to do with straining muscles when lifting heavy loads. Construction workers need to carry many heavy objects, including tools, building materials, equipment and much more. When these are lifted improperly, they can cause serious injury. Lifting heavy loads is one of the top five causes of major injuries in the construction industry. To eliminate this risk, do your best to decrease your manual handling and use mechanical means of handling instead such as forklifts and pulleys. If you need to lift something by hand, bend your knees and lift with your legs, rather than your back. Work together with others to lift heavy objects, so that you can make things easier. Also, know your limits of what you can and cannot lift safely. Don’t attempt to lift something beyond your capabilities – get help instead!
Electricity can be dangerous to construction workers and they might be at risk of a serious shock. This is especially true for electrical engineers, electricians and power line workers who have to work in close proximity to electricity on a daily basis. It is vital to follow the correct procedures when working with electricity, or serious consequences can result.
This hazard can be prevented by guarding and insulating the vehicle from which the workers are operating, which will help them to prevent electrical hazards from causing injury while they are working.
Falls from a Height
Another serious danger when it comes to the construction industry is the risk of falling from a height. Falling from scaffolding over six feet can cause a severe accident, such as a broken bone, a fractured skull, a concussion or even death.
Unfortunately, falling from scaffolding, ladders or roofs is a common accident and accounts for more than 50% of the injuries that happen in the workplace. This is usually caused by unstable ladders and slipping. Every workplace should have a well-developed fall prevention program in place as part of their overall workplace safety and health program. The workers should be trained to recognise serious fall hazards and control their risk by using fall protection equipment properly.
Heavy Construction Equipment
There are approximately 100 construction workers in the UK who die every year due to the improper use of heavy construction equipment. This might mean that they are stuck behind a vehicle when it is changing direction or backing up, or their vehicle rolls over and crushes them. Also, mechanics working on vehicles have been run over because the brakes have not been properly set. Also, ground workers can also be crushed and seriously injured or killed by equipment falling from buckets, backhoes and other large vehicles.
In order to prevent this risk, it is essential for workers to follow the appropriate construction safety guidelines so that they can eliminate their exposure to these types of accidents.
While it is impossible to eliminate all risk of danger on a construction site, it is important to do as much as possible to reduce risk. This is why it is so crucial to have the appropriate training in order to know how to manage these risks. Employers have the responsibility of ensuring that their workplace and practices meet proper safety standards and that their staff have the health and safety training necessary for the work that they are doing.