Health And Safety In A Construction Site – A construction site, no matter how small or large, is an extremely dangerous environment to work in. There are countless risks around every corner, from uneven ground and heavy machinery to falling objects and wind storms.
According to statistics, the construction industry is one of the most dangerous industries to work in, with injury rates far higher than that of any other industry. A total of $195 billion worth of workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities occur each year in the United States alone, costing American companies $44 billion each year in lost productivity, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
For these reasons, it’s essential that employers and your employees adhere to strict safety regulations in order to prevent serious injuries and even death. Here are ten (10) tips for maintaining health and safety in a construction site.
Health And Safety In A Construction Site
1) Wear Proper Clothes
Wearing proper clothes will help to keep you cool in a hot environment and can also protect your skin from burns. Wear light-colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothing when possible. Avoid wearing clothes with reflective tape or logos because it may increase your risk for heat stroke and other illnesses due to how these things absorb the heat. Make sure that you always wear shoes or work boots in a construction site because it will help prevent abrasions and wounds caused by objects on the ground such as broken glass.
It’s also recommended that you wear sunscreen when working in a construction site because it can help prevent sunburn. If possible, wear a hat with a brim to shade your face and eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays while also protecting them from debris. If you work near loud machines such as jackhammers, make sure that you wear protective gear to protect your hearing. Use earplugs or earmuffs if necessary, especially if you need to communicate with other workers while wearing protective gear.
Wearing your personal protective equipment (PPE) will help to ensure that you remain safe while working in a construction site. Always make sure that you wear a hard hat when working with heavy objects or near dangerous machinery. You should also always wear steel-toe boots when walking on uneven ground, as it can help prevent serious injuries to your feet and ankles. Make sure that your gloves are sturdy, fit well, and are free from holes and tears before heading out to work.
2) Wear Safe Personal Protective Equipment
The PPEs to wear and their intended use, as required by HSE, include: safety glasses/goggles, hard hat, high-visibility jacket with reflective band, sturdy footwear and gloves. These PPEs are important for maintaining health and safety on site as they reduce the risk of hazards coming into contact with the worker.
While it may be hard to imagine in most construction sites, personal protective equipment needs to be worn whenever there is a possibility of hazards coming into contact with a worker. Personal protective equipment (PPE) provides protection from impacts, thermal burns, electric shocks, lacerations and other injury-causing hazards.
However, in as much as these Personal Protective Equipment is for your safety, it should not pose additional risk to you; this is what we refer to as “Safe Personal Protective Equipment”.
If by any reason you feel that the Personal protective Equipment provided could pose additional risk to you, you should report to your immediate supervisor for proper assessment and change where necessary.
3) Use Correct Tools
While there are many different health and safety issues that a construction site may have, it is always good to prepare for the worst by using the proper tools. The best way to maintain health and safety in a construction site is to make sure that you bring what you need, when you need it.
Using the right tool for the right job will not only safe you time and energy, it will also ensure your safety.
Have you considered using a concrete cutting disc to cut iron, using a wood drill bit to drill a concrete wall, using a chiseling machine where the job needed a jack hammer?
By doing these, you are exposing yourself to danger of injury, burn out, and also posing risk to your colleagues.
Hence, when in the construction site, always ensure that you make use of the correct tool.
4) Follow Proper Environmental Guidelines
Another safety precautions to follow when on a construction site is to comply with environmental requirements; like to dispose any waste in a way that doesn’t cause pollution or harm other people or the environment.
Following proper guidelines can lead to a safer work space, but it starts with being mindful of your own personal safety too!
5) Maintain Good Working Habits
Employees working on site should always have a clear understanding of their responsibilities, be conscious of the consequences of their actions, and listen to instructions. The objective is to stay safe and ensure that other workers follow suit. Below are some good habits for maintaining health and safety in a construction site:
- Maintain good communication between supervisors, contractors and workers
- Never work alone except where necessary and proper risk assessment carried out and safety measures put in place.
- Always look after your tools and equipment, especially personal protective equipment (PPE). Use tools responsibly. Do not overreach.
- Adhere to all safety equipment, such as site signs and barriers. They are there for a reason. Do not tamper with them or walk on them. Obey instructions at all times.
- Identify any problems and report them to your supervisor or project manager. If you cannot fix it yourself, call in qualified help.
- Report any potential hazards to your supervisor or project manager. If you do not feel comfortable reporting it, ask someone else to. Never ignore a hazard, no matter how small. It can prove fatal if ignored. Always err on the side of caution. Remember that prevention is better than cure!
6) Report to the Right Person at the Right Time
It is vital to report health and safety issues at a construction site to the right person at the right time in order to maintain good practice and help ensure protection for all workers. Issues should be reported to your supervisor, or any of your nominated staff, who will inform other relevant authorities if necessary. Employees should always make safety their priority when performing their duties. Health and safety on site starts with basic preparation.
The health and safety of employees on site is an employer’s responsibility. Making sure that an employee has all of the tools, information and training they need to carry out their duties safely can help prevent accidents at work. When accidents do occur, however, it is essential that they are reported to correct person as soon as possible so that any problems can be rectified and appropriate action taken quickly in order to prevent any more injuries or accidents happening.
7) Learn From Others’ Mistakes
Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Keep your fellow workers safe by following safety precautions and asking questions if you have any concerns. But don’t just be a follower, it’s also important to share your safety ideas, too! Know about construction site safety signs and HSE requirements for construction site so that you can inform yourself of the appropriate protocol in your work environment.
You can help avoid a trip, fall or collision from happening by using construction site safety signs as well as proper traffic management. When you or someone else is working on something, remind them about slips and trips with a DANGER sign. Use activity signs to show others where work activities are going on or that someone is working in an area.
Learn from others mistake as you won’t live long enough to make all the mistakes yourself. You do not have to experience everything yourself; sometimes experience is the worst teacher because you may not come out of it alive.
8) Keep Hydrated
Staying hydrated is one of the simplest safety precautions you can take in a construction site. Workers who drink enough fluids throughout the day are less likely to experience physical challenges like muscle cramping and fatigue. Additionally, it’s important to keep cold water on hand since many heat-related illnesses are actually caused by dehydration.
It’s also important to remember that too much water can be dangerous, so it’s essential to maintain a healthy balance. Talk with your employees about their hydration habits and encourage them to drink water throughout their shift instead of overloading on cold beverages when they get thirsty.
9) Take Breaks Often
Stay alert by taking breaks often and not putting pressure on yourself. Physical fatigue is a hazard so try to take regular breaks and don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it. Likewise, be mindful of safety precautions in construction site such as wearing proper safety gear like hard hats, steel-toe boots, gloves, glasses and more. When machinery is running take necessary HSE requirements for construction site and use an electrician when needed as these are very important factors to consider in a construction site.
Breaks help you stay alert, focus and reduce the risk of fatigue, so always try to take rest breaks intermittently within the duration of the job.
10) Know When To Ask For Help
Since no one knows all, you will always need help at one point or the other; either physical help or help with an information.
Unsure what to do? Or how to do something safely? Or you think something is wrong? Stop work, and ask. It takes 5 minutes to check, but it might not be so easy to put things right if things go wrong. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Mistakes on construction sites can cost lives, don’t let it be yours.
If you need help or further information speak to your supervisor.
Maintaining Health And Safety In A Construction Site is very important, see construction safety document from Health and Safety Executive for reference!!!