Problems of Health and Safety in Construction
In most industries, health and safety is a top priority, but in the construction, safety problems in workplace can be a life or death situation. Here’s all you need to know about health and safety in construction environment .
1. Overview of health and safety in construction
The death rate in the construction industry is more than double that of the overall industry average, according to a “World Statistics” by the International Labor Organization (ILO). Moreover, the accidents in construction sites are likely to be more serious. In other words, construction sites are a health and safety nightmare, with nearly every conceivable hazard present in this ever-changing working environment.
Construction work is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world due to the numerous risks and hazards that exist on construction sites. Working at heights, with mobile plant lifting large loads, operating risky machinery, and working around potentially harmful substances and hazardous materials, all represent a risk of accident and work-related health concerns for construction workers.
An unsafe construction site is a liability risk as well as a health and safety issue. If construction businesses or site managers fail to follow Health & Safety guidelines, they may be fined, sued, or even barred from operating, and in certain situations, individuals may be sentenced to prison. Clients may refuse to engage with a company that does not prioritize health and safety in construction, and a bad reputation can hurt employee retention. In contrast, companies with construction risk management are more dependable for both contractors and clients because they foresee concerns so there are no unpleasant surprises later on.
>> Read more: Occupational Diseases in Construction Industry
2.Which is potential health and safety risks in construction?
This is a partial list of the most common risks encountered on a regular construction site:
- Working at height: Building construction sometimes necessitates workers working at height. Every year, many accidents result in fatalities and injuries due to height-related variables. Access and mobility limits frequently exacerbate the risks connected with operating at a height. Therefore, employees who often work at heights must receive training, including safety awareness training.
- Asbestos: Today, a new generation of construction professionals, such as joiners, electricians, and plumbers, regard asbestos as a relic of the past, a concern that has passed them by… However, this is a blunder. In the UK, there are an estimated 500,000 public buildings that contain hazardous asbestos materials, which are often stashed away, forgotten, and, for the most part, harmless if left alone. Workers must be aware of its location and what to do if suspicious materials containing asbestos are discovered.
- Noise: In the construction sector, noise is a big threat. Excessive, repetitive noise can create long-term hearing impairments as well as be a harmful distraction and cause accidents. Employers are required to carry out and document a comprehensive noise risk assessment – and issue appropriate personal protective equipment instead of just using simple ear plugs.
- Collapse: Every year, excavations and trenches collapse, bury, and seriously injure workers. So safeguards must be devised ahead of time. Unintentional collapses are more common during demolition or when a partially built building or scaffolding collapses, but they nonetheless account for a significant number of fatalities each year.
- Electricity: On average, 3 accidents happen each year related to electric shock while working on commercial and residential projects. People who work near electricity wires and cables are likewise vulnerable. There are also an increasing number of electrocutions involving non-qualified electricians performing electrical work, such as plumbers, joiners, and decorators.
>> Read more: Hazardous Substances In Construction Sites
3. Who is responsible for ensuring health and safety at the construction site?
Construction sites are complicated environments with numerous participants. Safety is the responsibility of everyone involved, from project managers, builders, and architects to subcontractors, general contractors, and suppliers, and everyone must work together to achieve it.
- Occupational health and safety authorities are in charge of inspecting construction sites, advising corporations, building owners, and architects, and shutting down sites with major occupational safety violations.
- Safety specialists responsible for occupational safety
- Company owners are largely accountable for their employees’ occupational safety, and consequently for adherence to WHS policies, procedures, and guidelines on occupational health and safety.
- When designing a building project and managing the construction, the builder is required to initiate and implement site-specific and cross-trade occupational safety measures as the project initiator.
4. How to strengthen health and safety in construction environment?
4.1. Being consistent in health and safety strategy
A health and safety strategy is required for all construction projects, regardless of size. This will show that all important health and safety aspects of the project have been taken into account, as well as how they will be properly managed. It will also be good to make information contained in the construction phase health and safety plan available to all personnel on site. It’s especially vital on large sites with several supervisors that the risk assessment and method statements standards are consistently checked by management and supervisors. Construction organizations may emphasize the importance of construction health and safety and the requirement for compliance across the workforce by making the risk assessment accessible to everyone.
>> Read more: Ensure Safety with Construction Site Rules
4.2. Training workers on health and safety in construction
Training is also important in determining how successfully a construction business can execute health and safety procedures on its job sites. Including workers in your construction health and safety strategy and plans is a great approach to show them that you care about them while also giving them the opportunity to learn new skills. Management can delegate responsibilities, share responsibility, and boost workers’ knowledge and abilities by providing additional training to ensure personnel are qualified to conduct checks and on-site inspections.
It’s crucial that workers understand what actions are beyond their scope of responsibility and when they should be escalated to management or a competent third party. Clearly defining who is responsible for what actions will enable workers who are not qualified to manage particular hazards avoid avoidable danger.
Owning a CSCS card is a need to provide proof that individuals working on construction sites have the appropriate training and qualifications for the job they do on site. To pass the CSCS exam and get your CSCS card, study with the CSCS Practice Test Online right now.
To sum up, health and safety in construction is an critical issue for reducing the amount of dangers on a building site and it should be applied from the beginning. Although it may take some time to create, introduce, and implement necessary health and safety procedures to a construction site and its workers, it is extremely worthwhile in order to protect the workforce, the community, and the reputation and future of the business itself. Having a good health and safety strategy can help to considerably reduce the likelihood of them having an impact, as well as keep the workforce happy and healthy.